Snow on the mountains and a distinct chill in the air signals the Holiday season is here. While filling out your gift list, remember all of the great tastes and discoveries made while exploring the reaches of Eastern Oregon and include some of those treasures for your friends and loved ones. Never visited the magnificent Wallowa Mountains, Hells Canyon, downtown Baker City or the charming town of Union? Here are some terrific finds from the region’s many wonders to put under the tree.
Skillets for Cooks & Art Lovers
When Peter Clark discovered his roots included an ancestor who was the blacksmith on the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery, it wasn’t a total surprise. Peter had already chosen the same career. He has turned his skills toward making hand spun carbon steel skillets and hand forged utensils that are as pleasing to the eye as a pleasure to cook with.
The Art of Chocolate
The fine art of making chocolate delicacies seems right at home when sharing a retail space with fine art. Peterson Gallery & Chocolatier is a treat for the senses. Sip on rich drinking chocolate or let an artfully decorated truffle melt in your mouth, while viewing paintings and sculptures from area artists.
A Little Wine, Please
Whether made from grapes growing in the unique cobblestones of the Rocks District AVA, on the rolling hills near historic Echo or in the Keating Valley near Baker City, wine from Eastern Oregon has distinct characteristics that are worth discovering and sharing. Copper Belt Winery, located on a former cattle ranch that has been in the family for over a century, has a tasting room on Main Street in Historic Downtown Baker City. Pick up a bottle of their popular Rancher’s Red and sample the amazing selection of cheeses from around the world at the co-located Cheese Fairy, operated by the winemaker’s sister. Find a list of Eastern Oregon wineries, breweries and distilleries and start tasting.
Locally Grown, Created and Made
Two Mercantile establishments in Union County offer unique gifts from local artisan makers and growers. At Community Merchants in downtown La Grande, shop for high quality locally raised pork, beef and poultry, packaged for your holiday meals. Or, browse the wide selection of handmade jewelry, pottery and decorative items from artists who call this beautiful area home. The shop opened in 2012 with 20 vendors and now carries products from 60.
Cat’s Paw Farm Mercantile is located on the north end of Union. Here, the proprietor is the maker of an amazing variety of soaps, lotions and potions, as well as jars of fresh small-batch mustards, soups and tea. The tiny shop is packed with great finds, but, if you want more selection, be sure to go to the website to complete your shopping. Many of ingredients that add fragrance and flavor come from the owner’s adjacent farm and garden.
Stir up memories, or curiosity, and consider the gift of a train ride that includes wine and chocolates or a robbery by mounted bandits. Or a tramway trip to the top of a mountain, where views are nothing short of breathtaking. Get a jump start on winter fun! Find more by ideas by exploring Visit Eastern Oregon .