Posted May 2006
Quick Guide: May through August in Oregon
Depending on what region you're visiting—the hot south or the
more temperate north—summer can be either dry and hot, or more
humid and hot. But either way, you'll likely be plenty warm,
so pack for the weather.
In the northern most Willamette Valley, rain is still a very
real possibility through the summer, so you'll also want to consider
something rain-proof, even if you don't end up needing it. It's
best to be prepared, however.
What to pack
Layers are always a solid choice for any Oregon trip. Mornings
and evenings tend to be cool, even in the more desert-like
south, and sweaters and jackets are a good idea. During the
day, wear loose-fitting, casual clothing. There's no need
for dressing up, or heels. Remember that you'll be visiting
mostly rural, agricultural areas that are sometimes accessible
only by dirt or gravel roads, and doing a fair amount of
walking to and from the vineyards and tasting rooms sometimes.
Wear comfortable shoes, and a variety of clothing, like a
short sleeve shirt, linen pants or khakis (shorts are fine,
but you'll feel most comfortable in longer, non-cut-off versions),
and bring along a jacket if things cool off.
As in most of the West Coast, there's rarely an occasion you'll
need a tie or sport jacket. Even the most sophisticated restaurants
usually welcome diners dressed in pretty much anything appropriate
for a casual office environment: slacks and a sweater, a comfortable
skirt, pants, whatever—though for really upscale dining its
best to avoid jeans if possible.
The People You'll Meet
The folks in Oregon are some of the friendliest, most welcoming
in Wine Country. Despite the popularity of Pinot Noir from
this region (and its prices!) most folks at the wineries
are eager for tourists and will go out of their way to accommodate
new comers. Ask around for great dining tips, an offbeat
attraction or which other wineries in the region you should
visit. You'll likely get a knowledgeable, friendly answer.
Like other emerging wine regions, members of the winemaker's
family, or the winemaker themselves, may be pouring for you.
Be sure to ask plenty of questions. Most other tasters visiting
in Oregon's wine regions are still learning about wine themselves
(unlike some other wine regions) and are eager to find out
more about their favorite pours.
Mornings and evenings can be cool, but daytime temperatures can
range anywhere from the high 70's all the way to the 100's.
Inland areas tend to be hotter and drier, as are regions further
south. Humidity can be a factor in the northern most regions,
as well as along the coast.