Portland Oregon Restaurants

Although we certainly want to see the primary sights and explore the more interesting neighborhoods of the cities we visit, we are practically obsessed with experiencing some of their best and most interesting local restaurants. While we did get to, and absolutely enjoyed, three of our top priorities, could not make it to all the [Read more ...]

Exploring a New and Different Portland Oregon

Portland was the last leg of our trip to the Willamette Valley’s International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC). Although we have enjoyed previous visits to the city, our last visit consisted primarily of long walks rough two of Washington Park’s beautiful gardens–the renowned Rose Test Garden and the wonderfully tranquil Japanese garden. We spent so much [Read more ...]

Willamette Valley Restaurants

We love exploring restaurants. We were, however, otherwise occupied during our six-day visit to the Willamette Valley. The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) kept us full occupied for two and a half days (not to speak of another evening for our Pre-IPNC Dinner at Cristom Winery. And even during our time visiting wineries, we seldom [Read more ...]

Best of our Willamette Valley Winery Experiences

We enjoyed (and typically bought) one or two wines from the vast majority of Willamette Valley wineries we visited. In other words. We bought a lot of wine!

A number of wineries, however, four stood out: Wineries were we enjoyed virtually every wine we tasted. Among this rare breed were:

The Four Graces. This winery, [Read more ...]

Carlton/Yamhill and Eola-Amity Hills Area Wineries and Restaurants

Yamhill-Carlton is at the northern end of the Willamette Valley, while Eola-Amity Hills is at the southern end. Given the diversity in the Valley, and among these two AVAs, one might expect the wines from each to differ greatly, as do those from the contiguous Newberg and Dundee Hills AVAs. Surprisingly, while the soil types [Read more ...]

Dundee Hills Area Wineries and Restaurants

As a reminder form our previously posted Primer on Willamette Valley AVA and Vintages, the Dundee Hills AVA is generally characterized by red volcanic (Jory) soil which holds heat, resulting in deep, red cherry and plum-based fruit-focused wines with iron-based minerality and spices such as cinnamon, clove and cardamom.

Of the three vintages we tasted: [Read more ...]

Newberg Wineries and Restaurants

As a reminder form our previously posted Primer on Willamette Valley AVA and Vintages, Newberg is generally characterized by brown, loamy, sedimentary (Willakenzie) soil that drains better than volcanic soil, resulting in more intense, earthier, darker fruit flavors, with floral elements and subtle tannins and baking spices. Of the three vintages we tasted:

2011 [Read more ...]

A Primer on Willamette Valley AVA and Vintages

Although we know that we enjoy relatively earthy, less fruit-forward Willamette Valley wines, we did not know enough about the region, not to mention the roughly dozen different AVAs, to understand why, and which wines we were most likely to enjoy. This trip was an attempt to decipher some of what have been to sum [Read more ...]

Cristom Vineyards Pre-IPNC Dinner

When IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) comes to the Willamette Valley each year (see my blog on IPNC), many of the wineries throw a pre-party dinner the night before the big event. Wineries did not have to be participating in IPNC that year to have a dinner (many wineries alternate years in which they participate [Read more ...]

We Came for the Wine and Left with an Experience

International Pinot Noir Celebration or IPNC. It’s the wine that first gets your attention and lures you in.  And why not? 70 Pinot Noir producers from all over the world, descending on McMinnville Oregon, in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. What pinot noir lover could resist that call? We had heard about it [Read more ...]