We had said it before and finally followed up on it. Although it was just a quick one night before heading off to Portland, we dicovered a wonderful charming area that has more wineries than I have ever seen in one area.
Just a short drive outside of Portland, Oregon as you head west on 99, you start to see the signs for wineries and they are everywhere. We were heading to McMinnville Oregon which was just about a little over an hour outside of Portland. You will travel through Newberg and Dundee, which are also filled with wineries. Many of these wineries have limited hours in the winter but most are open from 11-5. Check out some links below for great resources.
Due to the short trip, we only stopped at one winery which was Duck Pond. Staff was friendly and the tastings were low cost. We enjoyed their shop which also featured a small menu of great food items to have with your wine.
If you have never done a visit to a winery or tasting room basically they charge you either per taste or per flight, which is a sampling of a few wines. This can range anywhere between $2 and $8 on avg. If you end up buying wine, they will waive the tasting fees. A great chance to taste wine and purchase future gifts, because wine always makes a great gift, especially at Christmas time.
Lots of great bistros and coffee shops along this route as well. Lodging options vary from main stay small hotels to B&B's , or you can go vintage like us as we tried one of the McMenamins properties. This beer mecca company not only has a tone of pubs in Oregon, but old vintage rustic hotels. Many are dorm style with bathrooms down the hall and rates beginning at around $60 a night. We landed a King room, with a private bathroom for $110. You wont find TV's in these hotels, but you may find some weird art on the walls, and stories of ghosts that may wander the halls. The hotel featured multiple drinking options with a pub, cellar bar , and a rooftop bar which provides views of wine country. Our stay at Hotel Oregon in McMinnville was nice and this type of hotel is good for one night, but not sure I could have done two. And we even found out that McMinnville has a history with UFO's!
Check out Oregon Wine Country!