A Wine-Country Experience in Central Oregon

Wine country tourism is at our fingertips in Central Oregon. In less than an hour from Bend, one can bask in the offerings of the viniferous kind – with a view of the Three Sisters –  at Maragas Winery located 28 miles north of Bend between Terrebonne and Madras. Guests who like sweet wines can kick back with the 2016 Tootsie, a blend of 21 varietals grown in “Sam’s Block” on the Maragas property, and those with a penchant for dry reds have Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, and Malbec, to name a few, to try year after year as new vintages evolve from land to hand to bottle. White wines include a barrel-aged Chardonnay and “Fresh,” a Pinot Gris finished and bottled early for maximum fruit flavor. Maragas Winery, Central Oregon’s original winery, also offers twelve months of wine-oriented events worth the trip for all members of the family. Maragas Winery, 15523 SW Hwy. 97, Culver.  541.546.5464. MaragasWinery.com

EVENT 1

Grape Stomp – every September

A friendly competition in which a panel of judges determine winners based on creativity rather than quantity of juice produced from stomping by foot (think Lucy and Ethel from I Love Lucy).  It’s an event for the whole family since youth 16 and under are free. The experience includes a Maragas swag bag of goodies to take home and a logo glass with the vintage’s signature Maragas caricature.

EVENT 2

Thanksgiving Barrel Tasting Weekend – November 29, 30, 31, 2019

Wine, a live product that changes over time, is a treat to taste as it matures in barrel. Guests are invited over Barrel Tasting Weekend to experience various vintages still in the works, with owner/winemaker, Doug Maragas, in the barrel room at the winery. All three days include a flight of four wines to taste. Live music on Saturday, November 30. Free to attend.

EVENT 3

Christmas Eve Open House – December 24, 2019

Maragas Winery opens their home to guests from 11a.m to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve for an annual celebration of family, friends, wine, and traditional holiday carols sung by their daughter, Samantha, who has sung at Carnegie Hall. This free event includes a glass of mulled wine, spiced popcorn, and hot chocolate for the kids.