Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#hipstervacay {Portland day 3}

Our third day in Portland was the only activity we booked in advance of our trip: a wine tour in the Willamette Valley. Connor found Backroads Wine Tour through Trip Advisor, as it was the highest rated tour in the area.

We knew we needed to have a hearty breakfast before our long day of wine tasting, so we found a cute old diner around the block from our apartment: Fuller's Coffee Shop. It had 2 u-shaped bars where you sit side-by-side, and the waitress is easily able to manage everyone. We ordered omelettes with a side of hashbrowns and a side of their homemade toast. It was good, stick-to-your-ribs food!

Our next stop was in search of more coffee. We found the other Stumptown cafe near us, which was located in the Ace Hotel. This place was even more hipster than the one we went to the day before. I felt so cool!
Stumptown's coffee bars are so gorgeous. I could hang out all day in one!
We sat and sipped our coffee in the lobby of the Ace, and worked on a crossword. That is our weekend tradition. Yes, we're old.

We headed back to our apartment to grab our things, and then our tour guide picked us up right outside our place. Talk about convenience! We drove into wine country to pick up the other couple that was joining us then made our first stop.

Stop 1: De Ponte Cellar
Luckily for us, the rain started tapering off as soon as we got to the first winery. We enjoyed some of De Ponte's pinot noirs while overlooking the Willamette Valley. It was gorgeous!
They had trimmed back all of the grape vines and were burning the dead branches, making my pictures quite smokey.
The clouds were spectacular, and kept moving and shifting around. It was breathtaking.

Our guide drove us to the next winery, and the sky started finally clearing up. We had to take some pictures right then because we weren't sure if the sun would hold!
We enjoyed our tasting at Bergstrom more than at De Ponte. The woman giving our tasting was really fun and knowledgeable. The Pinot Noirs were killer. So great that we decided to order a case!
We walked through the barrel room and out the back to the sunshine. Any vineyard dog will get lots of attention from us!
It was turning into such a gorgeous day!
We loved meeting this sweet couple, who also happened to be from NC!
I'm pretty sure we had purple teeth by this point...

It was finally time to eat some lunch, so our tour guide set it up while we stood outside

We had a private tasting (accidentally I think!) and were seated in their reserved room for lunch.
I loved the gorgeous table, which reminded us of a table we have that my grandfather made. This was one big tree slice! The legs were also stunning.

Check out our spread! We gorged on delicious charcuterie, cheese, and crackers before we started our tasting.

We had a wonderful tasting, and Carly truly hooked us up. I was able to purchase a bottle of their "sold out" Pinot Gris for Meredith, because she was watching Bowser. She also brought out some half-size bottles of 2008 & 2010 Pinot Noir, and gave us a vertical tasting along with the 2012 (which is THE YEAR for Willamette Pinots). We were sold on those, and brought back the 2008 & 2010 as a gift for Connor's boss and client (and ourselves, of course!). We also ordered a case of the 2012 Pinot, which we are expecting in April.

We admired the bar while the boys settled up. Check out the different layers of dirt! This shows the different areas in which they grow their grapes. That is a lot of variety!
Stop 4:  Soter Vineyards
Soter is by appointment only, as the tasting rooms are actually where people live. On the property, there is the big house, which holds the the living room, fireplace, and kitchen. There are two cabins right down from the big house that have bedrooms and smaller living areas. They had our tasting in one of the smaller cabins. It was so unique! We tried a few whites then moved on to their pinot noirs. The pinots were so good!
I'm pretty sure that after the 4th tasting, things started unraveling. It was hard to hold it together by this point! I definitely was chugging water at this point. It got a little silly...
I somehow managed to snap some good pictures on the Soter grounds. Here is one of the 2 sleeping cabins. Isn't it amazing?

Just the view of the rolling hills. I was in heaven!

Here is the inside of the big house. There was a lot of great little seating areas and a to die for kitchen.
The architecture was incredible in this place!

The end of our day! Purple teeth and all, we made it!
Here we are with our great tour guide, Jeffrey
He dropped us off at our door, and we heated up leftover pizza and called it a night. It was quite a long day!

If you have never been on a wine tour (it was my first!), you HAVE to make it happen. This was such a fun day, one we won't forget!

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Dee Stephens said...

Whew!! That WAS quite a day! Kinda like our 2nd day in Napa back in September. LOL! That's the day we got a driver and went to our first winery at 11am. LOL!!!
This is our kind of day. So, where in NC is that other couple from?
Do you plan to keep in touch?
Also, looks like by going in the middle of the week you guys had the place to yourself. That's nice.
The last place look amazing!

Health, Love & Fire said...

Isn't this area beautiful?! I'm lucky to live in such a gorgeous place! It's funny though because I've only been to one of the wineries you went to! with so many around here to choose from, it's hard to visit them all! I will definitely have to check a couple of those out!

Emily said...

OH MY GOSH look at that bar at Alexana! This geologist is geeking out!