The plan for Jesse Lange was already in the soil of tiny Dundee when he moved there as a 9-year-old. It wasn’t preordained determinism. Oregon’s wine industry back then couldn’t yet be called much of an industry. The soil was new to the noses in the wine world, and most clear thinkers were clearly skeptical of its potential. Oregon wine was what Californian wine-growers considered to be the hooch of a few hippies who had lost the points on their compass, errant souls swept up in a northerly trade wind.
Kevin Zielinski’s eyes light up as he names the apple varieties he tends at his Willamette Valley orchard, just outside of Salem. Champagne Rienette. Douce Moën. Muscadet de Lense. St. Martine. The sinuous vowels and soft consonants even sound delicious. Eventually, they become fluid when Zielinski transforms these French heirloom apples into a traditional sparkling hard cider that leaves many searching for words.
Oregon’s Highway 101 where the Lewis and Clark expedition ended—at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, where Fort Clatsop sidles up to Warrenton. Southbound travelers discover rivers, resorts, refuges, and more state parks and waysides per mile than any other stretch of Oregon road (thirteen state parks in Clatsop County alone). Hamlets spring from grassy dunes, artist colonies colonize and roadside eateries beckon travelers to Oregon’s seafood bounty. From Warrenton to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, this northern segment of Highway 101 puts travelers at the junction of sea and sand.