Indulge your inner foodie at The Parrott House, a beautiful, historic Queen Anne style house first established in 1891 as a restaurant and whiskey bar. Having skillfully remodeled much of the interior, (including putting the kitchen upstairs!) they’ve also extended the property out into the back with a handcrafted deck designed with reclaimed wood. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining, featuring farm-to-table cuisine with a European flare.
Eat and Drink Your Grains
Although the Willamette Valley is synonymous with wine, this bountiful region also produces hazelnuts, hops (and beer!), olives and honey—just to name a few. This regional bounty helps feed the Camas Country Mill, which produces whole grain and artisan flours from grains grown near their Junction City Schoolhouse Store. As if delicious wholesome baked goods aren’t enough, the site is also home to the historic Lower Fern Ridge Schoolhouse. This 1888 building was rescued from being demolished and moved to Camas Country Store where it now serves as a place to snack on a scone while marveling at the history preserved inside its walls.
The Camas Country Store sells its products to local bakeries, and also to Thinking Tree Spirits—one of only five true “farm to flask” distilleries in Oregon (which is huge considering the state has more than 100). Thinking Tree is owned and operated by a husband and wife team that focuses on crafting smooth, drinkable vodka, rum and gin.
Located on some of the oldest agriculture property in the Rogue Valley is EdenVale Winery and Orchards. Known as the birthplace of Oregon’s pear industry, Eden Valley Orchards was founded in 1885 and has been a historical leader of innovative agriculture ever since. The tasting room and property, which also includes the Voorhies Mansion, is run by a mother-daughter duo who keep the deep-rooted history alive by making world-class, hand-crafted wines and ciders. They also host a variety of events throughout the year, including Mystery Dinners, summer music series, weddings, and family-friendly events like slip n’ slide, playhouse and more.
Elkton is home to one of the state’s newest wine regions: the Elkton Oregon AVA. Though this AVA is the coolest and wettest in Southern Oregon, it shines when it comes to growing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau and other cool-climate varieties. Brandorg Vineyard & Winery, one of five wineries in a five-mile radius, has received major accolades for their superb Gewürztraminer.
Raising a glass in Roseburg
Roseburg’s HillCrest Vineyard is Oregon’s oldest estate winery and the “birthplace of Oregon Pinot Noir,” thanks to Richard Sommer who planted the first pinot grapes there in 1967. Today, owners Dyson and Susa Demara, produce wines of natural expression using a dry farming practice, concrete tanks and no additives.
Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie oh my!
Just outside Jacksonville is the unique and beautiful Wooldridge Creek Winery who specialize in locally-sourced, small batch estate wines, artisan cheese and charcuterie: making them Oregon’s first joint creamery and winery. Come for a visit to the tasting room and delight all your senses. Be sure to say hello to their Nigerian Dwarf goats, too!
Next time you find yourself in SE Portland with a chocolate craving, stop in Cloudforest. Ecuador-born owner, Sebastian Cisneros, is the master behind the unique and delicious Cloudforest chocolate bars, ranging from “Orchid,” made with house-made vanilla extract to “GOMA,” a grey chocolate bar made with black sesame seeds that tastes like white chocolate. Cloudforest also serves delicious freshly-baked cookies using their chocolate, as well as coffee drinks and seasonal hot chocolates.