Tucked in the forested slopes near Beaverton, Ponzi Vineyards has been an anchor of Oregon’s wine industry for 40 years. Somewhat unbelievably, the quaint tasting room—with bocce courts outside—is currently pouring tastes of its delicious 2008 Chardonnay Reserve, awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator and heralded as "rich and well-integrated" by the New York Times. Take home your own bottle for just $30.

A trip to wine country doesn’t have to mean a 60 minute haul down I-5 or 99. Tucked just 30 minutes down Highway 26 sit some worthy examples of Oregon wine amidst the bucolic landscape and quaint small towns. Explore them this month on the North Willamette Valley Wine Trail, where you can sample wines from 24 wineries while learning about the industry with hands-on activities—from grafting your own vine to enjoying food pairings designed to help compare sake and wine—at each winery stop. Tickets are $45 for both days.

Whether you make it out this month or not, there are a few places you don’t want to miss. View our slideshow to learn about some of our favorite wineries, restaurants, and hotels.

North Willamette Valley Wine Trail Details
When: Mar 31–Apr 1 (2012) Apr 13 & 14, 2013
Where: North Willamette Valley
Details: nwvintners.org