I did a write up last month about our trip this spring to the Willamette Valley but mostly it highlighted our wonderful experience at Chehalem. But with two of our team members heading out there this summer I wanted to give them some additional ideas of places to visit (as well as for any one else looking to plan a wine country trip in the near future.) Here were some of the highlights of our vacation.
We fell in awe of the tasting room at Argyle and in love with the wines. The tasting room is the town of Newberg and a beautiful mix of modern and industrial design while maintaining a bright and warm atmosphere. If you love interior design like we do, this place is a must stop! We did a flight of bubbles, chardonnays and pinots, some of which we have had at the shop and some that were tasting room only. We also got to taste some of their more unique offerings including a range of sweet to bone dry Rieslings that were gorgeous. Thinking that we would be beating the crowds by going right as the tasting room opened we were surprised to see it full with a fun and large group who were coming in on a trolley for wine tasting before a wedding. SO fun!
This was a definite stop on our list as one of our Meza team members, Shawnee, now works at the tasting room at Soter part time. While she wasn't there this particular day we were set up with an appointment (this winery is appointment only and somewhat hard to find but the scenery along the way will keep you content while you search). The tasting room is stunning with a beautiful open air patio enclosure. Warm neutral tones and rustic wood elements give that feeling of bringing the outdoors in. And the view is not bad on the eyes. These were by far my favorite wines we tasted. The Rosé, the North Valley Chardonnay and the White Label Pinot Noir (a bit of a splurge!) were our standouts. Luckily almost all the wines we tasted there are available through our local distributor back home so we could purchase them when we got back.
This one took some effort and about 28 turns up the mountain! What a cool place. The wines are unique and delicious and the tasting room reminded us of a log cabin with cozy touches like stacks of plaid throws.
This may have been our favorite place to visit given that it reminded us so much of Meza! A husband and wife team (along with their 3 small children) run the show. We could have nestled up on their tasting patio for hours. Some of the Pinot Noirs are aged in clay amphoras (made by the winemaker who is also a potter) which was a unique twist. The Rosé we had was perfection on a warm day. Lots of locals and regulars coming through which is always a good sign and they were greeted warmly. Loved seeing this family establish themselves in the wine biz and can't wait to see how they grow!
Stoller - Beautiful patio and view
Chehalem - Tasting room is in town of Newberg. These are some of my favorite whites. Be sure to taste their single vineyard Rieslings and Pinot Gris and the Gruner!
Penner Ash - Beautiful view, great wines, super friendly staff
Winderlea - Beautiful wines (not available in Ohio), stunning views, super clean, modern tasting room
** Not many of the tasting rooms served any sort of food. This was something that I think makes a good tip and you may end up doing quite a bit of traveling from one spot to another. There are several small shops and markets where you can stock up on some cheese and sandwiches.
Pine Street Biscuits
Holy cow. We got the recommendation to head to Pine Street for breakfast and were blown away. But get there early and expect a bit of a line. The restaurant is small but the service is fast and the food.... well its amazing. A million different versions of a biscuit sandwich with options of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes and blue cheese dressing. The bloody marys were stacked high and made to with the perfect amount of spice. If you are in Portland, make this a stop.
This felt like a touristy destination but who can pass up amazing donuts? Love the laid back and old school vibe. (Cash only!)
We stopped here as a little intermission from wine, and for one of their amazing charcuterie plates that I was stalking on IG. Had a beer and tried to hang out until a table opened up (it was a crowded place!) and ordered our cheese and charcuterie board. The place is super open and industrial - very casual. The cheese board was in my opinion, a masterpiece. There is nothing I love more than some good cheese and cured meat! Highly recommend!
Loved this place in wine country! We had a fabulous meal and the setting reminded us of one of our favorite Columbus spots - set in an old, victorian house. A little pricey but well worth it for the quality of the meal.
This was a great little Mexican/Latin restaurant. Casual atmosphere so we were pretty surprised when we got our food. Unique and authentic and SO good. It is located in McMinnville - a great little town where you can spend some time checking out the shops and local watering holes.
There is so much to see, do and taste in the Willamette Valley and Portland. Going back and forth between the two can be challenging with traffic (so much traffic!!). Would highly recommend doing a solid day in Portland (or two) and then settling into wine country.
What i can't say enough when people ask what I liked the most about the Willamette Valley wine country is how friendly and laid back the people were. From the winery staff to the winemakers - everyone just has such a great perspective and there was no pretense.
If wine country is on your list, the Pacific Northwest is a must try destination.