Monday, April 12, 2010

Oregon Part I: Wine {Dundee}

Apologies for the late posting... I was feeling quite under the weather yesterday and spent the day snoozing while Stabler and Benson abused the 4th Amendment rights of New York City pedophiles... please forgive me!}

Greetings from Dundee! 

Our first stop in the Great (and Green!) State of Oregon was Dundee - a tiny little town right smack in the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir grape growing region, about 30 miles Southwest of Portland.  We stayed at the Inn at Red Hills, a new construction boutique hotel right off Highway 99.  While our room was gorgeous and comfy, it was a tad lacking in charm (maybe because I'll forever compare all our vineyard lodgings to the Cottages at Napa Valley - a very high bar, indeed!), but the staff was absolutely delightful and the in-house restaurant and wine bar (Farm to Fork and Press, respectively... scan "What We Believe" and "What You'll Find" on the Inn's homepage and I think you'll be sold, too) were phenomenal!  Kendall and Paul are pretty much the nicest folks you're bound to meet out there in the big, wide world... Salt of the Earth Types, if you will (and I will!).  They went above and beyond to call restaurateurs personally to book us a reservation (eat at the Painted Lady!), map out their favorite vineyards, and share their winery contacts for free tastings.  

{dessert trio at the Painted Lady}

{Erath Winery}

I've been to very few places in the United States that rival the beauty of Oregon... Each winery we visited in the Red Hills was more stunning than the last, and I loved the boutique/family-owned appeal!  Y'all know how much I loved Napa, and I think I have to say that the Willamette Valley whoops Napa's ass!  The wine is just as delicious (of course Oregon mostly Pinot Noirs and Napa is known for fabulous Cabernets, so take that face-off for what it's worth... I'm speaking more to the quality of wine - which is right on par), the food is still out-of-this-world but less pretentious, everything is cheaper, the scenery is better, and the people are ridiculously friendly... like, what-did-I-do-to-deserve-this-kind-of-service friendly.  Our favorite vineyards included Bergstrom, Lange, Archery Summit, Dobbes Family Estate, and De Ponte Cellars

Of course we bought 10 bottles of wine.  Of course we found out Oregon doesn't ship wine out of state on our last day of vacation.  And of course I made it home with each and every bottle intact, smuggled tucked safely away betwixt our dirty socks and muddy jeans.*

*Child's play, really, since my finest hour involves 19 bottles of vino, a 21 hour flight from Greece, and a lucky break behind a woman carrying a hairless cat from Burma in the custom's queue.  


Without a doubt, the highlight of the Dundee portion of our vacation involved these two crazy cats...


The Doctors O trekked down from Portland for an extra day of fun, folly, and boozery before it was our turn on their turf (see manana's post on Beer {Portland}!).  As you may recall from posts featuring past and present college friend tomfoolery, J is one of my best friends from WFU.  More on Best Friendship tomorrow as well... for the moment I'll just say that experiencing the transition from our old lives to our new ones, and remaining as much a part of the new as we were of the old, no matter the distance, is Truly Tops!  {I was going to say a "blessing" but I'm not the kind of chick to get real touchy-feely on the interwebs... so we'll stick to hip phrases in the same vein as "the bees' knees," mmmmmmkay?}



Stay Tuned for Beer {Portland} Tuesday!  

16 comments:

  1. I've been totally smitten with Willamette (sp?) Valley since I found out about The Allison a few months ago... I have to go there ASAP and you're just reaffirming that for me! I have to check out your Inn at Red Hills as well, sounds marvy!

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  2. Oh! I also have to say that I now understand your L-O-V-E of LEC Heritage Cardis. They carry the line in the Sear's in Ann Arbor, MI (and I'm home for awhile), so I was able to see most of the line in person... and those cardis are lovely! I didn't end up buying any, instead got the coral boyfriend cardi and the black skirt. Super cute stuff though, can't wait to see more seasons introduced!!

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  3. It looks like such a fun trip! I am trying to convince the hubs we need to road trip it to Oregeon (we live in Vancouver).

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  4. Oh I am so jealous! When we went to Oregon we didn't do Wine Country there, but you have me itching to go back! It's so gorgeous there!

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  5. Ok I'm sold and need to book a trip to the Willamette Valley asap. I'm already a huge Oregon pinot noir fan and your pictures just convinced me further. Looks like such a fun trip!

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  6. You're a HOSS with the wine smuggles! I can only hope to channel your strength during a Napa / Oregon trip someday.

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  7. It's so beautiful! I wanna go for my anniversary! Instead it looks like Hubs will be missing our planned Al Green concert for Vegas for a commercial real estate conference. Which he wants me to go to, and hang out with him while he parties with his boss. Uh, no.

    Sorry for the random whine- I'm grumpy this morning! Looks like an incredible time!

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  8. What fun! We didn't do Wine Country when we went to Oregon. Looks like we need to go back! Can't wait for the next recap.

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  9. You have had the best vino vacays as of late! Oregon is high on my list of stateside to-do's; now even more so!

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  10. Great post! I'm originally from Oregon but moved before I reached the ripe ol' age of 21 so I've sadly never experienced wine country. Based on your pictures and reviews it's obvious that next time I'm there visiting family I'm going to have to make a little detour to some of these wineries!

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  11. I did these wineries last May and was amazed at how great they were. Erath was definitely the one where I spent most of my $$ (and I had to smuggle them all back to Canada!)

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  12. Aw happy anniversary! Such an exciting trip! I think I'd love Oregeon because I do like the rain. Like in these pictures, everything looks more vibrant when it's damp =)

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  13. nothing beats Napa but the Willam. Valley comes pretty close! looks like you guys picked some great ones! Try Argyle wines or champagne when you get a chance! they are my favorite :)

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  14. WHO told you that Oregon doesn't ship wine out of state? Not true. Not true at all. It may be that your state doesn't accept out of state wine shipments, but we for sure ship wine out of state.

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  15. Ok, we're finally getting to PDX and surround this year- YAY! How many nights/days did you spend in wine country? I looked at the Inn and several of the links didn't work... wondering if they got new owners. Bummer, as 'winery recommendations and free tastings' sounded like a lovely perk!

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    1. We spent 3 nights in Dundee and I could have easily done two more. There are so many adorable wineries to explore! I will be very sad if the Inn changed hands - it was lovely.

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happy little comments!