It is engrained in us from our time at school that summer is flashy, exciting, and full of joy, but in Oregon wine country, there is no time more celebrated than the fall. Light rains cool off the previous summer heat and the leaves change color, turning from green to brilliant oranges and bright reds. But one fall activity in Oregon wine country puts the rest to shame, and that is the harvest of our local vineyards. This year will bring dozens of harvest events to and around Independence, so there is perhaps no better time to book your stay with us at The Independence Hotel. To get you started, check out our “Celebrations of Harvest” below, but keep in mind only more events will pop up as harvest season grows closer. We at The Independence are here to help you book whichever events you’d like to attend, and we can’t wait to share our community with you this fall!
Celebrations of Harvest Around Independence In 2023:
“Summer Uncorked,” featuring High Street Band at Eola Hills’ Legacy Estate Vineyard.
September 8th, 5-8pm
Celebrate the transition of summer to fall with Eola Hills’ “Uncorked” concert, showcasing a performance from High Street Band with the spectacular backdrop of hillside vines and Legacy Lake. Dine from local food trucks and bring your own chairs or blankets to reserve a spot on the lawn. Just make sure you bring a light sweater as chilly fall evenings have the potential to sneak up on you!
Dine In the Vines at Sokol Blosser
September 9th, 5:30-10pm
Enjoy the bounty of the harvest by drinking world-class wine paired with scrumptious Pacific Northwest cuisine. Dinner will begin with locally made hors d’oeuvres and a glass of sparkling wine, after which you can savor a 4-course family-style feast prepared by Sokol Blosser’s Culinary Team. You can’t beat the view of this spectacular vineyard, but spots fill up fast, so make sure you reserve your spot soon!
The Hop and Heritage Festival
September 16th, 12-8pm
When you think of harvest, wine might be the first image that pops to mind, but did you know that Independence used to be the hop capital of the world? So no Independence Harvest celebration would be complete without celebrating hops and the harvest of beer right here in our community. The festival is family friendly, and offers live music, a sensory garden, a cornhole tournament, lots of hop history, non-alcoholic beverages for the whole family, and, of course, craft beer!
Seasonal Supper at Brooks Wines
September 16th, 6pm-8pm
You can’t celebrate a particular season much more clearly than with a seasonal dinner, and the “Seasonal Supper” at Brooks Winery is all about indulging into harvest. The event includes a decadent five-course dinner, featuring locally sourced produce from Brook’s Estate Garden. It goes without saying, dinner with be paired with Brook’s Estate Wines, including current release pours as well as samples from their library collection.
Bauman’s Farm and Garden Harvest Festival
September 21st– October 8th
A harvest celebration that lasts for weeks, Bauman’s Farm and Garden Harvest Festival has activities for the whole family. Each fall the farm transforms into an adventure center with mazes, rides for all ages, obstacle courses, dozens of farm animals, and (what Bauman’s primarily known for) tons of pumpkins!
“Vines And Vans” at Eola Hills
September 22nd, 5pm- the following morning
There is perhaps no better season than harvest for spending time outdoors, and this year Eola Hills is offering its first overnight campervan campout. You’ll be greeted with sparkling wine before partaking in a seven-course dinner, along with various wine pairings, crafted and served by Field & Vine. Other activities include stargazing and hiking along the property. Note: You must bring your own vehicle, so make sure you have enough room to clear some space and get some sleep. It’s extra fun if you open that sunroof and watch out for shooting stars after dark! You can check out more details of the event, including the full menu here.
Wine and cheese pairing class at Brooks Wine
October 5th, 6-8pm
Cheese is probably the most famous pairing when it comes to wine featured snacks, so what better way is there to celebrate harvest than learning what goes into these selections? Brooks Wine is offering a “Wine and Cheese Pairing” class this October, which includes several types of cheeses along with multiple varietals of wine. Sign up this year, and maybe you’ll feel ready to host your own next fall!
EZ Orchards Harvest Festival
Month of October, check out website for details as dates get closer!
Come check out the hayrides, farm animals, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, games and activities available for the whole family at the annual EZ Orchards Harvest Festival. Details are TDB, but you can keep up with all of the latest information and updates here.
Brooks Wine Harvest Dinner
October 14th, 6:30pm-9pm
Nothing beats a gourmet meal prepared to show off the bounty of the Willamette Valley. In addition to their seasonal dinner, (listed above) Brooks Winery will also be hosting a meal catered specifically to showcase the harvest. This five-course, wine pairing dinner will consist of foods harvested on the property via the Estate Garden, and all wine served will (no shocker here) have been harvested for the vineyards you’re dining by.
Truffle Making Class At Brooks Winery
October 18th, 6pm-8pm
We have already listed the wine and cheese pairing class above, but sometimes that sweet tooth sneaks in and we believe that celebrating harvest means exploring several pairings with wine. The good news is, Brooks Winery is offering a truffle-making class, in which you will sip from their wines as you create your own chocolate and pumpkin truffles. (Fun fact: You will also go home with the recipe so you can make more in the future!) Sing up today, as spots are limited!
The Harvest Holiday Bazaar At The Salem Expo Center
October 28th, 10am-4pm
The end of October marks the 2023 Harvest Holiday Bazaar at the Expo Center in in Salem. There is free admission and parking for all, and kids are encouraged to wear their costumes and go trick-or-treating, while adults have the option to check out several local gift vendors, with various raffle giveaways throughout the day. Details are still to be determined, but you can keep up with any changes and details here.
So there you have it: Eleven adventures to try in celebration of harvest this fall. But keep in mind, if none of these work out this year, you can choose to celebrate your own way by checking out the dozens of fun tasting activities that exist nearby year round. From the “Sparkling Cave Tasting” at Left Coast Vineyards, to a private tasting at Open Claim, or a visit to beautiful Illahe Vineyards and learn about their 1899 Estate Pinot Noir, made without modern machinery, there is no shortage of avenues to take when it comes to celebrating the harvest. Just ask us at The Independence when you reserve your room. We’d love to give you some recommendations and set up some tastings while we host you!