Help with Oregon Wine Trip

Old Mar 11th, 2012, 10:31 AM
  #1  
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Help with Oregon Wine Trip

Hi,

I am starting to do research for a trip to Oregon next year for my 15th anniversary. We would love to visit a number of vineyards and get to know the area. I have never been to Oregon and when I started looking at the Oregon Wine Websites got overwhelmed pretty quickly. I am open to any ideas that could possibly help me narrow down my research. I found a a great guide called maribels guide when doing a similar trip to Spain and wondered if there is something similar for Oregon.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
olanowalton is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I love living in Oregon.
This might help but will probably add to your information overload. http://www.travelguideoregon.com/
The vineyards are primarily in the Willamette Valley and some in the Rogue River-Medford area.
There are also grapes grown in the fruit area of NE Oregon and SE Washington.
Decide what else you want to see in Oregon in addition to vineyards. Where are you coming from?
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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If you want to see a cute University Town - then go to Eugene - University of Oregon (2 and a half hours south of Portland)- and visit wineries outside of there - such as the King Estate, Hellman, Sweet Cheeks, etc.

They are all within an easy drive of Eugene. Note that Oregon wineries start up by Portland and extend down to South of Roseburg, and they even blend grapes further south but not sure how many they are raising down by Medford, Ashland, etc. http://www.winesnw.com/orhome.html

http://www.winesnw.com/orhome.html
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Oops - that's Hinman Winery - also known as Silvan Ridge - and we had a great little picnic lunch outside the their tasting room - where they have tables set up - overlooking their vinyards. http://silvanridge.com/
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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mms
 
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I live just a few minutes from the heart of our wine region. There are over 200 wineries nestled in this area, and Pinot Noir is king here. Pinot Gris can be pretty good here as well.

We have never used a tour since we live right here, but we hit the wineries often and know many of the winemakers. That said, check out www.anoseforwine.com. We met Fred a few years ago while he had a group at a winery and his clients absolutely love him. He has a pretty loyal following and he likes to take his clients to the more hidden gems vs the big name touristy spots.

Another thing to consider is that Thanksgiving weekend and Memorial Day weekends most of the wineries have open houses. This is a huge deal here as so many of the smaller places are normally by appt only, but on these weekends they open for a few days. It is a great time to try some that you might not otherwise be able to.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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Hey mms, you said you live near the heart of wine country, but didn't say where that is! ;-) Would that be the Newberg/Dundee - McMinnville - Carlton area?

The Willamette Valley is where the best of the pinot noirs, the wine Oregon is best known for, are produced. The other areas, from around Roseburg south, and the Columbia River gorge, generally produce warmer weather varietals.

You don't say how much time you have, but with all of Oregon's other attractions, I suggest you not plan more than 3 days of winery visits. 2 might be enough, even (and this coming from a wine lover).
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 01:50 PM
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There are lots of posts for Oregon wine archived here. I have included a link, but you can search by entering Oregon wine in the search box at the top of this page.

http://www.fodors.com/search/results...ch=oregon+wine

We love the North Williamette Valley and have some favorite wineries there. Argyle, Sokol Blosser, Archery Summit and Domain Drouhin in Dundee are all worth a visit. Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir, but the Argyle sparkling wines are also excellent. One of the things we like about the area is its varied agriculture and emphasis on fresh locally grown produce. I know the restaurant scene has expanded since my last visit, so you might want to look to newer posts for those or go to chowhound.com for recommendations. Expect some great food and wine pairings.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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mms
 
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Islandaze--LOL Yup, Newberg/Dundee area.

I agree with Argyle for their sparkling wine, but am not a fan of Sokol Blosser.

A few places that I think as musts include Brick House, Arbor Brook, and Seufert. There are more that I really like, but these are IMO excellent wines and nice small production places. We always have these on hand at home.

There are also quite a few urban wineries popping up right in Portland. Grochau Cellars is one of those and again it is a small production place with some great wines.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Oh, yes, Brick House! I don't know Seufert. Broadley pinot noir is my favorite Oregon wine, but it is hard to find in Texas and the production is small.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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mms
 
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Saige--Seufert is in Dayton. There are so many wonderful small places like his. Most do not distribute, so that is another advantage of hiring someone like Fred or reading here. BTW, we were there one day when a group from TX came in and bought nearly $2000 worth of his wine and was having it shipped home.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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I think it was a guy pouring in Carlton Winemaker's Studio who told me that Oregon exports more of its wine to Texas than any other state. Who'dda thunk.

Olanowalton, We can come up with more winery recommendations than you'd ever have time for, so a bit more info from you will help us help you to narrow your focus.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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Thank you all for so many responses so quickly!!! We are coming from Charlotte NC and will probably spend 6 days total in Oregon, including travel time. We love Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris as well.

On my last wine trip I was able to stay at a vineyard for a couple nights and that was incredible (not necessary though).

When I started my research I did start looking at the Willamette Valley area, but only because it looked to have so many options. Do you fly into Portland when going to that area?

I know we won't be traveling over Thanksgiving, but Memorial Day is a possibility. Although, I think at first we were thinking over the summer some time. Do you think it would be too busy over the holiday weekend?

I don't know how big the wineries are but I'd love to visit a couple that are different from each other (size, type of operation, etc).

Thanks again for the quick responses. Any other info is also appreciated.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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here are 2 links for Southern Oregon.
Taller mountains, higher temperatures, and much less humidity.
Smaller, but very cool wineries here.
http://applegatewinetrail.com/

http://www.sorwa.org/
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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Yes, the heart of Willamette Valley wine country (near where mms lives ;-)) is less than an hour southwest of Portland, so you'd fly in/out of PDX.

A couple options that might be similar to your vineyard stay are http://youngberghill.com/ and/or http://www.blackwalnut-inn.com/. Then there's the more luxe Allison Inn & Spa, which is beautiful in every respect, but feels a little out of place in Newberg, Oregon.

To add to your list of wineries: Bergstrom, Trisaetum, Penner-Ash, Winderlea, and even though it's just a tasting room, Seven of Hearts/Luminous Hills. If you're planning more than two days of tasting, I'd add Cristom, Witness Tree, St. Innocent, Bethel Heights, Methven, and Johan, all of which are south of McMinnville, closer to Salem than Portland.

And the reasons I thought you might not want to spend all your time in wine country: the Columbia River Gorge and the north Oregon coast. Both areas are uniquely spectacular, and within two hours of Portland.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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Agree - Portland is your largest airport near Oregon Wine country - but do not agree an hour south of there is "the heart of Willamette Valley wine country".

Of course, being one who grew up in Southern Oregon, Klamath Falls to be specific - I can understand the Portland bias.

Way back in the spring of 1970 - when I was finishing my MBA at the U of O in Eugene - we drew straws for the various subjects for our MBA "thesis". The one I really wanted to pull was a report about the "Emerging Oregon Wine Industry" but alas - we drew a study for an chip mill (lumber byproducts) in Corvallis.

The owner was a nice guy - and after our "study" - I think we proerly advised him he didn't need some fancy/new machine, but we really wanted to be studying the Oregon Wine.

Oh well, life if filled with small disappointments, oui?
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Uno Mas: The King Estate - outside of Eugene - may be the largest winery in Oregon now - with a new tasting room/area - but they were still very friendly when we went up for my niece's graduation from U of O a few years ago.

http://www.kingestate.com/
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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And if you want to see something spectacular - albeit Man-Made - get thee to the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.

Just imagine them shooting part of "The Shining" there - starring Jack Nicholson.

http://www.timberlinelodge.com/
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 07:57 PM
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Second Bethel Heights and Cristom!

The Memorial Day experience is a good one in the Willamette because some of the wineries that don't have their own tasting rooms are able to participate by sharing space with some of the larger producers. We've enjoyed staying at a B&B on our trips to Oregon that you might want to look at: http://www.winecountryfarm.com/

Have a great trip!
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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There are wineries from southern Oregon all the way to Portland.

My wife and I spent 2 weeks last year tasting wine in Oregon (and fishing in between). Some of our personal favorites were Argyle - Williamette Valley(great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and Marsh Anne Landing Winery (great wines, friendly owner and gorgeous tasting room selling high quality local art).

Check out this website - Plan an Oregon Wine Tour
http://www.cheers2wine.com/oregon-wineries.html
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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howefortunate--There is no advertising here. On another of your threads you signed with your name and this business, so pretty easy to figure out.
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