Gourmet Gifts: Pacific Northwest

A trip into the West’s wine country is an excellent opportunity to savor the grape—that’s a given. But it’s also the perfect chance to find one-of-a-kind gifts with a story and a sense of place. Here’s our indispensable guide to where to shop in the Pacific Northwest.

Published: 9/01/2019


Almost all of the state’s grapes—including Oregon’s most famous Pinot Noir—are grown in the idyllic Willamette Valley, south of Portland. But 200-or-so miles away in Southern Oregon, the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys are a wine-lover’s dream, growing a seemingly endless list of varieties.


Willamette Valley

Historic McMinnville, lined with verdant trees and twinkling with lights during holidays, exudes small-town super charm, particularly on Third Street. The area hosts a monthly art and wine walk and weekly farmers markets. Fun retailers like Third Street Books, high-end women’s clothier Mes Amies, and Third Street Oil and Vinegar are interspersed with a dozen tasting rooms. In 2014, the James Beard Foundation named it an “American Classic.”

All the great goods made by regional designers and craftspeople collect under one roof in Eugene at 5th Street Public Market. There, you’ll find Made In Oregon and NEWTW!ST. The bounty of the region is also represented at the eateries in this 1929 building. Oysters? Yes please. An expansion, expected to be complete in a year, will double the market’s size.


Southern Oregon

Since the Oregon Shakespeare Festival runs most months of the year in Ashland, the Rogue Valley town of 20,000 is forever tied to the Bard and his English heritage. The three-floor emporium Paddington Station is where shoppers go to disappear. Let’s just say the store in an historic building is filled with Oregon-sourced items. Nearby, impeccably curated Prize stocks fancy finds in a general store atmosphere. A worthwhile spot for breakfast, lunch, or wine is Hither, whereas Mäs should make your dinner list. Post prandial libations at Oberon’s are downright Shakespearean, and it’s a spot to drink mead.



The state of Washington is basically split into two sides: the wet side and the dry side. State-wide, 950 or so wineries are producing an array of varietals. Riesling and Chardonnay are the heavyweights on the white side, and Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah on the red. 


Seattle & Woodinville

Both SODO Urban Works in Seattle and Woodinville’s Warehouse District are where you get the fun of tasting wine, then choosing the great bottles to take away that can become thoughtful gifts. Downtown Seattle’s SODO is the epicenter of the urban winery scene. Within the industrial complex are 10 tasting rooms including Rôtie Cellars, which applies traditional Rhône Valley techniques to Washington fruit. Enjoy a drinking break nearby at the flagship showroom for Filson, featuring exquisitely rustic items such as salvaged wood, ironwork, and local art. Behind-the-scenes tours are offered by appointment. About 15 miles north of Seattle, you can taste wines from many Washington appellations in one spot. Woodinville’s 120-plus tasting rooms also include cideries, distilleries, and breweries.


As seen in the issue Harvest 2019 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.

Diversions for Pacific Northwest

The three Cs: cheese, chocolate, and Chardonnay gather in Central Point’s Artisan Corridor. Famed cheesery Rogue Creamery is joined by truffle-maker Lillie Belle Farms and Ledger David Cellars.

Foodies worship Jacobsen Salt, made from the cold and pristine waters of Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast since 2011. Visit its charming tasting rooms in Netarts or Portland.

The Brigittine Monks have mastered the craft of chocolate, whipping up heavenly, made-in-Oregon fudge and truffles in their monastery in the Willamette town of Amity. 

Glassybaby is a household name in the votives market. Substantial and often colorful, these hand-blown creations can be seen in the Seattle hot shop where they will teach you the art of glassblowing.