Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oregon/Washington Road Trip: Day 11

Day 11 of our adventures left us leaving the beach {boo}, but wine tasting on the way back inland {yay!}.

Before I get to the wine tasting, here are some pictures of our beach bungalow.  If you ever find yourself on the Northern Oregon Coast, give The Getaway  a chance.  We stayed in Unit 9 for 3 nights and each night was about $125.  Remember, we were right on the beach during July, so this is a great deal!
Living Area

Bathroom.  I loved having the couch there to lay our things out for after a shower.

Bedroom with King size bed.  We didn't make the bed much on vacation! favorite room!
 After one last goodbye to the beach, we loaded the car and headed to Willamette Valley for some vino!

In case you don't know how to pronounce Willamette just think of the following saying.  "Willamette, Dammit!"  This is how my brother helped us remember the proper way to say it!  LOL

First stop was Montinore Vineyards.  When researching wineries to visit, this was on the TOP of my list for a few reasons: 1. Gorgeous pictures of the vineyards and tasting room on their website 2. LOTS of dessert wines to choose from 3. Reasonable prices and 4. They offer Certified Biodynamic wines.  What does this mean?  Here's the long answer. {Very interesting information}. The short answer is that they use sustainable forms of agriculture and do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.  SO I am actually drinking grapes rather than pesticides....SCORE!

Isn't this just gorgeous?!?!

Before we move on, here is something very important you need to know about me.  I LOVE wine {duh}, but for every bottle of cab {or merlot, pinot, etc} that Gary & I buy, we buy 3 bottles of dessert wine.  We just love our dessert wine!

Back to blogging.............

Next was Plum Hill Vineyards, a small, family owned winery.  They started their vineyards to make wine for family & friends and it grew from there!  They produce about 90 cases of wine a year, compared to much bigger wineries that can produce 100,000 cases a year.  

We enjoyed a few of the wines and left with a bottle of their dessert wine, Red Velvet 351.  

A few years back, a law was passed that unless a winery was already making a "port" style wine, they could no longer call it Port.  Well, this winemaker used the 351 in the name because those are the first 3 digits you use to call Portugal, Spain.  Pretty clever!  

The tagline for this wine is "Just like Kool-aid but it makes you happier."

That it did!

Up next was David Hill Winery.  The vines from their 2008 Estate BlackJack Pinot Noir were planted in 1965, making them the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley, possibly even the state of Oregon!  

I wasn't {too} tipsy, I took this picture while Gary was driving!

Gorgeous view

I'd love to live in that house!
This was our VIP host....I believe her name was Cory.  She came to greet us right at our car and walked us up to the door.  Then she went back to laying on her bed!  We loved this dog!

Nothing was purchased at David Hill, but we had a nice time talking to the staff there and enjoying their wines!

The next 2 wineries were Kramer and Laurel Ridge, where we ended buying a bottle of wine at each place.

Our last stop of the day was Durant Vineyards, where I tasted the first Chardonnay I have ever really enjoyed!  I am definitely a red wine over white wine kind of girl, since I come from California where reds rule.  But this Chardonnay was excellent!  Sadly, we had already hit our budget with buying wines from the other vineyards, so we had to pass on this bottle.

Wine tasting in Oregon was marvelous experience for both Gary & I.  We knew enough about California wine to talk about the differences, but were open minded enough to try what Oregon wineries are known best for - their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

If you are ever in Oregon, take a day to do some wine tasting.  It does normally cost you $5-$10 a taste, but Gary & I always shared a taste since I'm such a lightweight he had to drive.  We met some really cool people and had interesting conversations that I know I will always remember.

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