Special Dinner for 20 people at a Washington Winery
I'm planning my parent's 50th Anniversary celebration dinner for about 20 people, and I'd like to find a winery in Washinton with a beautiful setting and great wine and food. We'd like to stay within 90 miles or so of Portland, and I'm thinking about the Mount Hood/Columbia River Valley area given it's so beautiful.
We're not from the area, but the Pacific Northwest is a good meeting spot for my family members. Any ideas you have would be appreciated.
The only winery that I can think of that has dining and great wine is Kings Estate near Eugene. There is also a lot of wineries near as well. But this place has awesome views and good wine. In Hood River, Cathedral Ridge winery is really good putting out some great wine. To eat in Hood River I would recommend Celilo or Nora's Table; both are very good. Celilo has a bigger wine list. Also depending on when you visit Hood River there is the fruit loop tour and right now all of the trees should be blooming. For Walla Walla area Tamarack Cellars is one of the better ones in the area. For dining in Walla Walla you CAN NOT GO WRONG with Saffron, who I believe, their chef just was nominated for a James Beard award. Good luck and congrats to your parents!!
Celilo Restaurant and Bar
16 Oak St, Hood River, OR 97031
110 5th St, Hood River, OR 97031
I'd highly recommend Cana's Feast in Carlton for a dining and winery experience in a beautiful Italian setting. See their website www.canasfeastwinery.com
They make wonderful Bordeaux blends and have a great catering dept.
The Youngberg Hills winery has a beautiful B&B although can not accomodate 50, but some of the group could stay there. It is on a hill overlooking their vineyards. Very special. Good luck.
Personally, I think there are some prettier places in the Willamette Valley. Don't get me wrong, Hood River is gorgeous, but that's not at all the same thing as the Columbia Valley. Different landscape, different weather. The only scenic/easyish winery I can think of is Maryhill. I think it depends on what kind of ambiance you are going for, and if you're picky about the winery itself. You might want to check this out: http://www.willamettewines.com/toeat.....
I used to live in Portland, and wine toured a lot in the Yamhill and Willamette AVAs, and I've wine toured a bit in the Columbia Valley. Green is much prettier than the stark hills of the Columbia Valley. And the Willamette wineries are literally a stone's throw from Portland.
If you are just looking for a destination in this part of the country, Walla Walla is also mind blowingly fun for wine geeks. Good food there, too.
What a wonderful thing you're doing! It sounds amazing. I'm sure you can come up with something brilliant. Gosh, I'm getting all sentimental just thinking about that area.
Thanks for your input. That's helpful. I've spent just part of one short visit to Willamette, but didn't plan it as I should bave, because we didn't see anything pretty along the way. That's good to hear there are scenic areas.
I have this picture in mind that we'd be eating outside on a long table by ourselves overlooking a beautiful vineyard with great wine & food. I love a lot of Oregon wines, and had some fabulous food in the Portland area, so the Willamette Valley does sound good.
I am trying to please a lot of people with this trip. Luckily, none are too hard to please, but not everybody is into a big emphasis on wine and food for the whole trip. Some will need to have some hiking/biking opportunities, and a rural/semi-rural location would be preferred. I'll probably rent a bigger house or we'll get rooms somewhere for three nights.
Any ideas about specific wineries?