Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally one of the busiest for Oregon's wine country. It's a time when tasting rooms that are normally off-limits to the public throw open their doors and others operating year-round offer special discounts.
If you've never been, just know that customers respond en masse, arriving by limo, party bus or simply in the back of the car of the unlucky friend tapped to stay sober.
But this year, no one will be sampling flights at the state's wineries following the holiday. Gov. Kate Brown's freeze on indoor and outdoor consumption applies to tasting rooms—not just restaurants and bars.
That means winemakers are getting creative.
On Nov. 28 and 29, Abbey Road Farm is turning its property into a drive- or walk-thru zoo of sorts. The Carlton-based business is already home to a menagerie of animals: donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, peacocks—and 40 chickens, all named Betty. Anyone who visits the winery or stays overnight in its repurposed silo suites can wander the property can wander around the pens and pastures, but this is the first time Abbey Road has organized a route for self-guided tours.
Guests will start by grabbing a map and a cup of hot chocolate before heading out along the path to meet the barnyard crew. After you've finished your lap, the final stop will be a contactless drive-thru market, where you can purchase wine, farm swag, produce baskets, chocolates and other food made using ingredients grown onsite.
If animals and farm life sound a little too intimidating, there's a wine sampling alternative right here in the city. Division Winemaking Company is hosting a virtual tasting that you can experience from the comfort of your own home.
There are two ways to get your bottles: either by picking them up at Southeast Wine Collective on Southeast 35th Place, or by having them shipped to your doorstep.
Each tasting is an hour long, and you can purchase a variety of add-ons, including everything from a cheese flight ($20) to a hosted session with the winemakers themselves ($100).
Dayton's Remy Wines is also offering virtual tastings of its case specials. The business, which specializes in Old World-style Italian wines, has transitioned to pickup, delivery and shipping during the freeze. You can also get your bottles to go with dinner in the form of a pasta kit from longtime beloved McMinnville restaurant, Nick's Italian Cafe.