Pinots in Oregon – The Wines of the Willamette Valley

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  • Oregon USA
  • June 20-26, 2022
  • 7 Days/6 Nights
  • 6 – 10 Guests

Overview

The Willamette valley in Oregon is known the world over for its Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris wines. It also boasts some of America’s best farm-to-table, new-American restaurants. You’ll find stunning state parks where you can chase waterfalls and capture photos of the wildlife that abounds. It’s an ideal place to visit in summer for water sports, hiking and just enjoying an easy stroll in the great outdoors. Don’t lose sight of the exemplary cheeses and world-class breweries which also dot this landscape. The is THE ideal gourmet tour for cooks, wine lovers and people who appreciate food and its connection to nature. The culinary fabric of any place is the fastest way to get to know and understand its culture and values.

Highlights:

  • Meet and taste with some of the most important winemakers in the valley
  • Walk behind a waterfall in the Silver Falls State Parks
  • Experience a proper coffee tasting with an expert
  • Frolic in a garden and taste the local olive oil
  • Dine at a locavore eatery which earned the best restaurant in Oregon honors
  • Meet one of Oregon’s top female winemakers
  • Get your Zen on at the Allison Spa
  • Take a mixology class in a speakeasy
  • Take ownership of your own wine palate, knowing what it is that YOU love and trusting your taste in wine

Join Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond’s founder, Doni Belau, & your own wine coach, Laurie Forster, on a gastronomic romp through Willamette Valley where we’ll have a chance to learn more about wine with – wait for it – not only a wine coach but a stand-up comedian! I’m not sure any other female sommelier in the states can stake such a claim. If you can’t have fun on this trip, you need to check into the fun-hospital.

Your Wine Coach:

Laurie Forster is one of America’s leading wine experts and author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. Laurie is a Certified Sommelier, National Speaker and TV personality who’s not afraid to tell you her first wine came from a box. Her edgy approach to demystifying wine caught the eye of major networks and led her to guest appearances on the Dr Oz Show, FOX Morning News, Martha Stewart Living Today and ABC News at Noon.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Monday, June 20

Fly into Portland in the morning (or the night before). Our driver will pick you up mid-day and drive you (1 hour) to McMinnville, one of Oregon’s most historic towns in the heart of the Willamette Valley, which will serve as our headquarters for the week.

We’ll stay at the lovely and luxurious Atticus hotel. The Atticus is an independently owned and operated luxury hotel that reflects the rich history of McMinnville, Here, you’ll get to revel in the wine country lifestyle.

Around 6:30pm we’ll enjoy a welcome meet and greet with drinks at our hotel bar.

Then we’ll dine in style at the Red Hills Kitchen conveniently located in our hotel. Tonight, your wine guide for the week, Laurie Foster, The Wine Coach® will give us some introductory lessons on how to properly taste and evaluate wine during our meal.

Day 2  – Tuesday, June 21

Today we’ll focus on hyper local wines as we explore our immediate area, with down-time to shop and stroll around town.

We’ll be hitting up the Carlton Winemakers Studio in Carlton, OR just a short ride away. There are 16 wineries here under one roof and the concept was hatched as a cooperative winery to facilitate the sharing of the wine making tools plus the camaraderie doesn’t hurt. We’ll enjoy both a wine and a charcuterie tasting at the studio.

If you want to taste more on your own this afternoon, then you can head over to Elizabeth Chambers or Eyrie. You’ll have some free time as the day winds down to walk back to the hotel, taste more, shop or simply rest before dinner.

Tonight, we’ll sit back and savor a true gourmet treat at Thistle, a hot spot that recently won restaurant of the year in Oregon. With a small menu, a careful and considerate chef, and local oysters, this is the kind of place that makes the term new-American cuisine actually mean something. As it is the summer solstice, we’ll raise a glass to the sun and appreciate the longest day of the year in style.

Day 3 – Wednesday, June 22

Today we’ll get our creative juices flowing by visiting the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. While there are always interesting traveling exhibits, their permanent collection boasts contemporary and modernist art by well-known prominent northwestern artists, contemporary work by Native Americans, as well as works on paper.

Following that, lucky for us, we’ll have a tour, tasting and lunch at the Willamette Valley Vineyards with the owner or the winery Director. After you’re satiated, we’ll give you some free time to stroll this beautiful property.

Dinner tonight after a welcome rest at our hotel is at Tina’s, a charming place that specializes in “wine cuisine”. Save some room for their delicious dessert cocktails.

Day 4 – Thursday, June 23

Today, we’re headed to Alexana for a tour and tasting at this estate owned by renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Madaiah Revana, who puts a renewed emphasis on the science proving that wine is good for heart heath!

For lunch we’ll amble over to the Stoller Family Estate founded by Bill Stoller. We are thrilled to have Melissa Burr, one of the region’s top winemakers join us for lunch … and a tasting, of course!

This afternoon we’ll have the opportunity to luxuriate at the Allison Resort & Spa. Perhaps you’ll want to try out their Himalayan Salt Therapy room, their Zen Garden massage or a wine facial. This is your time to relax and indulge. (One treatment included).

We’ll return to our hotel for a rest in the afternoon.

Tonight, we’ll get to enjoy a mixology class with the one and only Prairie Rose aka Bit by a Fox. Coincidentally both Doni (GG2P’s founder) & Laurie know her, so it seemed like kismet that we meet up and take part in her traveling speakeasy. As someone who wrote a book on cocktails, let me tell you this gal is a real expert!

Dinner tonight is on your own. Our suggested stop is Pizza Capo for proper pies fired in a wood-burning oven.

Day 5 – Friday, June 24

To start off our day, we’ll be visiting Durant, at Red Ridge farms which houses an olive mill, a garden and nursery, and a winery. This place has it all! We’ll learn all about the production and then have the pleasure of an olive oil tasting.

Today we’ll relish a real Farm-to-Table Lunch at the Mac Market, a community driven artisanal establishment housed in an old factory. There are a myriad of food purveyors on-site as well as some foodie souvenir shopping available.

We’ll keep your afternoon free for wandering, resting, reading or shopping.

Spanish tapas are on the menu for dinner tonight at the award winning La Rambla. Their lamb nachos are to die for!

Day 6 – Saturday, June 25

One can’t live on wine alone. I don’t know about you, but every day I need my coffee. Like everything else in the Northwestern part of the country, they’ve taken things to another level in Oregon. This morning we’ll stop into the Flag & Wire roastery where the owner will lead us through a coffee tasting. We’ll carefully consider the various flavors and aromas much like you might do with wine or beer (which we are expert at by now). You’ll walk away with a new appreciation of the nuances and layers of this important yet ubiquitous beverage.

After fueling up, we’ll head out to try forest-bathing* and waterfall hunting at  Silver Falls State Park. Where else can you walk behind a waterfall? (*Forest Bathing, as described by the Global Wellness Institute: “Forest bathing and forest therapy (or shinrin-yoku) broadly means taking in, in all of one’s senses, the forest atmosphere. Not simply a walk in the woods, it is the conscious and contemplative practice of being immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the forest”).

Lunch today will be at the Xicha Brewing Company which not only brews their own beers, but their authentic Mexican comida will be a welcome change of pace.

Our afternoon’s tasting will be at Adelsheim Vineyards, one of the Valley’s oldest (just turned 50!) and most esteemed vineyards.

We’ll spend our final evening dining at Maysara Winery, home to the American (wine) dream for the Momtazi family. Moe & Flora Momtazi escaped Iran after the Shah was overthrown and were able to flee to the US. Moe was an engineer by trade, but his dream was to have a winery which he realized with the purchase of 496 acres in McMinnville in 1997. Along with his wife and 3 daughters they bio-dynamically farm this land and create amazing wines.

Day 7 – Sunday, June 26

All good things must come to an end. Today we must return home to our “normal lives”, but we’ll savor all the great wines sipped, good laughs and new friendships formed for many years to come.

 

Trip Notes:

GG2P reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!

Vegetarians & Vegans – Not to worry – will be well fed in all restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

Trip Cost

Trip Cost: $6,600*

(* Price is for a single studio room. Upgrade to a suite for an add’l $75/night).

  • * All our trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places we stay. Everyone gets their own fabulous room! If you’re traveling with a friend/relative, or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, we can usually organize double occupancy at a reduction in cost. Please inquire.
  • * All our trips are priced in the home currency of the trip’s location; however, we will invoice you in the equivalent USD calculated at the exchange rate at the time of invoice.
  • Interest-free payment plans are available. Please inquire.

What’s included?

  • Everything stated in itinerary above including all meals plus wine or beer with dinner
  • Lodging at unique hotels
  • All guides, experts, and entry fees
  • Your wine tasting and cooking experiences
  • One spa treatment
  • All local transport including airport transfers

What’s not Included?

  • Roundtrip airfare to Portland, Oregon
  • Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
  • All personal souvenir purchases or wines you want to take or ship home
  • Additional spa treatments
  • Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

If you have questions, press the Inquire Now button above, and complete the form. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.

If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.

Our cancellation policy is here.

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