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.
Árdíri Winery & Vineyards' winemakers John Compagno and Gail Lizak personally tend to each vine on their five-acre vineyard in California's Napa Valley and 15-acre vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon. They age each harvest's fruit in French oak, creating complexly flavored whites and reds, such as the 2009 Willamette Valley pinot noir that was named one of Oregon's 50 Best Wines in 2011 and 2012 by Portland Monthly.
John and Gail share their award-winning varietals year round at their open-air tasting facility, where staffers pour samples from behind a black concrete bar and roll-up windowed doors afford stunning views of Mount Hood and the Chehalem Mountains. The boutique winery's dog- and bike-friendly grounds also include a covered flagstone patio, a fire pit, trails through the vineyards, and picnic areas perfect for sighting the rare behatted brown bear.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
No strangers to the art of winemaking, the Wetzel family’s roots run deep into the vineyards that surround their winery. For four generations, they have crafted award-winning wines in Germany, and for the last 35, they have called Oregon home. Chateau Bianca Winery peeks out from the Willamette Valley, where pinot noir grapes flourish across the estate vineyards. These carefully cultivated grapes eventually fill bottles with varietals such as the 2009 Chateau Bianca Estate pinot blanc, a dry, clean-finishing wine that makes a refreshing apertif.
Guests visit the tasting room to sample some of Chateau Bianca’s wines, where each day a rotating selection of six bottles are uncorked for swirling and sipping. On days when the summer sun dapples the fields and shimmers playfully off Bacchus’s lampshade hat, sippers relax on the outdoor patio to enjoy a glass or share a bottle while looking out across rows of vines.
Warmly reviewed by the Oregonian, Kayak Tillamook County tours explore over 800 miles of Oregon's coastal and tidal waterways. After receiving some basic paddling instruction and a review of the water cycle on dry land, each participant gets their own thermos of hot apple cider with a fresh cinnamon stick and a side of a Skout Bar before hitting the water. Kayakers will share the water with up to seven rivermates, paddling in the gentle wake of an expert guide over the course of the two-hour tour. Winter voyages can occur during salmon runs, so keep an eye out for a host of wildlife including eagles, harbor seals, and dads in grilling aprons. Temperatures are warmer on the coast during the winter than in the interior of the state and the tide is at its highest, enabling intrepid paddlers to delve deeper into nature while enjoying the crisp, clear winter skies.
The picture preservers at A Framer's Touch encase beloved paintings, photos, and keepsakes in artfully constructed wall hangings that have garnered numerous awards at regional and international framing competitions. After art is transported to the shop, certified framers embark upon the 10-step framing process by consulting with customers to decide on the piece's materials, design, and ability to hang. A stockade of approximately 2,500 moulding samples proffers ample aesthetic options for frames' outer boundaries, and a variety of mats, glass coverings, and needlework choices allow for mind-bending levels of customization. Though rates vary as much as each piece's framed-in contents, basic prices range from $39.99 for an 8"x10" frame to $139.99 for a 24"x36" frame with a mat. To ensure professional work and eliminate the chances of frames being lost or damaged while catapulted between store and workshop, all framing takes place in A Framer's Touch's art-coddling shop.