This weekend was a really good weekend with our trip to Oregon’s wine country. Summer is out and ready to play. My partner, Josie, had never been to the wine country out in the Willamette Valley before. Previously I had been with my parents, but was beyond ecstatic to take the person I love the most in the world. True to womanly fashion she multiplies everything I do with her.
“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
― William Golding
I made us a route to my 3 favorite wineries that I have been to so far: Willamette Valley Vineyards, Adelsheim Vineyards (Adels -hime), and Ponzi Vineyards. Upon leaving we were a little sad because the weather had turned from the forecasts and it was your typical Portland weather: overcast and gray. However, during the drive out to wine country Portland did its other weather thing, where the weather completely changed, and it turned into a b-e-a-utiful day outside. First stop on the tour for the day was Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV), which for whatever reason reminds me of the father’s vineyard in the movie Parent Trap. They have the best overall tasting wine from red to white.
The best way to go, in my opinion is getting a flight of the vineyard’s wine so that you can try all the wines. If you have someone with you this gets a lot easier. Some wineries have several different flights. From there find the wine that you like and get a glass of that. Repeat at each winery.
Always a sucker for a good Syrah, which WVV definitely has, I was surprised by myself that I ended up getting a glass of a Viognier. Try pronouncing that without butchering it ha. First time having a Viognier and I absolutely loved this one. It was a small tinge of spicy, but largely fruit forward and rather mellow white with body. 10/10 recommend if you find yourself here. We didn’t go this time, but if you do get the chance to go, I recommend going on the tour of the facility. It is cool to see, plus there is more wine at the end!
Having been to this vineyard twice before, this was the best trip hands down. The stunning views and great conversation with Josie made 2 hours feel like 30 minutes. If you are curious about how much it costs, the average price we spent at the vineyards was roughly $45.00 give or take. Most wineries have 2-3 flights ranging from $10.00-$20.00, and a glass is somewhere around the $15.00 mark. As you can see in the photo above, they were setting up for a wedding. So eager to get out before any of that started up and double eager to get to the next vineyard, we left.
Second stop was Adelsheim Vineyards. This place is special to me. It the first time I went was with my mother when I first moved out here. Oddly enough we came from WVV, similar to how we did this trip. However, Adelsheim closes earlier than the rest of them stops, and we were unaware. So, we got there with 15 minutes before they closed. The staff were so awesome and encouraged us to do a flight and have a glass while they closed everything down. We ended up buying bottles of the most delicious chardonnay ever.
Today was no different in experience, and we had another exceptional experience. This vineyard is my favorite because of that. We ended up sitting at the bar area because all the outside seating was taken up, but this turned into a blessing in disguise. Josie struck up conversation with the wine tender about what makes a wine a $12 wine versus a $50.00 wine. The wine tender was able to explain to us the process in the ways that wine gets picked from the plants, separated, and made into wine. At the same time, she gave us a side by side comparison of the wines on our flights. Partly wanting to relive a good memory, and partly wanting to share the experience with Josie, I had my own secret agenda where I was looking for the same wine from when my mother and I were here a couple years ago.
After going through the flight, the wine I was looking for was not on the flight. Since the wine tender really liked us, I asked if she knew what the nicest chardonnay was that they were serving 2 years ago. After thinking about she disappeared into the back and returned with a bottle, and wine stealer. If you don’t know what a wine stealer is, don’t worry neither did I till the tender explained. It sends a small needle through the cork to pull out the wine. At the same time, it pulls out the wine it charges the new space left from the wine with argon gas, to stop the wine from aging and going bad. When done you remove the contraption and the cork seals the bottle one again. Which is great if you run a winery or you collect wine, and don’t want to tank the whole bottle in the next 48 hours.
She gave us a sample of the bottle each, BINGO! That was the wine. Both of us pulling away from our glasses had the same expression. “Woah! That is good”. Needless to say, I bought the bottle on demand so we can later celebrate with it. Due to buying the bottle, this winery drove the cost of the average up. Once again closing this winery down, we split and went to the last stop of the day.
Last but not last we stopped at Ponzi. If you have ever had Ponzi from the store, you know this place is good. I love the modern architecture, compound like building that is their winery. Tired, a little wined out, and not wanting out wallets to hurt too bad from the day, we shared one flight which was quickly downed. We pretty much knew we were either getting the rose or the Pinot Gris from experience. Both are super fruit forward, mellow and smooth, and well bodied. Plus, on a nice sunny day, much more appropriate than a red in my opinion. We sat outside and watched others play bocce ball, which is pretty popular in Portland. After having been out doing wine country things for 6+ hours already counting the hours of driving, we spent the least time at Ponzi.
From there we called it a day…and what a day it was! Best trip to Oregon’s wine country yet! If you get the chance, I highly recommend driving out to and taking your own trip to the wine country which is second in the U.S. only to Napa Valley, California.