For a while now we have been working on a new project, a hiking wine tour, also known as wiking. Our goal is to have the hiking tour available for reservations this summer. The trip will showcase some of the great wines in the region, as well as the beauty that the Willamette Valley is known for. We look forward to having you join Grand Cru Wine Tours for your Oregon hiking wine tour. Below is a brief introduction from the New York Times:
OREGON is hiking country. It’s also wine country, with vineyards that are increasingly destinations for oenophiles. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the combination of hiking and wine tasting has a name: wiking.
Looking for a more immersive wine experience? In mid-July, Oregon’s first hiking trail through wine country will open in the southern Willamette Valley. This nine-mile trail was put together by Byron Williams, the owner of Grand Cru Wine Tours. The hike winds through an oak savanna, over rolling hills and onto a portion of the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge.
So what can you expect on your Oregon hiking wine tour? Guests will start the day at Johan Vineyards where you can sample the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from owner Dag Sundby. We will then hike over to Left Coast Cellars. Guests will be able to sample their wines, including their Latitude 45 Pinot Noir and enjoy lunch from their Cafe. We will then head on the longest stretch of the hike over to Van Duzer. Guests will experience wines from their new winemaker, Jerry Murray. I have followed Jerry’s wines for years and am excited to have him in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
After finishing the tasting at Van Duzer we will head into Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Having grown up spending lots of time outdoors, I am excited to add a trip through the slough. Depending on when you choose to visit you will be treated to visits from a variety of animal guests. The Fish and Wildlife Service has a listing of bird life that you may see, showing the frequency of sightings by season. If you are heading into the slough on your own, they have a map of all of the trails.
After leaving the slough guests will finish travelling over to Firesteed Cellars. We are working on finishing the trails and will let everyone know once we have full access. We will hold a special kick off wiking tour in mid-July. After that, guests will be able to reserve the tour during the open season. Because the slough is closed for the winter to protect the winter habitat of the birds, we will only be able to offer the tours from May 1 through the end of September. Tours will be $125 a person with a four person minimum. This will include all of you tasting fees for the day, lunch, and a guide for the day. For couples we have a package deal with The Grand Hotel is Salem to provide a king room and the tour for $450.
The last question we have received, how does our focus on sustainability affect this tour? First, we are excited to offer a hiking wine tour as it will require less travel in a vehicle. However, travel by foot also has its own impacts. All of our guides have received Leave No Trace training, as well as first-aid and CPR training. We are developing additional resources for our guides about the correct routes to travel to have limited impact on the areas we are traveling in, including working to ensure we do not introduce invasive or non-native plants or insects into the area. We are all learning much more about the birds of the area.
We look forward to having you join us soon on your wiking tour. Please call us with any questions, or to have your contact information added to our email list for when we have more details on the tours. Our goal is to offer guests a exciting new outdoor activity, a fun, educational, and scenic Oregon hiking wine tour.