Spend Memorial Day Road-Tripping Through Willamette Wine Country

Celebrate 50 Years of Pinot Noir Planting in the Willamette Valley

Where: Oregon’s Willamette Valley. WHY: Because 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pinot Noir planting in the Willamette Valley, which the whole region celebrates during the annual Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country event (5/23–5/25; willamettewines.com).

WHAT: Once considered the promised land for pioneers on the Oregon Trail, the Willamette Valley now holds a place in the upper echelons of wine producing regions. More than 150 wineries (including The Eyrie Vineyards and Big Table Farm) will pull out all the stops, holding tastings, tours and more. Many of the wineries in this rich region don’t have tasting rooms open year around, so take advantage of this vino extravaganza. when you get hungry: Look for unusual food-pairing events throughout the weekend, from wood-grilled pizzas at Benton-Lane Winery (benton-lane.com) to artisanal sausages by Portland’s Olympia Provisions at J.K. Carriere Wines (jkcarriere.com). get out of the car:

Explore the valley and wineries by bike, on a 10-mile, five-hour guided tour (pedalbiketours.com), or get the bird’s-eye view of wine country by way of a hot air balloon (vistaballoon.com)