N. Willamette Valley Wine Tasting
We'll be staying at the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove for a weekend of wine tasting.
Can anyone recommend a nice place for lunch?
Any recommendations for wineries to visit would also be most welcome!
Agreed, there are some nice pinots at Lemelson, and though I have not been, I hear their new ( as of 7/09) tasting room is very nice.
Lemelson is near Carlton, GreenLakeDave, and if you are near there, Scott Paul is a do-not-miss tasting room for me. He makes lovely pinots in the old world style, and is an importer for some awesome Burgundies...and you can taste them side by side at the tasting room. I love that, as after a day of local pinots all made in a similar style, I really enjoy tasting a different style wine made with the same varietal grown in a different location.
I like tasting at Panther Creek in McMinnville too because they have some very nice single vineyard pinots and it is really cool to be able to taste the differences location makes when you have the same winemaker at the helm. They are not necessarily my favorite wines overall (though I do like them and am good for a bottle or two here and there), and the location of the tasting room is far from scenic, but I really have enjoyed the tasting I have done there.
Closest place is probably the sakery at Sake One. Definitely go and do the tour, it is really interesting. They also have a coupon on their site for tastings and product: http://www.sakeone.com/sakeone/index.jsp
Also near there, Montinore doesn't suck (esp. their port and the syrah), and David Hill is near there too, not bad, again, the port is their best offering , IMO.
For food...hmmm...Hillsboro has Izakaya Syun for good Japanese, and Taqueria Hermanos Ochoa's for Mexican (authentic, not tex-mex).
I assume there is a pub and/or restaurant at the Grand Lodge, but McMenamin's food and beer is nowhere near as good as their talent for saving awesome old buildings and renovating/restoring the heck out of 'em.
The better wineries and vineyards (actually most wineries, period) are south of Forest Grove. If you head south on 47 toward Carlton you will find lots of places, and cutting over on 240, as well as heading toward 99, will bring you to many good wineries. Lots in that area that 47/240/99 circles.
And you will find lots of recs for wineries and vineyards and tasting rooms if you do a search on this board.