Perched high in the foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range Mountains, surrounded by orchards of apples, cherries, pears, and more, Orchard Heights Winery offers warm hospitality, intriguing wines, famous food, and a fun place to shop. When Michael and Gwen Purdy became the winery’s owners in 1996, they went straight to work trellising the existing 20-year-old Gewurztraminer Vineyard to improve the quality and yield of the grapes and building a bottling facility.
No strangers to the area (they both grew up in nearby Valsetz), they knew they were in a sweet spot, with fruit orchards as neighbors in every direction. Perhaps this is why Orchard Heights wines fare so well with judges across the United States, like at the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine competition where five single varietals received medals.
Sunday brunch, scenic view, gift shop, restaurant, corporate events
Besides a long list of traditional varietals, Orchard Heights offers several tropical wines that pay homage to Michael and Gwen’s second home in Hawaii. Island Princess Tropical Wines, creative blends of dry white wine and various tropical fruit juices, are only subtly sweet and pair nicely with food.
Food is another way Orchard Heights is winning awards. Wine tourists and locals alike make reservations weeks in advance to enjoy the winery’s bountiful buffet Sunday brunch. For two years in a row, the Statesman Journal Best of MidValley Awards have given gold medal honors to Orchard heights Winery for Best Brunch. In 2011, the winery also garnered Gold for Best and Friendliest Staff along with six more medals—further demonstrating that Orchard Heights is a great place to eat, sample wines, and enjoy the good things in life.
The tasting room is located in the gift shop, which is more like an emporium filled with wonderful wine-related treasures, including goodies from the Purdys’ macadamia nut orchard and chocolate factory, Island Princess Chocolates and Confections, in Hawaii. It’s no wonder that those who discover Orchard heights Winery return again and again.