This past weekend, my mom flew in to spend some time in Portland (where it's not 106 like back in Sacramento). I knew I wanted to do a day trip while she was here and because neither of us had seen Oregon wine country, we figured that would be the perfect spot. So it was off to McMinnville, OR we went!
Here's a little (or maybe not so little) run through of our trip:
First stop, Coeur de Terre. This was the absolute best place to begin our trek. The tasting service was great, the view was unbelievable, and they had little slots in the chairs for wine glasses! The winery is family owned and you can see the family's home from the tasting room. There's something about that level of service that will always make me choose a small, family owned winery over one that is large and well known.
Then we went to Coleman Vineyard. Another family owned winery with the family still very much hands on with the process! We had great service here as well and even got to try from the barrels! That's one of my absolute favorite parts of wine tasting if the place allows.
We ended the day relatively early, a) so one of us could drive still and b) because the place we were staying at was a winery!! We did try to taste at one more place but there was a wedding about to begin! We stayed at Youngberg Hill and you need to put this place on your list for either a place to stay in McMinnville or just to taste their wine. It's another family owned winery with 3 of the wines named after the three young daughters and the owner greeted us with a nice glass of Pinot as we checked in. pleaseandthankyou
I can't rave enough about this place. It was definitely not cheap but absolutely worth every penny. We went to dinner in McMinnville (at Nick's) and drove back early enough to watch the sunset from our private patio while sipping on some complementary tea in the giant mug you see above. In the morning they provided a gourmet breakfast and we got to chat with people while sitting around a family style table. The inn is at the top of the hill and the views are breathtaking!
On Sunday, after breakfast, we drove out to Bella Vida Vineyard in Dundee for one last little excursion. I'm so glad we did because the views from this location were unreal. You taste in the home of the farmers and if that doesn't scream hospitality, I don't know what does. This vineyard is unique in that the owners only farm the grapes and outsource to local wineries. Five of the wineries they outsource their grapes to, make wine specifically for Bella Vida and that is what you get to taste on location.
It's almost like going to 5 different wineries in one stop! A win-win in my book!
My mom and I couldn't rave enough about McMinnville, Youngberg Hill and all the wineries we went to. Growing up near Napa and around vineyards in general, I was used to larger wineries or ones that have outsourced almost too much and it was so refreshing to get back to that small town feel with the Willamette Valley Vineyards. We are already trying to plan another and longer trip back!!
Have you been? If so, which wineries?!
(hover over the names of the wineries to get links to their sites)