Red Ridge Farms

The view of Red Ridge Farms' lavender fields.

The day after Thanksgiving, and the Christmas spirit had burst out of its bulging seams. Everywhere we turned were red, green and glittery decorations, miles of twinkling lights and of course, endless television commercials. But rather than join the Black Friday throngs, we headed toward wine country for a little holiday cheer of our own.

Thanksgiving weekend is an event for the Willamette Valley wineries, and most host open-house style functions with tasting tables set up in their cavernous barrel-laden storage rooms. We stopped at three wineries on Friday (Lange Estate, De Ponte Cellars and Argyle) plus we made a little side trip to Red Ridge Farms’ gift shop and nursery for olive oil. (Hint: If you’re looking for a gift for the food lover or gardener in your life, Red Ridge is a good bet. Tons of creative options for the cook or home entertainer, but if all else fails, locally pressed olive oil is always a welcome gift.)

We were lucky to have a gorgeously crisp, sunny day, and the indoor/outdoor tasting setups lent a festive note to the start of the season without being overbearing. I may be mentally ready to go Christmas tree cutting.