Columbia Gorge wineries pair hiking with wine

By on March 12, 2013
columbia gorge

The Columbia River Gorge provides many opportunities for hiking, and regional wineries are creating wining-and-hiking tours, called “wiking.” (Via flickr)

Several members of the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association will help lead tourists on hiking/wine tasting trips April 13-14 near the Columbia River, an activity referred to as “wiking.”


The hikes are in conjunction with the Columbia Gorge Winery Passport Weekend and a part of a effort called Gorge Towns to Trails, a mission supported by Luke Bradford, owner/winemaker for COR Cellars in Lyle, Wash.

“Friends of the Gorge and the Lyle community are working together to design and establish a network of trails connecting the town of Lyle to the Cherry Orchard Trail and hopefully further east towards Dallesport,” Bradford said in a news release. “Although still in the planning stages, these trails would provide extensive hiking and biking trails for Gorge residents and visitors to take advantage of the beautiful wildlands surrounding Lyle.”

Wine-related hikes on both sides of Columbia River

On Saturday, April 13,  the Cherry Blossoms and Wine hike begins at Orchard View Farms in The Dalles, Ore. (Online registration is required). Orchardists Bob & Barbara Bailey will discuss their sustainable growing practices while leading tourists through their blossoming cherry trees. The 4-mile trip ends hike at Dry Hollow Vineyards for a wine tasting. That evening, there will be a tasting with Aniche Cellars and Jacob Williams Winery at the Celilo Inn, in The Dalles.

On Sunday, April 14, AlmaTerra Wines owner Alan Busacca, a retired Washington State University geologist and an expert in the Ice Age Floods, will lead the Catherine Creek Flowers and Wine Tasting hike along the wildflowers and cliffs of Catherine Creek in Lyle, Wash. Guests will be treated to a wine tasting at a Lyle-area winery.

The Columbia Gorge American Viticultural Area, established in 2004, is less than an hour’s drive east of the Portland/Vancouver area.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

One Comment

  1. winehiker

    March 13, 2013 at 7:46 am

    How well is the term “wiking” resonating with people? I’ve already spoken to a native of the Indian subcontinent who wondered what wine and hiking had to do with Norse mythology. If the term requires a repetition of explanation, perhaps it’s value as a term is limited.

    “Winehiking”, on the other hand, requires no explanation; my experience is that this term is immediately intuitive to everyone.

    Russ Beebe

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