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. MaragasWinery.com
Grape Stomp – every September
A friendly competition in which a panel of judges determine winners based on creativity rather than the 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.
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.
Christmas Eve Open House – December 24, 2019
Maragas Winery opens their home to guests from 11 a.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