Much like the wines they produce, Jim and Holly Witte gave their romance ample time to develop—40 years time. Though they met in New York City when Holly was Jim's secretary, it wasn't until a mutual friend reintroduced them decades later that they fell in love. They exchanged vows in Willamette Valley, an area flush with wine grapes, and then began A Blooming Hill Vineyard in nearby Washington County. Their vineyard sits in the hills of the Chehalem Mountains on a basalt range strewn with windblown volcanic soil, protected on three sides by still taller hills and taller yet older brothers. Jim personally walks the vineyards, tending to each vine by hand to create enough breathing room for full clusters to grow.
Visitors can sample the award-winning blends in the onsite tasting room, which plays host to different events each month. To sate people's curiosity, the Wittes share their fermentation process online, and to sate people's appetites, they also share the recipe for the wine-infused cake they served at the vineyard for their wedding-anniversary party.
Stoller Vineyards, located in Oregon's Willamette Valley, uniquely offers world class wines and genuine hospitality in a stunning setting. Enjoy panoramic views, ample outdoor space for relaxation and three guest homes available for rent while visiting North America's first Gold LEED certified winery.
Wayne Oppenheimer, the man behind WineUpTV.com—a website dedicated to educating others about wine—has made the transition from the web to the world with WineUp on Williams. His wine bar and shop has taken over the building that once housed the famed Cleo-Lillian Social Club, a staple in the black community for decades.
Inside the cozy 30-seat space, visitors sip wines and beers from across the globe, including many that change weekly, while noshing on paninis, cheeses, and other small bites. WineUp even has a chilled cellar with 80 wine lockers where customers can store and age their own wines, instead of simply burying bottles in the backyard.
Breakside is the devout brewchild of passionate draft masters Scott Lawrence and Tony Petraglia. The in-house microbrew list includes the Breakside Wit, a 5.2% ABV Belgian-style wheat beer; the Belgian chocolate stout, a 5.8% ABV beer with dark flavors infused with Belgian yeast; and a hearty helping of other local beers. The food menu pays homage to the plentiful Northwest by using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible—cheeses are crafted by Tillamook and Rogue Creamery; beef is antibiotic- and hormone-free Country Natural Beef, pork is raised in the Willamette Valley by Carlton Farms; and bread is baked by Grand Central Baking Company. Sip homemade soups, play tug-of-war with eclectic appetizers, chomp into sandwiches, burgers, and wraps, or tear apart saucy ribs and chicken. While you sip or sup, let your imagination wander around the simple, yet refined, details of the massive, open dining room, or let it narrow down reasons the dinosaurs went extinct.
Fermented from the fizzy aspirations of two home brewers trained at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, Coalition Brewing Co. primes palates with small plates before plunging taste buds into a 10-barrel sea of craft brews. Ranging from the light WuC.r.e.a.m. ale to the hale and hearty 6.8% ABV Hanso stout, seven house brews emerge from the adjacent brewery’s sudsy cocoon before fluttering across tongues in a mash-up of Northwest and English styles. Like a solar-powered belt buckles, house-made Hanso Stout chili warms daytime stomachs ($4.50–$6.50). Work out pent-up chews with mix-and-match dips and dippers, such as soft pretzels, sea salt potato chips, and carrot sticks with grain mustard, caramelized onion, tomato salsa, or hummus ($4.50 for one pair).
The foursome behind Ye Ol' Grog Distillery doesn't just make specialty liquors—they make the tools that make specialty liquors. Comprised of three engineers, the team built the microdistillery’s two stills, including a completely redesigned version of a traditional pot still. This machinery not only helps churn out an extremely smooth vodka, but two variations of Ye Ol’ Grog’s namesake, an alcohol beloved by sailors throughout history. Sweetened with blue agave, the distillery’s grog includes the butterscotch-flavored Good Morning Glory and the 100-proof Dutch Harbor Breeze, which is aged in charred oak. To add an extra touch of sweetness, Ye Ol’ Grog’s proprietors complement samples of their liquors with adult shaved ice's made in house.