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.
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.
The fifth-annual Oregon Brews and BBQs festival floods McMinnville’s Granary District with frothy craft beers and the smoky scent of barbecue. With a souvenir beer glass and beer tokens in hand, guests can sample 50 craft beers from 22 breweries, including Block 15, Golden Valley Brewery, and Raccoon Lodge. The hoppy flavors complement tender barbecued meats, many of which grill masters have slow cooked throughout the night by using low heat and a boogie-man-repellent seasoning. Live musicians punctuate the air with such acts as The Jake Blair Band, which blends wailing slide guitar with gravely vocals and harmonica for a blues buffet. Audiences can dance along, check out the jewelry and art from local vendors, or explore the kids' zone. This year, proceeds from the festival will benefit the Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation and the GhanaHope Foundation.
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.
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).
At Walnut City WineWorks, staffers guide taste buds through the varied pours of two wine flights from fruit-begetting fields. Duos relax in the tasting room’s barrel-bedecked confines, sipping pours while watching the hustle and bustle of daily wine production through the observation windows. More than 10 wines, spanning seven in-house brands, grace the tasting room’s shelves, offering palates the chance to peruse new vintages and varietals, such as the complex, citrusy splashes of the 2007 viognier or the round, spicy tannins and hint of Mexican chocolate in the 2009 pinot noir. This Groupon also gifts purchasers 10% off of bottle purchases from Walnut City's selection of more than 30 different bottles and 15% off cases, letting day-trippers take a bit of the winery home without the hassle of carrying an entire door or the worries of being chased by the police.