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Four rivers, nine wineries in Oregon

By Suzanne Morphet, Dallas Morning News

On a recent wine cruise, I learned a few surprising things: A higher alcohol content doesn’t make better wine; the smaller the grape, the more concentrated the flavor; and most important, you needn’t go to Europe for a river cruise that takes in award-winning wineries, spectacular vistas and rich history.

In fact, you need go no farther than Portland, Ore. That’s where Un-Cruise Adventures has launched its new wine-focused cruise that takes in four rivers, nine wineries and countless moments of swirling and sipping both on board and off.

Leaving Portland, we waste no time getting down to the business of pleasure. While the SS Legacy — a replica coastal steamer — waits for us near the Bridge of the Gods on the Columbia River Gorge, we visit three wineries our first day: two in Oregon and one in Washington.

“What’s unique about the Gorge is the variation in climate, altitude, aspect and soil,” explains Carey Kienitz, the winemaker at Springhouse Cellar, as we taste a flight of his whites and reds amid the Romanesque ruins of this former pear cannery and distillery.

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