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The very idea of wine country romantic. The Willamette Valley landscape is wildly green with lush vineyards, stoic stands of pines and glittering snow-capped mountain peaks. If you want to woo your beau, the Willamette Valley is ripe with romantic vistas and ventures. Here are five of our favorites:
1. Celebrate sunrise in a hot air balloon. What better way to start the day than serenely sailing over a mosaic of farms, orchards and vineyards for a birds-eye view of the Willamette Valley? Many of the hot air balloon adventures include a sparkling wine brunch.
2. Saddle up. Exploring the heart of pinot noir country on horseback, is one of the most memorable and leisurely ways to tour the voluptuous hillsides. Plus, it offers a little taste of the Wild West.
3. Go to the spa. Soak up the fruits of the valley at The Allison Inn & Spa with “Pinot Therapy,” where wine and grape seed extracts are used to soften and nourish the skin. The world-class spa is one of the best spots in the valley to unwind. Also, the art is not-to-miss; check out the towering installation painted with pigments from local Jory soils in the pool area.
4. Tour the wine caves at Archery Summit. Carved out of the hillside beneath the winery, their underground aging caves are modeled after the subterranean cellars of the Côte d’Or. The tour is by reservation only and includes a guided tasting of four current-vintage pinot noirs. The view from the winery is one of the best around.
5. Toast Shakespeare in the vineyard. Late summer, Willamette Shakespeare, a non-profit theatre company, stages a Shakespeare classic at vineyards and parks throughout the valley. Picnic provisions and local wines are available for purchase. When the sun dips and the curtain rises, you’ll realize why it’s one of the best spots for alfresco summer dining and lyrical prose.