Willamette Valley: Escape to Pinot Noir, Nature, Fine Dining, UFOs

Anderson Barrel Room

Anderson Barrel Room

UT San Diego carried my travel piece on escaping to Portland and the Willamette Valley. Enjoy new adventures in good wine and food, connecting with nature and even a little exercise. It’s an easy trek from Portland, which is an organoleptic adventure unto itself.

Wine bars and bistros are around every corner. Locals recommend: Pok Pok, authentic street/home cooking from Southeast Asia; Beast, creative prix fixe dinners; Wildwood, farm-to-table cuisine with international touches; and Bijou, for hearty breakfasts and lunch.

From Portland, it’s a leisurely 25-mile drive southwest to Newberg in the top of the Willamette Valley (35 miles from the airport). Wend your way south through Dundee and McMinnville, with side trips to wineries and restaurants in and around the towns. Consider finishing in Eugene, about two hours and 94 miles south of Newburg by car (130 miles to Portland International Airport).

Soter Tasting Room

Soter Tasting Room

The UT San Diego piece has more details on the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s largest wine region, with more than 300 wineries and most firmly committed to the cult of Pinot Noir, mostly made from Dijon clones on terroir somewhat similar to the limestone and clay found in Burgundy. Click through to learn about the UFOs. And drink on!

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