Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wine Tasting in the West Hills

Ah, wine, how I love thee!

For my sister's birthday last weekend she decided she'd like to go on a tour of our local wineries. We've both done some wine tours in Napa and Sonoma wine country down in California, but hadn't really done a nice winery tour around our own famed Willamette Valley wineries.

We did a little internet research ahead of time and found that the tasting rooms just west of Salem are MUCH more reasonably priced for tastings than the ones to the north towards Yamhill and Dundee. Most of the wine tastings we did were in the $5 range for a flight of 5-10 wines. The Yamhill county wineries tended to be somewhere around $10-$15 per flight.

We found about 5 tasting rooms we wanted to try out and mapped out our journey. We hired a friend to drive us and my sister packed a cooler of snacks, which turned out to be the most excellent idea EVER. We got pretty hungry along the way and there is no place to stop for a bite to eat once you are out there in wine country.  There are, however, many vineyards and wineries that provide picnic tables, so it worked out well.

We ended up going to Orchard Heights, Cubanisimo, Redhawk, and Stangeland. We really wanted to try Bethel Heights as well because we had heard lots of great stuff about it, but we didn't make it there before they closed. Each winery we visited was unique, but they were all great and had delicious wines, so its difficult for me to pick a favorite. Orchard Heights had some great wines, Cubanisimo had a beautiful tasting room, Redhawk had amazing views from the tasting room counter, and Stangeland was a friendly little spot with a great Rose wine (which I normally don't like).

There were so many other wineries that we didn't make it to, that we all decided we'd have to do it again sometime. I figure by the time we get through all the wineries in the area, they'll have wines from a new year and we'll have to start over and try them all again. Oh well! I think I can handle that just fine.


G*J said...

orchard heights has a great sunday brunch also

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