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Late Summer Wine Events in the Northern Willamette Valley

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Taste the North Valley at Orenco StationOh, summer nights—we love you! As record high temperature days mellow into the warm, breezy evenings, wine lovers find a nirvana of summer’s splendor in the northern Willamette Valley. With wineries and vineyards a short drive from Portland, it’s easy to plan a last minute wine weekend. Use our wine events guide in your planning.

Northern Willamette Valley Wine Events

Neighbors Night at Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Cooper Mountain Vineyards | August 28, September 4 & 11 from 5-8 p.m. | $8
Uniquely located in a residential neighborhood, Cooper Mountain Vineyards is the best “neighbor” one could have this summer. They might not have a cup of sugar, but you can definitely get a glass of biodynamic wine.

Harvest Winemaker Dinner
Kramer Vineyards | August 22, 6-9 p.m. | $85
Taste the Willamette Valley—and think beyond just wine! Taste nibbles of local hazelnuts, cheese, vegetables and even salt. Purchase your ticket here.

Ponzi Summer Sundays
Ponzi Historic Estate | August 23 & 30, September 6 at 6 p.m. | $15
Listen to a wide array of music genres with a glass of wine in hand. For added summer flare, pack a picnic!

Taste the North Valley
Orenco Station | August 27, 4-8 p.m. | $25
Want to taste wines from 15 different wineries and vineyards all in one go? If yes, then this inaugural event is for you. Sample both red and white wines while enjoying music and bites from local food carts. Purchase tickets here.

Labor Day Wine and Art Show
Plum Hill Vineyards | September 5-7, noon to 5 p.m. | No cover charge
Art looks better when looked at while drinking wine and wine tastes better when sipped around art. View amazing artists while drinking fantastic Oregon wine.

Storm Large at Ponzi Vineyards
Ponzi Vineyards | September 6, 6 p.m. | $150
Portland’s own Storm Large puts on a phenomenal show with all proceeds going to CASA for Children. A ticket includes a gourmet meal and two complimentary glasses of Ponzi wine. Purchase tickets here.

How will you make your last summer days linger? Just like wine, the answer is on the tip of your tongue. It’s a trip to the northern Willamette Valley!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Five Reasons to go to Canines Uncorked Tomorrow

Posted on: August 7th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Well, hello weekend! It is so good to see you. If you’re in a summer slump or just have the itch for a last minute adventure, then hop in the car—with Fido in the back seat—and escape to the Tualatin Valley for Canines Uncorked. C’mon you know you want to. Need a little nudge? Here are five reasons to ignite the weekend jet setter in you…and your dog.

Canines Uncorked

Five Reasons to go to Canines Uncorked Tomorrow

1. All proceeds go to the Oregon Humane Society

A full 100% of the proceeds from Canines Uncorked will go toward the Oregon Humane Society and its mission of supporting pets in need. The “License to Taste” passports are $45 and can be bought tomorrow at Apolloni Vineyards, Kramer Vineyards, Oak Knoll Winery and Plum Hill Vineyards. Those donations add up! Drinking for a cause? We’re in.

2. Your ticket can be used for complimentary wine tastings for the rest of August

While Canines Uncorked lasts just one day, your “License to Taste” passport for wine tastings at participating vineyards doesn’t expire until the end of the month. So, plan a follow-up weekend to finish up those wine tastings at 15 different northern Willamette Valley locations near Portland.

3. Your dog is invited (or you can meet adoptable pooches)

There’ll be wine for you—as well as a whole lot of other perks for your pooch. Hello dog psychics, dog masseuses and dog photographers. Your pup has a day of luxury awaiting his or her visit.

4. It’s an easy last-minute (and dog-friendly) getaway.

With 35 pet-friendly lodging options in the Tualatin Valley, both you and your four-legged friend are guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

5. Win swag with the #CaninesUncorked Instagram Contest

When you visit a participating Canines Uncorked location, tag your Instagram photos with the following:

  • #CaninesUncorked
  • The name of the location

The account with the most photos at the end of August 9, 2015, will win a free copy of Wine
Dogs USA!

Have we convinced you yet? Have a weekend full of smiles and tail wags in the Tualatin Valley with us!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Canines Uncorked: Vineyard Fun for Dogs and Humans Alike

Posted on: July 24th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Canines UncorkedWhen people talk about the “dog days of summer,” we like to think that they are referring to Canines Uncorked, the annual event of northern Willamette Valley wineries welcoming pups and their owners for a day of tail-wagging fun. The dog-friendly vibe doesn’t stop there either; be sure to book a room at one of the Tualatin Valley’s dog-friendly hotels.

Happening August 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Canines Uncorked is sponsored by the North Willamette Vintners and Unleashed by Petco, benefiting the Oregon Humane Society. A $40 ticket provides a “License to Taste” passport for tastings and dog activities at each participating winery. Bonus: the passport is good through the month of August, so you can still enjoy tastings at each participating winery for weeks—that’s a great deal!

If you don’t have a dog yet, but possess a bad case of dog fever, then Canines Uncorked is a perfect cure, too, with lots of pooches for petting…and adopting if you happen to fall in love (and how could you not?). A few years ago, David Hill Vineyard & Winery’s tasting room manager, Michele Carpenter, found herself going from working the Canines Uncorked event to finding a new canine family member. Guests at her tasting room kept talking about an adorable rat terrier mix up for adoption at Apolloni Vineyards. Well, one thing led to another and Michele and her husband were taking the little rascal, named Memphis, home the next day.

Each wine destination offers not only a leisurely wine tasting, but also a unique doggy-and-me activity, ranging from massages to photo-ops. This year, David Hill Vineyards will be going with a “Lickin’ Luau” theme that is complete with Hawaiian decorations and ice cream treats for four-legged friends.

Canines Uncorked Oregon Humane Society

Michele Carpenter’s pup, Memphis, that was adopted during Canines Uncorked!

Start planning your dog-and-me getaway! Here is a list of wineries participating in Canines Uncorked:
A Blooming Hill Vineyard
Apolloni Vineyards
Ardiri Winery and Vineyard
Blizzard Wines
David Hill Vineyard and Winery
Dion Vineyard
Elk Cove Vineyards
Helvetia Vineyards
Kramer Vineyards
Montinore Estate
Oak Knoll Winery
Plum Hill Vineyards
Provincial Vineyards
SakéOne
Willamette Valley Vineyards at Tualatin Estate

Looking forward to saying hello—and woof!—soon. Buy advance tickets to Canines Uncorked.

Drink Pink in the Northern Willamette Valley

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Raptor Ridge's rose (photo : Allison George)

Raptor Ridge’s rose (photo : Allison George)

Say it with me now: “Yes Way Rosé!”

Rosé wines are having a major moment in the Tualatin Valley. Hop in the car for an impromptu wine country weekend—it’s time to see the summer through rose-tinted glasses (and we do mean wine glasses).  Next time you’re visiting Portland, make sure to add a few days to your itinerary to try the outstanding rosé varieties at these wineries (all participating in Drink Pink):

Apolloni Vineyards
The 2014 Apolloni Rosé packs happy punches of strawberry and rhubarb. Your nose will pick up scents of honeysuckle and dried flowers.   

David Hill Vineyard & Winery
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé includes fruity aromas, including a hint of watermelon.

Elk Cove Vineyards
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé is hand-harvested from both old and young vines in the Willamette Valley that are from higher elevation vineyards on their own rootstock. The result is full flavor with lower alcohol.

Montinore Estate
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé holds a tight structure that allows for a dry, yet fruity sip of black cherry and red grapefruit notes.

Patton Valley Vineyard
The 2014 Patton Valley Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir adds citrus fun to its mix of flavors, finishing with a cream soda likeness that is downright tantalizing.

Ponzi Vineyards Winery
The Cin Cin Brut Rosé sells out quick every year as its méthode champenoise is rather irresistible. If you miss the Cin Cin, then there’s always other amazing rosé options on hand to try.

So much rosé, too little time. Make rosé your weekend agenda by booking a room at the Embassy Suites-Hillsboro or as one of our many other fantastic lodging options in the area.

10 Can’t-Miss July Events in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: July 6th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey 1 Comment

10 Can’t-Miss July Events in the Tualatin Valley

Ten Can’t-Miss July Events in the Tualatin Valley

 

With Independence Day in summer’s rearview mirror, continue celebrating your freedom to travel and experience new things. Whether you’re extending a business trip, tacking a few days onto a pre-existing trip to Portland or just want to plan getaway with friends, find Tualatin Valley festivals and events to make July the best. See our top 10 suggestions below.

1. Bluegrass Music

The Annual Northwest String Summit at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains is four days of soul-satisfying bluegrass and Americana music (July 16-19).

2. International Air Show

The Intel Oregon International Air Show welcomes the Blue Angels with its first woman pilot, Navy Capt. Kitty Higgins, on a C-130 Hercules aircraft.

3. Oregon Craft Beer Month

Celebrate Oregon Craft Beer Month with the 14th Annual Roadhouse Brewfest (July 18). Tour the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse brewery and chat with brewers.

4. Lavender Farms

Smell that? The Oregon Lavender Festival comes to four Tualatin Valley lavender farms (July 10-12). Frolic in the purple fields!

5. International Dancing and Fairs

Ten Tiny Dances (July 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the Beaverton International Celebration (July 25) highlights a mix of traditions from Beaverton’s diverse population.

6. Watch Dressage

Dressage of DevonWood in Sherwood boasts one of the largest dressage events in the Pacific Northwest (July 17-19).

7. Act Like Robin Hood

The Sherwood Robin Hood Festival (July 17-8) transforms Old Town Sherwood into an even older stomping ground of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. The Tualatin River’s MidSummer Night Paddle is best for those who fancy themselves mermaids over maidens (July 18). 

8. Drink Rosé

Yes way, rosé! The Drink Pink! rosé wine festival is a chance to visit 25 different Willamette Valley wineries, each offering rosy options (July 18).

9. Old Car Shows

The Tualatin Valley is a hot bed for hot rods with the Concours d’Elegance in Forest Grove (July 18-19) and The Classic at T-Hills in Beaverton (July 25).

10. Eat Crawfish

The 65th Tualatin Crawfish Festival is a quintessential Tualatin Valley summer tradition, complete with eating contests, local brews and live music (July 31-Aug 2).

Bonus: Sports fanatics can watch baseball at a Hillsboro Hops game (various dates), as well as the ASA 18 Gold Softball Championships (July 19-25). Prefer the view more than the game? Trade clubs for pianos at the Ten Grands on the Green (July 25).

How will you make the most of July? Your first step is booking a room in the Tualatin Valley!

Quiz: What Oregon Winery Should You Visit?

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Montinore Estate
It’s time to discover Oregon’s wine country. If it’s your first time visiting the northern Willamette Valley, then it can be daunting to choose which of the 30+ wineries to visit first. While we think every wine tasting trip should include multiple vineyard destinations, here’s a quiz to help you choose which winery to stop at  first.  

What type of wine do you gravitate toward?
A. Pinot Gris
B. Riesling
C. You trust a winemaker’s blend
D. Pinot Noir

Though, please note that each winery excels at multiple varietals!

What’s your favorite home décor style?
A. Sleek modernism
B. Traditional with lots of classic wood pieces
C. Open-concept with free flow between indoor and outdoor
D. Italian villa

What activity do you like to do—with a glass of wine in hand—most?
A. Bocce Ball
B. Nerding out about organic farming
C. Getting cozy by the fire
D. Discovering new herbs for creative recipes

What kind of view do you like?
A. Panoramic views of the Chehalem Mountains
B. Coastal mountain range
C. Mt. Hood
D. Colorful gardens

Who are your wine tasting companions?
A. A mellow bachelorette party
B. Someone who has only wine tasted in California before
C. Your valentine
D. Your extended family

Key:

Mostly A’s: Ponzi Vineyards
Ponzi Vineyards in Sherwood is an Oregon old-school winemaker with lots of new-school charm. The multi-generation winery serves its wines, like the 2014 Pinot Gris that was picked as an “Editor’s Choice” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, in its incredibly classy gray-hued tasting room.

 

Ponzi Vineyards

Ponzi Vineyards

Mostly B’s: Montinore Estate
Montinore Estate in Forest Grove has a tasting room as regal as many esteemed Napa wineries. The Oregon twist? The stately décor remains unfussy, encouraging tasters to relax, ask questions and learn about the biodynamic winemaking process.

 

Montinore Estate

Montinore Estate (photo: David Brunkow)

Mostly C’s: Árdíri
Árdíri Winery and Vineyards in Cornelius was voted one of the best vineyard views in Oregon, which it celebrates with lots of patio seating tucked around multiple fire pits. Try the 2011 Pinot Noir Due Stati, which blends the best of Willamette Valley and Napa Valley reds into one tantalizing sip.

 

Árdíri Winery

Árdíri Winery

Mostly D’s: Alloro Vineyard
Alloro Vineyard in Sherwood transports wine lovers into an Italian daydream. In addition to the winery’s standout Pinot Noir offerings, be sure to peruse the herb garden for heavenly scents and serene views.

 

Alloro Vineyard

Alloro Vineyard

 

Which winery did your quiz results reveal? Be sure to explore all of the area’s wineries, vineyards and wine shops!

 

Tualatin Valley People’s Choice Award Winners

Posted on: June 24th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Do you use Yelp, Trip Advisor and the like? We’ve got one more authority to add to your go-to review resources. Enter, the results of the Tualatin Valley People’s Choice Awards. We put the power to the people with our open poll and received a whopping 858 votes. Check out our People’s Choice Weekend Getaway Itinerary, as well as get some extra tips on each winner below.

ABV Public House
Favorite Restaurant: ABV Public House
Why it’s so great: Housed in an unassuming Hillsboro business park, this spot is like a modern-day speakeasy. Instead of whiskey in bathtubs, find hundreds of bottles of beers and ciders lining the perimeter of the restaurant.
What to try: Cheese curds and green chili poutine—‘nough said.
When to go: Happy hour falls 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day.
Who to go with: Take your in-laws as the brews and kitschy décor give lots of conversation fodder.

Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro
Favorite Brewery: Vertigo Brewing
Why it’s so great: With just a seven-barrel system, this Hillsboro brewery crafts an impressive array of standout beer.
What to try: Friar Mike’s IPA is a quintessential Oregonian beer with lots of Northwest hops.
When to go: A few hours before the Hillsboro Hops game for a happy-go-lucky crowd of sports fans.
Who to go with: Your sports buddies!

Ardiri Vineyards in Cornelius, Oregon
Favorite Winery Experience: Árdíri Vineyards
Why it’s so great: This Cornelius vineyard is the perfect mix of elegance and romance—without the pretentious veneer.
What to try: The 2011 Due Stati is in its peak drinking years right now. Salud!
When to go: A clear day, mid-afternoon will bring you amazing views of Mt. Hood.
Who to go with: Cuddle up with your honey around one of the vineyard’s cozy fire pits.

wine tasting in the northern willamette valley
Favorite Attraction/Activity: Wine Tasting in the Tualatin Valley
Why it’s so great: Just minutes from Portland, immerse yourself in Oregon wine!
What to try: Everything. Just try everything.
When to go: The North Willamette Vintners Association provides fantastic wine events in the region.
Who to go with: Rent a car and driver with a group of friends for an unforgettable wine weekend.

Remember, our People’s Choice Weekend Getaway Itinerary shows you how to happily go from one standout attraction to the next in one awesome weekend. We dare you to try it!

What’s New in Our Cities?

Posted on: May 20th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
World of Speed Museum

The World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville, Oregon delights car and culture buffs alike.

The Tualatin Valley is blooming with more than just flowers as new attractions make their spring debuts. That’s right, there are fresh new tasting rooms, museums and more popping up all the time. Help us usher in newcomers with a visit—and maybe a drink or two. Below, catch the details on exciting new additions to Cornelius, Forest Grove and Wilsonville.

Cornelius: Dion Vineyards Tasting Room

Dion Vineyards’ Tasting Room is a new attraction for a long-celebrated vineyard. Dion Vineyards has made the northern Willamette Valley and its fertile slopes of Laurelwood soil its home for more than 30 years, spanning three generations. Now, the estate embarks on a new chapter as it sets roots beyond the soil with a new tasting room in the charming town of Cornelius.  
Location: 33155 Reidweg Road, Cornelius
Hours: Open June thru November, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $15 tasting

Forest Grove: Bull Run Cider Tasting Room

Bull Run Cider’s Tasting Room fits right into the friendly college-town vibe of downtown Forest Grove. Bull Run Cider is rapidly growing in production as more people fall in love with its not-too-sweet ciders; it was only a matter of time until their popularity gave way to a tasting room, as well. Looking for a late night hang out? Bull Run Cider is a safe bet, serving up cider brews until 1 a.m.
Location: 2225 Cedar Street, Forest Grove
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cost: varied tasting and by-the-glass costs

Wilsonville: World of Speed Museum

World of Speed is a car lover’s paradise that appeals to those less enthused by hot rods, as well. World of Speed doesn’t just tell the story of American automobiles, but the history and culture surrounds it. Mid-century modern décor, rock-and-roll music and racing stimulators in actual race cars delight every taste. The Holiday Inn Portland South is just a skip away, making this fun stop even speedier!
Location: 27490 SW 95th Avenue, Wilsonville
Hours: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Mondays)
Cost: $5 to $10; Simulator tickets $10

Taste what’s new in the Tualatin Valley—and then tell us about it with the #tualatinvalley hashtag!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Ten Reasons to Love Oregon Wine

Posted on: May 13th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

Celebrate Oregon Wine Month in the northern Willamette Valley!

It’s Oregon Wine Month and we’re taking full advantage of all the grapes, barrels and new releases that entails. In case you need any convincing, we’ll give you 10 reasons to visit the wineries of Oregon’s Washington County, proudly part of the northern Willamette Valley!

1. Gateway to Oregon’s Wine Country

So, you’re in Portland, drinking lots of fabulous local wine. Meet the makers of your new favorite blends! The northern Willamette Valley is your closest option with nearly 30 wineries just a short drive away.

2. Oregon Pinot

The Willamette Valley is known for its Pinot—and for good reason! The temperate weather and south facing slopes of our vineyards create Pinot that is earthy and nuanced.

3. More than Pinot

…But the northern Willamette Valley is so much more than Pinot. Try delicious Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, Riesling and Müller-Thurgau varietals (just to name a few!).

4. Biodynamic Wine

Organic wine-making is an enormous feat, which makes biodynamic wine truly incredible. Try wine that is created extra-sustainably at Cooper Mountain Vineyards and Montinore Estate.

5. It’s a Family Affair

Luisa Ponzi carries on the tradition of her parents, who established Ponzi Vineyards in 1970. Similarly, Elk Cove Vineyards was founded in 1974 and remains family-run today.

6. Creative Architecture        

Ponzi Vineyards modern tasting room is a treat for architecture buffs. The Beckham Estate Vineyard is handbuilt and double-duties as a gallery for the winemaker’s pottery art.

7. Live Music

Oak Knoll Winery’s bi-monthly summer concert series, Toast to the Tunes, pairs melodic soul with your Sauvignon.

8. Find Romance (and Scope out Wedding Venues)

Oregon’s Washington County is for lovers—and it shows with six vineyards wedding venues offering their views as the perfect backdrop for your “I do.”

9. Joy Ride Wine Tasting

Make wine tasting a full-out adventure by taking a drive on the rural side with the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.

10. Check Oregon Wine for Free on Alaska Air

It’s true, Oregon Wines Fly Free through the spring of 2017. Check a full case of wine for free on Alaska Air flights leaving from Oregon.

Now, tell us why you love Oregon wine!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

10 Can’t-Miss May Events in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: April 29th, 2015 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

May Events in the Tualatin Valley
May is the sparkplug of summer fun in Oregon’s Washington County: the Tualatin Valley. Whether you’re extending a business trip, tacking a few days onto a pre-existing trip to Portland or just want to plan getaway with friends, find art, festivals and sports to make May matter. See our top 10 suggestions below.

1. Art Walks

The Downtown Tigard Art Walk (May 1-15 on Main Street; free) includes an artsy re-vamp of the downtown area with new public art and bike racks made possible by a grant from the Washington County Visitors Association. Check out the pop-up gallery and a graffiti art demonstration the first weekend of the Art Walk.

2. Renaissance Faire

Forest Grove’s re-created medieval village, Faire in the Grove (May 2-3 at the McMenamins Grand Lodge; free), is a good excuse for history buffs and Game of Throne buffs to unite.

3. Cycling through Oregon Wine Country

The Montinore Bicycle Road Race (May 2 at Montinore Estate; $15-$30 registration) makes easy loops through lush countryside, while Reach the Beach Ride (May 16 at Southridge High School; $40 registration) offers a more challenging ride along farmlands.

4. Saké with a Twist

Oyster shooters just got more fun with the SakéOne’s Annual Oyster & Saké Event (May 2 at SakéOne; $15 per person). Pair fresh Pacific Northwest Oysters with different saké pairings.

5. Northwest Trail Run…with Peacocks!

Jog next to peacocks at Havoc at the Hideout (May 3, at Horning’s Hideout; $30 per person). Here, you’ll find some of the best forest trails in the Northwest.

6. Plant a Mini-Vineyard

Lay claim to four Pinot Noir plants at Buds to Bottles (May 16-17 at Plum Hill Vineyards), which will go on to become your own handcrafted Pinot Noir wine one day.

7. Spectacular Bird and Wildlife watching

The Tualatin River Bird Festival (May 16 at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge; free) is a fabulous way to see and celebrate wildlife. Go from land to water with the Tualatin River Bird Fest Paddle, too!

8. Visit a Brand New Tasting Room

The Dion Vineyards Tasting Room Grand Opening (May 16-17 at Dion Vineyards; $15 per person) celebrates its new digs tastings of its small-production wines.

9. Play Cornhole for Cash!

Oregon State Championships of Cornhole (May 30 at Pacific University; $30 registration) is perfect for casual and competitive cornhole players. Warm up your arm at the Oregon Cornhole Championships Kick-Off Festival the day before at the McMenamins Grand Lodge. Online registration is now closed, but there will be onsite registration at both the Friday and Saturday events.

10. Mother’s Day & Memorial Day

Of course, that’s just a sampling of May merriment. If you’re in town with your mom, then take advantage of these Mother’s Day Events. Plus, take a getaway for Memorial Day in the North Willamette Wine Country!

Have a happy May in the Tualatin Valley!

May Events in the Tualatin Valley, near Portland!