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tips for Oregon - Wine Country

Old Feb 6th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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tips for Oregon - Wine Country

My DH and I will be traveling to Oregon in June for 2 weeks. We take wine tasting trips every other year. So the main focus of this trip is visiting wineries with some sightseeing thrown in for good measure. We are flying from the East Coast so two days are travel. We would like to split our time as follows: Columbia Gorge Wine trail & waterfalls, Willamette Valley wineries and Northern Coast (Tillamook Head, Lighthouses, Devil's Punchbowl and Whale watching).

Should we fly into Portland or Eugene?

Suggestions of where to stay (we like B&Bs)? Would like to have one hotel in Columbia Gorge area that is central to wineries and then a central hotel to Willamette Valley and possiblly make a day trip of the Coast.

Of course we would love to go to all of the wineries in both areas, but I would love to hear your favorites.

Thanks

SkeeterBug
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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I'll take the easiest question first. Fly into Portland. ;-) Most Willamette Valley wineries are within an hour of town, and Columbia River gorge sights are within an hour the other direction. In fact, I think I'd use Portland as a base, maybe spending a couple nights in the gorge, a couple nights in the Willamette Valley, and to cover the coast itinerary you outline, at least a couple nights on the coast.

Other than knowing I like a lot of them, ;-) I'm not familiar with many wineries in the gorge area. Most I can name are actually in Washington, so you might also plan some time there. Either way, Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River would work fine.

Probably the two best B&Bs in the Willamette Valley are Black Walnut in Dundee and Youngberg Hill near McMinnville. Don't be thinking Napa Valley here; nothing like that. Both of these places are fairly central to wine country, which is pretty much the middle of nowhere. ;-)

As for wineries, it seems there are signs for new ones every couple weeks. Some of the more popular (and best) are Domaines Drouhin and Serene, Archery Summit, Argyle, Adelsheim, Cuneo, Scott Paul, Penner Ash..... and the list goes on. But the best wineries around here are small boutique places that don't normally taste except by appointment. I can come up with a few of those too if you're interested.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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Skeeterbug, either Portland or Eugene would work for you however I think Portland offers more options. Call the cities visitors bureau, they are sometimes listed under Chamber of commerce.

Oregon is a beautiful state with plenty to see and do, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Hi SkeeterBug! The Columbia River Gorge Hotel is very nice for the Gorge area. The property is very pretty and the rooms come with a full country farm breakfast that is amazing.

We have several places that we like in the Dundee wine country region. Archery Summit, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene and Sokol Blosser are all very nice for Pinot Noir tasting. Ponzi makes some really nice ones, also. Torii Mor is a nice place to wine taste in a Japanese-style ambiance, you can take your tastings out to the small area to the side of the tasting room which is relaxing.

Up in Carlton is the Carlton Winemakers Studio where you can taste several wines at one place. The Scott Paul tasting room is also in Carlton, we enjoyed the "Audrey" Pinot Noir very much here. We have enjoyed meals at Dundee Bistro, Tina's and Joel Palmer House in this area. This summer we will try the Painted Lady for dinner. Cheers and have a great trip! ***kim***
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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One of my best friends in High School in NC was called Skeeter

beachbum knows his stuff , he and a few other locals have been a great help for us since we moved to Portland.
I would fly into Portland.
It is only a 90 minute drive to the coast, the wineries are in between..we do it all the time, as day trips.
I agree about the Black Walnut Inn, http://tinyurl.com/yogsw3 , sooo beautiful!
We also do the Gorge in daytrips, you can see all of the waterfalls and have lunch and still be back in town for dinner.

It sounds like a great trip you are putting together, enjoy!


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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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I really like Argyle tasting room, they have a bubbly flight. For the view, Erath Vineyard. Rex is another favorite. Tina's is an excellent choice for Dinner. All of the above are in Dundee or Newberg. Have fun.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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Flying into Portland would be the way to go.

In the Gorge you might consider www.viewpointinn.com or www.bridalveillodge.com. Both of these are small B&B's in very scenic areas.

Beachbum and Scarlett gave you great ideas for the Willamette Valley wine area. There are loads of great places to eat here. There are also loads of smaller wineries, so don't just go for the big names on the blue tourist signs along the highways. McMinnville has quite a few tasting rooms right in downtown. Some only have 2-3 wineries represented and others have quite a bit more. Downtown Mac is enjoyable as well, even outside of the tasting rooms.

One word of caution in this area...the police presence is heavy. If both of you are drinking, then please hire a driver. Just yesterday afternoon, between Mac and Newberg, I counted 5 police cars on my way home (just to give you an idea) and this is not out of the norm at all.

Enjoy your time here
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Your post made me chuckle, mms. What is the population of Dundee anyway? A couple hundred? Yet, they must have at least five patrol cars, all funded by wine enthusiasts whose days in wine country ended with bad tastes in their mouths. ;-)
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Beachbum--LOL!
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Thank you all so much for the great tips. I can't wait to research all of the wonderful web sites mentioned. Half the fun is planning the trip! DH hates that and leaves it all up to me. He just wants to show up when I tell him too! (with the credit card - of course!) LOL! We actually prefer the wineries that we can't find in our local stores.

Thanks again!

SkeeterBug
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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We actually prefer the wineries that we can't find in our local stores.
That is great Skeeter!
We liked the Dundee Bistro also, we had our dog with us and we sat outside, the service was very good.
beachbum and mms are always giving me directions to the wineries, you are in "good hands" with their advice
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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We actually prefer the wineries that we can't find in our local stores.

Then, I'd expect you're less likely to find these than anything recommended so far:

Brick House
Patricia Green
Beaux Freres
Westrey
Belle Pente.

These places all make beautiful wines, but most are taste-by-appointment only, unless you join the Memorial Day weekend flock. ;-)
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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DH and I just stayed at the Black Walnut on Monday night and loved it. Karen, the innkeeper was so nice, also beautiful rooms and amenities. She even cooked the breakfast herself which was wonderful. The view is awesome although it was hazy this week. We had lunch at Tina's and had an arranged dinner at Fresh Palate cafe in McMinnville. Had some great Youngberg Hill wine at a tasting. Hope you enjoy your visit.
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