Hi! I have read through all the posts on this Board and have done some research around the Inernet and have come up with an itinery for my three days in this area in the middle of August that I am hoping you can make some comments on. I'll be with my sister the first day and solo the next two. I will have a car, and am not interested in visiting more than three vineyards a day. I'll be staying at the Allison Inn. I am looking for and buying Pinot Noir's and Pinot Gris'. My first and last days are pretty set, but really need help on the middle day! I do like a vineyard with a view; large corporate places - not interested; I would prefer a vineyard with open hours (i.e. no "appt only" places as I want to keep an open schedule); if there is such a place that has half bottles I would be very happy. We'll be there Monday-Wednesday. Thank you!!!
Day One - Monday (driving from Bend): Willamette Valley Vineyards (Turner); Red Ridge Farms (Dayton); WillaKinzie (yamhill); Dinner at Jory.
Day Two - Tuesday: Need to narrow following finalists down to three! I do have a soft spot for Bergstrom, given my Swedish heritage. I am considering Lange, Sokol Blosser, Stoller,Adelsheim, Penner-Ash,
Bergstrom, Aramenta. Dinner: Dundee Bistro or Subterra.
Day Three: McMinneville (Shopping); Eyrie; Domaine Drouhin; Dobbs. Dinner: To go from Red Hills Market, hang out and relax with nice bottle of wine at Allison Inn!
Thanks again for any thoughts you have, on the vineyards or dining options. I know Painted Lady is highly regarded, but it is not open Mon-Tues, and I think I'd like to relax on Wednesday night. Still have a few days of travel ahead of me!!!
p.s. Are there any farmer's markets going on during the week in this area during the middle of August?
The McMinnville farmers' market is a nice little market that sets up downtown, but on Thursdays, and it doesn't look like you'll be there on Thursday.
Sokol Blosser is one of my favorite wineries; great pinot noir (I'm partial to the 2007, but I think it's no longer available). It's a pretty big tasting room, and they charge for tastings, but it is in a pretty setting.
For quirky, I like Amity. Wines are decent, but you drive uphill on a long winding road, and taste in a big barn. Small and friendly. Besides, then you're out in Amity and you can pick up amazing chocolate truffles at the monastery where they make chocolate!
Thistle in McMinnville is a great little restaurant with a creative chef, in case you find yourself at a loss for dinner one night.
I like quirky! And the monastery - that is the Brigittine monks, right? I think that would be a good plan for me - thanks! Thistle does look good, but I think I like the looks of the menu at the Bistro a little better. I just saw the sample menu for Thistle, so I'll take a closer look when I'm there. Thank you for your help!
Thistle in McMinnville is great, especially the little cocktail bar next to the dining room.
I'd add White Rose Estate, Ken Wright Cellars, and Vista Hills to your tasting itinerary on Day Two.
I am in the middle of planning my third trip to Oregon Wine Country for the fall.
Some of my favorite winery visits include:
Soter-this is appt only but very worth it. It's a seated tasting which there are not many of in the are and great wines. We are now members here and go every trip.
Anne Amie-great views and close to Soter.
Stoller-another must on my list. One of my favorites to hang out at, the views are great and we usually take a picnic.
Winderlea-great views and wines
White Rose-very unique tasting room and a view that is incredible.
On the ones that you listed, I wasn't impressed with Lange or Sokol Blosser. In McMinnville I preferred Panther Creek over Eyrie.
Restaurants: in McMinnville thistle and Nicks were really good. In Carlton I like Cuvée. I had one incredible meal at the Jory and one decent meal there so hopefully you get an incredible one.
Red Hills market is always good, as is Dundee bistro. I haven't been to Painted lady yet but I have heard it is good.
So you've received some good comments and maybe this one will be too late.
Day one is not going to be relaxing for you. Bend to Salem/Turner is about a 3 hour trip. So assuming you leave around 9am-ish, you're going to get to Willamette Valley Vineyards (which is just about as close to corporate as you can get in Oregon, btw) around noon. Red Ridge Farms is going to take you another hour and Willakenzie is about 1/2 hour from there with the Allison Inn being 1/2 hour back. You're jumping around a bit, is all. Personally, I'd skip WVV and head to Red Ridge Farms, taste at Durant Vineyards (next door with a stunning view), head to Stoller (beautiful setting and views) which is just 10 min down the road, and then to Willakenzie if you're still up for roaming.
You're going to be traveling smaller, windy country roads that aren't conducive to high speed when you travel between the wineries; take that into account when planning your days.
You could also stop at Methven Vineyards on your way between Salem and Red Ridge Farms. They have some excellent Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Their tasting room staff is fantastic.
Newberg Farmer's Market runs on Wednesdays between 1:30 and 6 behind the library until the end of September.
Have a great trip!