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kellybelly Jan 7th, 2009 07:02 PM

Oregon Trip to Willamette Valley & Coast -- suggestions/recommendations
I'm surprising my husband with a trip to Willamette Valley & Oregon coast for his 40th birthday. Neither one of us have been to the area and are big wine & outdoors people.
I've put together a comprehensive itinerary and would love any feedback + additional suggestions.

day 1: fly into PDX; stay at Brookside Inn; dinner at Carlton's Winemaker's Studio Wednesday Night Dinner (if available again) or Cuvee.

day 2: wine tour at Domain Drouhin; wine tasting at Archery Summit & Anne Ame. Any recommendations on a wine tour at any other winery nearby? Evening dinner at La Rambla

day 3: Drive to Cannon Beach & check out town. Pick up food at Gower Street bistro. Check in at Arch Cape Inn.

day 4: drive up to Ecola State Park & do some hiking. Drive back to Willamette Valley. Stop in The French Bear for food. Check in at Chehalem Ridge B&B.

day 5: wine tasting at Rex Hill, JK Carriere, Adelsheim, Penner-Ash. Dinner at the Painted Lady.

day 6: drive to PDX and fly home.

mms Jan 8th, 2009 06:35 AM

Your plan looks good, but you might consider doing the coast at either the beginning of your trip just to save a bit of time. But what you have is not bad. When are you coming?

There are so many wineries around here that personally I would skip Archery Summit (not worth the price, IMO as there are much better wines for much less cost) and Anne Amie (great views, very average wines, IMO).

La Rambla is very good.

A fellow poster and fellow Oregonian, balitrav, just posted a few days ago that Gower Street Bistro had a closed sign when she was there recently. So check on that.

Ecola is very pretty and the hiking is really easy.

French Bear is good. Chehalem Ridge B&B has amazing views!!! You can take hwy 219 from Newberg to get there, but also Bell Rd, which I think is much more scenic.

Rex Hill has some nice views. Across the hwy from there is Chehalem which has some really good wines. Just up the road from Adelsheim (same road) is Arbor Brook Winery which is very good. And Aramenta is between those and Penner Ash, so try to include that as well. Brick House is walking distance from Aramenta and is one of my favorites. Some of these you will need appts for but they are very much worth it.

Painted Lady is good. If you want some coffee on your way out of Newberg on your last day, the Underground at Cornerstone is very good.

kimamom Jan 8th, 2009 11:20 AM

Sounds like a very nice time! If Gower doesn't pan out for you, take the 10 minute drive to Seaside and check out Yummy Wine Bar. Fantastic food, wine and friendly staff. They have a website if you want to check it out, we love it there! ***kim*** ((#))

Scarlett Jan 8th, 2009 11:28 AM

This is the website for the Gower Street Bistro, which is part of the Everett Street Bistro in Portland as well as the Inn at Arch Cape in Arch Cape and Gearhardt Inn.

Since the weather was so awful recently and it is winter ( some places do close at this time of year along the Coast) I would check send an email to the Bistro and see if everything is fine - you can book a reservation online.
There is no reason , in my mind, to go North to Seaside or Astoria when you are staying South of Cannon Beach.

The next morning, as you drive south.. if you go on 101 and past Manzanita, there is a wonderful little place for breakfast called bread and ocean. I highly recommend it.

I recommend any advice from mms also lol. When we lived there, she was always helping us with finding places and we were always happy with her help :- )

beachbum Jan 8th, 2009 02:40 PM

You've obviously done a lot of research, kellybelly!! I'd never heard of Brookside Inn. Or the Wednesday night dinners at Winemakers Studio.

I'm not sure why you want to do more than one winery tour on day 2, but Domaine Serene also offers them; they like to show off their $6 million facility. But, it's at a price, and by appointment only. Domaine Serene is almost next door to Domaine Drouhin. Also consider tasting at De Ponte and/or White Rose. Both are just up the hill a bit from Archery Summit. And I agree with mms to axe Anne Amie. Out of the way, and the view isn't really worth the drive, not to mention the wine.... One other day 2 thought: Torii Mor.

I suggest reserving some time to taste along Carlton's small main street. Day 1 maybe? There are at least a half-dozen tasting rooms there; some are offering very good wines. Seven of Hearts tops my list; great wines... and chocolate!! The owner's wife is a chocolatier, so he offers chocolate made with his wines along with the tastings. The possible hitch; they may not be open except on weekends.

Consider trading out Rex Hill for Willakenzie Estate on day 5. It's about 5 miles from Penner Ash, but I think worth the drive. I've never been much of a fan of Rex Hill though.

Not sure what you mean by "pick up food at Gower St. Bistro. It's not really a deli, and I don't know that they make meals to go. Best to just have dinner. It's my favorite place in town, so I'll be bummed if it's closed.

mms Jan 8th, 2009 02:51 PM

Beachbum has some good suggestions. And if the chocolate place is closed, then when you are at La Rambla go across the street to Honest Chocolates. It is in the back of Orchards Restaurant. Very good chocolates and she tells you which ones go well with various wines. So there is a backup plan for you;)

kellybelly Jan 8th, 2009 06:46 PM

Wow! Thanks so much to everyone with the info. We're going the last week of June (Wed-Mon). I'll be sure to consider those other wineries instead of what I originally had.

SoloNoMo Jan 9th, 2009 04:32 AM

Hubs and I did our Oregon wine tour a few years ago and had a fantastic time! I "made" him go out to the coast for 2 nights -- all he wanted to do was taste wines -- and he loved the coast (his first time out west). We spent a night in Yachats after leaving bro's in Grants Pass. The tidal pools and seals on the rocks and views along the coast knocked his socks off! We also spent a night in Cannon Beach -- I first stayed there in 1983 and they've done a great job preserving the town while it's grown. (Unfortunately it was Aug. and the puffins weren't there. The rock was, tho!) We spent a few days touring the Willamette vineyards, just driving with winery map in hand and stopping in without any thought to who was open. We found a couple of smaller wineries were quite happy to invite us in to sample -- at one the owner even pulled pungs on barrels and let us taste the latest, yet-to-be-bottled! So don't get too scheduled -- get off the beaten track. We spent our last night at the Troutdale McMenamim's, just east of the Portland airport. Great fun touring and bar-hopping the property. In addition to their brewery and distillery, they even have a winery and tasting room!

onemoneygirl Jan 9th, 2009 06:04 AM


I was there just last week and went to two of the tasting rooms you mention... Rex Hill and Chehalem.

The wines at Rex Hill were fine but nothing stood out and the youg man staffing the tasting room seemed pleasant but not knowledgeable about wine in general.

Chehalem was by far better wines (our group of four bought several different wines)and better service.. the manager... Daniel? was very helpful, knowledgeable and the whole experience was great.

beachbum Jan 9th, 2009 08:14 AM

Jumping back in to remind you of something mms said; some of the recommended wineries taste by appointment only. Off the top of my head, Brick House and Chehalem are two, though I think Chehalem has a tasting room in Newberg. Any others, mms? And I agree that they're very much worth a visit, as are many other small, boutique-type, taste-by-appointment-only producers in the area. Post back if you're looking for more of those. We would probably come up with a whole different set of recommendations.

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