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Painted Hills

Agritourism by the glass

Written by Oregon Media

Agritourism by the glass

sip in The rocks district american viticulture area

For Steve Robertson, general manager of Delmas Wines in Milton-Freewater, wine is all about place. Robertson spent three-and-a-half years convincing the wine community and the federal government to designate 3,767 acres on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in February 2015. “The Rocks District is the only AVA in the United States of America whose boundaries were drawn predicated on one soil series and one land form,” said Robertson. The terroir consists of riverbed rocks that give the wine a characteristic flavor profile, particularly noticeable in syrah. “They’re wines that people will seek,” said Robertson. “That’s why we wanted to be there. That’s why I want to tell the story of this AVA.”

a sampling of wineries

milton-freewater area

Zerba Wine Cellars Zerba Cellars

On one of Zerba’s three estate vineyards in Milton-Freewater sits a log cabin tasting room that could pass as a pioneer homestead. Inside, modern amenities bolster tastings of its award-winning wines.

Watermill winery

Head to the historic Watermill Building in Milton-Freewater to taste wines and learn how Watermill Winery’s stewardship for the land contributes to their wine.

Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard & Winery

Spanish style wine is served at this lovely little tasting room with plenty of scenic outdoor seating just south of the Washington state border near Milton-Freewater.

TERO Estates

Wine Enthusiast regularly scores TERO’s vintages above 90 points. Try the love letter-worthy cabernet sauvignon at their Milton-Freewater tasting room.

echo area


The Sno Road Winery tasting room is in a beautifully restored historic building located in downtown Echo and pours wine made from grapes grown on a historic ranch outside of town. The courtyard is a lovely venue for events too.

Echo Ridge Winery

Housed in a renovated onion cellar, Echo Ridge Winery is a family-run business that produces about 1,000 cases each year of cabernet franc and sauvignon, syrah and merlot.

MORE ARTISANAL TREATS in milton-freewater

Blue Mountain Cider Company

At Blue Mountain Cider, taste cider made from classic Pacific Northwest ingredients.

Petits Noirs Fine Chocolates

The chocolates made at Petits Noirs are the perfect treat to pair with wine produced in the region. The shop is run by two seasoned chocolatiers who bring their vast knowledge of fine chocolate.