Hood River Fruit Loop

Hood River Fruit Loop

Relax and enjoy the view from the Mt. Hood Winery

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. The crisp air, blue skies with a tinge of wood smoke in the air, stunning colors of leaves, harvesting of apples and pumpkins, and of course the crushing of grapes to make wine.

There is no better place to experience the colors and tastes of fall than the Columbia River Gorge. Hood River, Oregon is just one hour east of Portland and the 35-mile Fruit Loop is the full fall experience -- wineries, fruit stands, pumpkin patches and more.

The folks who organize the Fruit Loop have put together a wonderful PDF map that outlines all your stops along the way (and more!) Or check out our Google map with just the stops below!

Once you arrive at the first stop, this tour is about one hour of driving (plus stops) and includes four wineries. If you're a Cellar 503 member, don't forget your Explore 503 wine country pass for tasting room discounts!

Viento Wines

301 Country Club Rd, Hood River, OR 97031, 541-386-3026

From Portland, start your journey on the east side of Hood River by taking Exit 62 off Interstate 84. As you approach the exit, take note of the red barn surrounded by vines -- that's Viento Wines. (After you exit, take two rights to double back onto Country Club Road.)

Viento is Spanish for "wind", a perfect name for a winery in the heart of the windsurfing capital of the world. In June 2015, we featured Viento's old vine dry Riesling, sourced from the vines right in front of you.

The Fruit Company

2900 Van Horn Drive, Hood River, OR 97031, 541-387-3100

Your first stop is The Fruit Company, one of the country’s oldest fruit basket and gourmet gift sellers. Stop by this farm stand to pick up some orchard fresh fruit or put together your own gourmet gift basket at wholesale prices.

Mt. Hood Winery

2882 Van Horn Dr., Hood River, OR 97031, 541-386-8333

But don’t get back in the car – your next stop is right in the same parking lot! “Come for the wine, stay for the views” is the motto for Mt. Hood Winery.

Just step into the tasting room and you’ll see why. You’ll also know why Northwest Wine Press voted it the best Oregon winery in 2016. After five generations of fruit growers in the Bickford family, brothers Steve and Don Bickford opened the winery and tasting room in 2009; exactly 100 years after the founding of the farm. The wide range of wines included in their tasting give you a chance to enjoy the full range of the Columbia Gorge wine region. Don't miss the Cabernet Sauvignon, featured at Cellar 503 in August 2016.

Fox Tail Cider

2965 Ehrck Hill Drive, Hood River, OR 97031, 541-716-0093

A few miles further up Highway 35 is Fox Tail Cider. One of the many up-and-coming cideries in the Columbia Gorge. Its focus is on small batch, craft ciders that each have “a unique story to be shared, told, and enjoyed.”

Try out the hard cider options made from fruit just outside the charming tasting room ranging from the traditional apple to boysenberry, peach and even plum cider.

Mt. View Orchards

6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd.,Mt Hood, OR 97041, 541-352-6554

Now you’re really in the hills and valleys of the Hood River area. Enjoy the gorgeous scenery and views of Mt. Hood as you head out to Mt. View Orchards. Pick your own apples, visit the pumpkin patch, enjoy a hayride and visit famous Carlos the Steer. A perfect place to let the kids run and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Apple Valley Country Store

2363 Tucker Rd., Hood River, OR 97031, 541-386-1971

Heading back toward Hood River on Highway 281, make sure you stop at the Apple Valley Country Store to pick up homemade pies of every variety imaginable, jams, jellies and hot sauces. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a day when its sister store, Apple Valley BBQ, is cooking up some delicious treats!

Phelps Creek Vineyards

1850 Country Club Rd., Hood River, OR 97031, 541-386-2607

Once you’re back in Hood River city limits, head on over to the golf course for some wine tasting. Yes, you read that right! Phelps Creek Vineyards has their tasting room in a small building on the grounds of the local golf course. Owner and winemaker Bob Morus is an airline pilot during the day and makes amazing Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc (featured in August 2018) in his “down time”!

Hood Crest Winery

1908 Orchard Rd., Hood River, OR 97031, 541-386-4841

We’ve saved the best for last! End your day with a stop at Hood Crest Winery for excellent wine, stunning views, and the best wood-fired pizzas around! At Hood Crest Winery, you’re almost as likely to hear winemaker Tess Barr jamming with her eponymous blues band as you are to taste her wines. After all, the recording studio and record label are right there on the property.

In October 2015, we featured the Super Tesscan blend; and in August 2018, it was the Grenache, perfect for summer grilling.

If you’re lucky enough to be at Hood Crest on a weekend when the Tess Barr Band is jammin’, you’ll get an unparalleled experience – gorgeous views of Mt. Hood, rockin’ music, hot pizza right from the wood-fired oven, and stellar wines.

Posted on September 27, 2018 in Wine Country Tours.