Travel Diaries: Willamette Valley, Oregon

I could hardly fit all the good food and details of our Portland trip into one post, let alone combine it with our Willamette Valley adventures! So, here is the second installment of the Oregon adventures. A little snippet of the Oregon coast is below, too!

We signed up for a race called the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon a few weeks before race day because it had wine and music…what more could you want after running 13 miles?!

I have been on a lot of winecations, but I was blown away with the views in Oregon! It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect! This area of the world is known for their Pinot noirs but I was also delighted to find so many bubbles and rosé options at most of the places we visited!

WINE

Ken Wright Cellars – This is where the race packet pickup was held so we obviously popped in for a glass of wine! I tried a glass of the rosé and it did not disappoint. The tasting room is in Downtown Carlton and it was such a cute place with little shops, boutiques, and plenty of wine!

Sokol Blosser – The views are beautiful, the wine is great, and you can bring a picnic! One thing you will notice about Sokol Blosser is they take pride in their commitment to sustainability and you’ll notice solar panels right when you arrive. The space has clean lines and no matter where you sit, indoors or out, you feel like you’re in the perfect spot to relax and unwine (see what I did there?) We did the summer flight which started with a Sparkling Cuvee (favorite of mine here), followed by a Pinot Gris, and 3 Pinot Noirs!

Argyle – They know their market. Hands down, this was my favorite place as far as tastings go. The tasting house is beautiful and a perfect place to hang out with friends on the patio enjoying a flight of sparkling wines! If there are bubbles, count me in. I tried the Pop flight – DO IT. You won’t regret it. Everything on this flight was the right level of crisp, nothing too sweet. I had to stop myself from following up with the Rosé flight because that sounded great too, so I settled for a glass instead! Excellent choice! Visit Argyle. It is a MUST.

Domaine Serene – Easily the most beautiful views we saw from a winery! Stunning views and wine make this an incredible place to visit while you’re in Oregon! The pictures don’t even do it justice. This was one of the larger wineries we visited so it was a bit more packed out but we had no trouble finding a table! We didn’t do a flight here because we were short on time but I highly recommend stopping in for a glass just to enjoy the scenery!

Furioso Vineyards – We had younger vintages here than most of the other wineries we visited and they were a bit more acidic than what we typically drink. The space here is fantastic! The tasting room has floor to ceiling windows with an art gallery feel and overlooks the vineyard. We plan to visit again in a few years and can’t wait to see how this wine has blossomed! Check out there website for more information on the vision from Giorgio Furioso!

Erath – Stunning flowers. Oh, and the wine was excellent! This was the very last winery we visited during our trip and it felt like a hidden gem. A small tasting room and patio bordered by the most vibrant flowers makes for the perfect intimate setting to sip wine and relax with family and friends. This was one of my favorites from our trip!

DINE

La Rambla – OH MY YUM! Spanish cuisine after a day of wine tasting…yes please. Tapas and refreshing handcrafted cocktails blend with a chic vibe, made for one of the most unique dining experiences we had in Oregon! Bonus: they have a loft above the restaurant if you’re looking for a place to stay in the heart of McMinnville! You can pick and choose your own cheeseboard selections (automatic gold stars in my book) and there are so many options for everyone. The menu is vibrant and spans from olives and cheese to salads, paella, lamb nachos, roasted vegetables, and everything in between. This is a MUST.

Tillamook – I’m considering this a dining option because while visiting I managed to eat a grilled cheese, ice cream (2 giant scoops), and cheese samples. Basically I had multiple meals in the span of an hour…and it was DELICIOUS. Tillamook is gigantic and it’s my understanding they have expanded in the past few years so if you’ve never been or haven’t been in a while it’s time to go visit! They serve food, baked goods, and ice cream in their downstairs cafe area. Upstairs is a self guided tour of the cheesemaking process…and samples! You’re missing out if you’ve never seen a 40 pound block of cheese curd. Downstairs in the shop you’ll find everything you could ever want from Tillamook. Cheese curds, apparel, fancy reserve cheeses, all things cheese. Definitely plan to get here early though because it fills up and the lines get LONG.

COASTAL ADVENTURES

We took a day trip to explore the coast and go for a hike after we fueled up at Tillamook. Eat a pound of cheese, hike a mountain. Seemed legit. We stopped in Pacific City to see one of the Haystack Rocks which was SO NEAT. If you haven’t seen one before, go. It’s such an awesome sight and there’s more than one so check out either Cape Kiwanda or the one in Cannon Beach!

We visited God’s Thumb (near Lincoln City) – super cool hike but the trailhead is tricky to find. It actually crosses private property so just Google it and you’ll be good to go. I’ll just share the photos. The views speak for themselves. Pro tip for this hike: wear actual hiking shoes. Worn out running shoes won’t have enough grip on this trail.

Thanks for stopping by!

Taryn

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