After 20+ years of living in Oregon, I finally decided to properly explore Oregon’s breathtaking wine region by visiting the best wineries in Hood River, Oregon.
Prior to this … expedition, shall we call it? I wasn’t aware that the Columbia River Gorge was teeming with award-winning wineries, ripe for exploration.
A one-hour scenic drive from Portland lead me directly to elegant tasting rooms that offered jaw-dropping views of Mt. Hood and enchanting rolling hills, I was smitten.
Much aligned with the relaxed Pacific Northwest lifestyle, the wineries in the Columbia Gorge offer an easy-going atmosphere that encourages you to slow down for a while.
With that said, let’s cover the absolute best wineries in Hood River you’d be mistaken to miss during your next visit to the striking Columbia River Gorge.
Best time to visit the wineries in Hood River
The best time to visit wineries in Hood River is during the summer months (June – August) when the chance of rainfall is minimal.
Average temperatures hover around 75° – 80° and most wineries offer air-conditioned indoor tasting rooms or shaded outdoor seating.
September is a very popular time to go wine tasting in the Columbia River Gorge because the weather conditions are perfect, but expect crowds.
Also, be mindful that wildfires cause hazardous air quality and it’s not uncommon for wineries to close during intense wildfire seasons.
Personally, my favorite time to visit Hood River wineries is between June – September.
I have visited in the fall as well, but it was chilly and rainy which detracted from the overall experience. Feel free to learn from my mistake!
Heads up: Make sure to pick up a copy of Wine Food (written by two Portland locals) if you plan to bring home a bottle of wine from one of these local wineries in the Columbia River Gorge.
The Best Wineries in Hood River Oregon
#1. Marchesi Vineyards
Marchesi Vineyards is an authentic Italian winery and is often considered one of the best wineries in Hood River by locals and visitors alike, myself included.
It was started by a charming Italian named Franco Marchesi who immigrated to America at the age of 22 and worked as a sommelier for two decades before starting his own winery in Hood River.
He chose to start a winery in the Columbia River Gorge because the climate reminded him of his hometown in northern Italy.
Using an abandoned apple orchard, Marchesi built one of the most charming wineries in Hood River. He takes great pride in creating wine using traditional old-world methods and you can taste the difference.
I can attest that visiting Marchesi Vineyards feels like being transported to the Tuscan countryside. The relaxing ambience of this quaint winery transcends time and the hours slip by without complaint.
My husband and I were lucky enough to snatch one of the tables tucked cozily between rows of grapes and had a private drinking + dinning experience over a bottle of Sangiovese.
Our time at Marchesi felt like such a treat and ultimately nurtured our whirlwind love affair with wineries in Hood River. But can you really blame us? 😉
What to order: I’m partial to the Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese (house specialty) and the cheeseboard.
Marchesi Vineyards tastings | Tables are first come, first served. No reservations.
#2. Stave & Stone Wine Estates
Family-owned Stave & Stone Wine Estates dates back to one century ago when it operated as an apple and pear orchard.
In 2004, the family had a hard decision to make, either replaces all the aging trees and start the orchard anew, or dive into a risky endeavor of pursuing a life-long dream to start a winery in Hood River.
Thankfully, the winery won out and the first block of Pinot Noir was planted in 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Stave & Stone can officially lay claim to being one of the best wineries in Hood River.
Adorned with numerous awards (listed here) and filled to the brim with happy customers every summer weekend, this place is a true gem.
Best known for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, anything you order is bound to inspire.
We tried a smoky Pinot Noir (with grapes harvested after the infamous Eagle Creek wildfire in 2017,) and I can’t get that wine out of my mind to this day. It was one of the most memorable wine tastings I’ve had.
My husband and I are consistently impressed by the friendly staff, ambiance and well curated wine flights + food pairings.
This is one of our favorite wineries in the Columbia River Gorge to take new folks to because they always leave equally impressed. I highly recommend visiting!
P.S. Stave & Stone is home to one of the best lavender farms in Oregon.
#3. The Gorge White House
In operation for more than 100 years, the Gorge White House is a majestic 1908 Dutch Colonial house that sits on a 30-acre farm in the very heart of Hood River Valley.
While the Gorge White House doesn’t produce their own wine, they do offer pours from local Hood River wineries, in addition to knock-out cider flights and local craft brews.
This is a great place for the whole family because the sprawling property has a large u-pick wildflower field in addition to a charming gift shop and several u-pick fruits and veggies.
It’s easy to spend an entire day here with the whole family without a morsel of regret.
In fact, I typically have to peel my husband away from the Gorge White House because he never wants to leave.
Every time we’re in Hood River, regardless of the wineries we visit, my husband always asks to swing by the Gorge White House for the hard cider flight, he’s a sucker for it.
Also worth noting, the food at the Gorge White House is some of the best of all the wineries in Hood River.
I never pass up the chance to order the seasonal salad because it tastes so fresh. But heads up, food orders typically typically take an hour to prepare for some reason.
However, if you have the time, the food is completely worth it.
#4. Mt. Hood Winery
Image courtesy of Mt. Hood
If I had to choose the best winery in Hood River based on the beauty of the tasting room alone, it’d have to be Mt. Hood Winery.
Started in 2002, this family-run winery is one of the most seasoned wineries in the Columbia River Gorge. It expanded in 2008 to include a stunning tasting room and antique wine bar.
The tasting room has massive floor-to-ceiling windows and offers breathtaking views of Mt. Hood. I’d live there if I could!
The kind staff are very knowledgeable about the wine making process and are happy to share that knowledge. Visitors can even get a tour of the entire wine-making process from start to finish, just make sure to call ahead if you’re interested in doing that.
I suggest ordering a chilled glass of the Estate Pinot Gris or the award-winning Syrah.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong regardless of what you order because this winery won the prestigious Oregon Winery of the Year award in 2016 (the most prestigious award an Oregon winery can earn).
Mt. Hood Winery tastings | Tastings are first come, first served.
#5. Wy’East Vineyards
Located just a few minutes from downtown Hood River, Wy’East Vineyards is yet another quaint family-run winery that offers a warm atmosphere and relaxing vibes fit for any overworked 9-5er.
The outdoor area is well designed because it offers numerous cozy nooks in an green landscape peppered with vines and healthy pines that offer ample shade.
This is one of the calmer wineries in Hood River, which makes it a great spot for someone looking to catch up with old friends over a delightful bottle of wine.
Known for having robust Pinot Gris, spectacular Cuvées, crisp Chardonnays and satisfying Pinot Noirs.
My favorite pick is the Carménéré, which is made with a Chilean grape variety that was assumed extinct for more than 100 years.
Also note, their chocolates are homemade and absolutely can’t be missed. You’ll thank me later. 😉
Heads up: The tastings are $15 per person but if you make a purchase, the tasting fee is waived. We normally leave with a $20 bottle, and the tasting ends up being free.
#6. Cathedral Ridge Winery
My friend highly recommended we visit Cathedral Ridge Winery because it’s her favorite winery in the Columbia River Gorge. Boy, am I glad we took her up on the recommendation!
The wine tasting was as blissful as the epic views!
Named after a ridge on the northwest side of Mt. Hood, this idyllic Hood River Winery is home to a whopping 26 award-winning wines, making it one of the most highly regarded wineries in the Columbia River Gorge.
Reservations are required in advance and you will need to select the tasting experience you’d like to book. I enjoyed the traditional tasting, but the private tasting seemed appealing too, maybe next time!
The traditional tasting flight allows you to select up to six wines to sample, which gives you a great feel for the knock-out wine produced at this winery.
Whatever you do — don’t leave without having a glass of the Merlot of Rock Star Red Reserve.
If time permits, I also suggest signing up for the Barrel Tasting Immersion where you can better learn about the wine making process from start to finish.
Cathedral Ridge Winery tastings | Wine tasting by reservation only.
#7. Hood Crest Winery
Best known for delectable Cabernet Sauvignon, this Hood River also came highly recommended by my friend.
What I liked best about our experience at Hood Crest Winery is that while most wineries in Hood River offer only small bites as wine pairings, Hood Crest Winery goes the extra mile by offering full wood-fired pizzas.
The pizza is delicious and perfectly filling if you’re splitting a bottle with your special someone.
This rustic winery has arresting views of a beautiful vineyard and an even better covered patio that’s perfect for enjoying an easy-going evening breathing in the fresh country air.
I suggest ordering a glass of an award-winning red like the 2016 Merlot or 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you’re in the mood for something more unique, the 2018 Chardonnay has a fun twist, it’s oak barrel aged. Oh, and the rosé is incredible too.
#8. Viento Wines
Dating back to 1986, this charming winery in Hood River makes the best Riesling we’ve had to date.
The owner, Rich Cushman, is a Hood River local best known for his incredible knowledge of wine making and his eagerness to share his passion with anyone willing to spare the time.
The tasting room is downright gorgeous, high vaulted ceilings and massive windows expose the healthy vineyard a stone’s throw from the entrance. What more could you ask for during a cheeky girlfriend getaway?
We felt more like guests in someone’s home than we did customers.
White wine is the name of the game at this winery in Hood River and the sparkling wines reign supreme. I especially liked the Diamante Rosé and the Cuvee Diamante.
Viento Wines tastings | Reservations encouraged, but not required.
#9. Phelps Creek Vineyards
Started in 1990 by Bob Morus, Phelps Creek is one of the best-reviewed wineries in the Columbia River Gorge.
Folks can’t stop raving about the wine (and hospitality) at this charming winery and there’s a good reason for it.
Sitting on 30 scenic acres, the wine is produced in collaboration with a fourth-generation vigneron (a person who cultivates grapes for wine-making) from Burgundy in an effort to produce wine akin to that in France.
As if the perfected wine isn’t enough, the view of Mt. Hood from the impressive tasting room is considered the best in the gorge and the drive to the winery exposes you to the breathtaking landscape Oregon is known for.
Make sure to try the perfectly balanced Riesling, it’s one of my favorites from this charming winery.
Phelps Creek Vineyards tastings | No reservations required for groups less than 8 guests.
#10. Cerulean Wine
The unique name of this winery, Cerulean, is derived from the Latin word for Heaven.
Surely it can’t be a coincidence that such a divinely named winery would churn out heavenly wine.
Founded in 2007, this family-owned winery is focused on making pure and authentic natural wine. Each batch is handcrafted to reflect the local climate and land and ensure the flavor pairs well with local food.
The owners still hand trim and pick the organic grapes that they grow on their 23-acre vineyard, Acadia Vineyards.
The love and labor that goes into the wine-making process is not lost on the palate. There’s something about these incredible wines that keeps me coming back to this incredible winery in the Columbia River Gorge.
#11. Evoke Winery
A crowd-favorite, Evoke Winery was formally known as Naked Winery, but even though the name has changed the cult-like following has not.
This Hood River winery has been attracting visitors to its lively tasting room for years.
Best known for the provocative names of its labels, such as Climax Red Blend, this is a great place to go for an easy-going vibe with a great crowd.
Order the tasting menu and a flight and watch the evening hours slowly fade to dusk while summer’s warm embrace wraps around you and your chatty friends.
Image courtesy Old Mill District
#12. The Grateful Vineyard
This little gem of a vineyard is quite the hot-spot these days. The quaint tasting room is the perfect place to try a well curated list of local wines, but the outdoor seating area is where the party’s at.
Since the Grateful Vineyard serves both wine and cider, feel free to invite friends that prefer the taste of cider to wine because you’re all bound to have a great time at this beautiful winery in the Columbia River Gorge.
In terms of wine, two clear standouts are the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. I’m telling you, there’s nothing better on a summer day than a chilled glass of smooth Pinot Gris.
Another great perk of this winery is that they sell coffee, just in case you need a little jolt after your tasting, which is highly appreciated by the DD (*raises hand).
Image courtesy Grateful Vineyard
#13. Upsidedown Wine
I’m incredibly delighted that we found this winery. It’s much more modern and sleek than most of the other wineries in Hood River that I mention in this list.
What this winery lacks in rustic wood beams it makes up for with a beautiful marble counter and an intriguing minimalist design that exudes cozy vibes. They definitely have the ambiance thing down.
But there delicious wine is where they shine.
We ordered a flight and found ourselves very impressed by the robust flavors. Quite possibly the best rosé I’ve had in Hood River comes from this quaint winery and the bottles are very affordable, to boot.
Oh, lest I forget, the coolest part about this incredible Hood River winery is that a generous portion of sales (20%) goes to charities.
“We believe in bringing people together, whether that be through sharing a bottle or sharing our profits. When you Drink Upsidedown, 20% of the net proceeds are passed on to our partner organizations. This is just one small way that together we can make a difference. “
So in a way, you’re drinking for a good cause and who wouldn’t want to support a business like that?
Also, if you’re lucky enough to run into the owner, Seth Kitzke, during your visit make sure to say hi. His knowledge and passion for wine making is downright contagious and he loves sharing it.
#14. Hiyu Wine Farm
Started in 2010 by impassioned winemaker Nate Ready and his equally-talented partner China Tresemer, Hiyo Wine Farm is a sustainability-focused winery in Hood River growing 80 varieties of grapes.
At $65 per person, this is one of the best wine tasting in Hood River and is best saved for special occasions, the experience will definitely be memorable.
It’s clear that the delicate art of wine-making is as important as the end result at this winery and we are all better for it. You’re bound to learn something new during a wine tasting here.
The long wooden tables in the tasting room encourage visitors to linger for a while with a glass of incredible wine in hand.
A clear standout at this Hood River winery is the Hiyu 2017 Corvus, which is barrel aged for three years and offers a delight for the senses.
Hiyu Wine Farm tastings | Reservations for Lunch and Tavern Tastings are required 48 hours in advance. Book online.
Best Wineries in the Columbia River Gorge (On the Washington Side)
#15. Syncline Winery | Lyle, Washington
Photo courtesy Washington Tasting Rooms
Awarded Washington Winemaker of the Year in 2018, Syncline Winery was founded in 2003 by James and Poppie Mantone.
The happy couple produces wines inspired by France’s renowned Rhone region, think syrah, viognier and roussanne.
Today, this award-winning winery is considered one of the best wineries in the Columbia Gorge.
Located on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge, the winery offers unparalleled sweeping views of golden hills embracing an idyllic farm.
You can join a tasting tour to learn more about their perfectly executed wine making process.
Or if you’re in a more relaxing mood, park yourself at a picnic table and soak in the incredible views of the vineyard. Heck, I’d consider volunteering at this gorgeous Columbia Gorge winery for the views alone!
Syncline Winery tastings | Three tasting options are offered, ranging from $25 per person to $40 per person. Reservations required.
#16. Domaine Poullion Winery | Lyle, Washington
Domaine Poullion was started in 2005 by husband and wife duo, Juliet and Alexis Pouillon.
The couple was determined to make small-batch wine with old world flair.
In humbling fashion, they started their winery as amateurs and now make some of the most exciting wines in the Columbia River Gorge.
The Mourvedre is dream worthy and the welcoming tasting room feels like a luxurious escape to the French countryside. You can’t go wrong with the outdoor patio either, the views are breathtaking.
Domaine Poullion Winery tastings | Tastings by reservation only.
#17. Maryhill Winery | Goldendale, Washington
Image courtesy of Portland Relocation Guide
Producing 80,000 cases of wine annually, Maryhill Winery is one of the largest wineries in the Columbia River Gorge.
Founded in 2001, Maryhill Winery has become the go-to spot for award-winning zingandels and syrahs.
Sitting high atop the eastern edge of the largest national scenic area in America, you can bet the sweeping views of the Columbia River and Mt. Hood are spectacular.
Maryhill Winery tastings | $20 tasting fee per person, can be applied toward $30 purchase.
#18. COR Cellars | Lyle, Washington
Yet another gem of a winery located in the Columbia River Gorge, COR Cellars is open year-round and has been serving knock-out wines since 2004
This Columbia River Gorge winery is the happy brain child of Luke Bradford, who studied sustainable agriculture in college and found himself inspired to make wine after a trip to Tuscany.
With an impressive tasting room overlooking the cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more interesting or beautiful winery in the Columbia River Gorge.
COR Cellars tastings | Open Wednesday through Monday. Reservation only.
Best wineries in the Columbia River Gorge (Post Summary)
In sum, these are the BEST wineries in Hood River + Columbia River Gorge
- Marchesi Vineyards
- Stave & Stone Winery
- The Gorge White House
- Wy’East Vineyards
- Cathedral Ridge Winery
- Hood Crest Winery
- Viento Wines
- Phelps Creek Winery
- Mt. Hood Winery
- Cerulean Wine
- Evoke Winery
- The Grateful Vineyard
- Upsidedown Winery
- Hiyu Wine Farm
- Syncline Winery
- Domaine Poullion Winery
- Maryhill Winery
- COR Cellars
Map of best wineries in Hood River
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I hope you enjoyed this guide to the BEST wineries in Hood River don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.