Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Really Big Al

Final: Wine tasting in Oregon & Washington, Spring 2017

Posted by Really Big Al, Mar 2, 2017.

We flew out west in early March (04 March 2017) to continue our annual wine tasting / visiting trips with relatives and friends.  The hotels and other places to stay were all set, but the wineries on the visit list were not totally determined in advance.  We planned two days of tasting in the Willamette Valley (McMinnville, Oregon) and two days of tasting in the Columbia Valley (Walla Walla, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington).  One special activity was a 4-hour limo ride in Walla Walla to several wineries. 

I added info and a few pictures as we proceeded through the wine tasting vacation.  The Snooth forum had a few issues with hosting pictures of course, but those were resolved after a few days.

Places where we stayed and the dates we were there:

Kimpton Palladian 'Park & Play' in Seattle, WA:  04, 05, 13, 14 March

Youngberg Hill Bed & Breakfast in McMinnville, OR:  06, 07 March

my middle sister Carol's house in Corvallis, OR:  08, 09 March 

Cameo Heights Mansion in Walla Walla, WA:  10, 11, 12 March

Here's a picture of Sandra and Kelly F. on our previous March wine tasting vacation in 2016.  We love these little excursions...

NOTE:  Web site updated with over 250 pictures!

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Replies

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Reply by amour, Mar 3, 2017.

Wishing you the best, SANDRA AND REALLY BIG AL!

WHAT A PITY THAT GHOST HILL TASTING ROOM IS CLOSED AT THIS TIME!

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 3, 2017.

That's a lot of moving around within a relatively short period of time, Al. How much by car? Any by air?

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Reply by outthere, Mar 3, 2017.

Party at Al's house! You guys bring the tree rat and I'll supply the Peter Vs

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 3, 2017.

We are renting a car of course, so I'll do most of the driving.  Driving to Walla Walla will be an experience I bet, as we go over the Cascades.  I hope I can rent an AWD vehicle, like the Jeep we had last year (with it's heated steering wheel).  Keep your winery visit ideas coming in.

Oh I forgot another reservation we have.  It's a special Provisions food pairing / tasting at Soter Vineyards in Willamette Valley.  We visited this winery last year and we probably should have joined their wine club.  Perhaps this year?

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Reply by amour, Mar 3, 2017.

TASTE WASHINGTON MONTH:  MARCH 1 - MARCH 31,  2017

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Reply by EMark, Mar 3, 2017.

Have a good time, Al.  We look forward to your reports.

As an aside, Mrs. EMark and I both like Kimpton hotels very much.

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Reply by vin0vin0, Mar 3, 2017.

RBA, if you can, while you're in McMinnville, schedule an appt. with Marcus at Matello/Goodfellow Wines and also grab lunch at the Valley Commissary, which is right across the parking lot. These will be a highlight of your trip.

Have a great trip!  Must be time for us East Coasters to head West, the CFO and I head out to Sonoma/Napa tomorrow for a weeks worth of good eating and great drinking. I'll post my trip on a separate thread.

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2017.

Still looks like Biztrip logistics, Al. Thought you guys were retired?  ;-)

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 4, 2017.

We like to pack a lot into our trips.  I can't remember the last time we just sat around and watched TV while on vacation.  Too much to see in this world.  

Thanks for the ideas V V.  I'll keep showing the comments you guys and gals post to Sandra for last minute possible changes. 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 4, 2017.

Who said anything about watching TV? Just like to keep time in region long enough and open enough to allow follow up on leads on the ground, rather than planning everything ahead of time like some package tour with every two-hour slot accounted for within a limited number of days, and with too many moves from place to place in too short a period of time. Proportion of road time to destination time can become problematic, and road time needs to be open-ended, too, in case something comes up. My travel is the opposite of the cruise ship approach, I suppose. The question on being retired was directed more towards the potential for something more open-ended. Not at all dissing good research done ahead of time, far from it.

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Reply by rckr1951, Mar 4, 2017.

RBA - What a wonderful retirement you have. You and Sandra are young enough that you'll actually remember them for years.  It's good to be you two.  Have a ton of fun, looking forward to your pics.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 6, 2017.

Well, we've been to the wine tasting rooms up in Woodinville WA for three wine tastings and today we drove down to McMinnville OR for the

 

Provisions wine/food pairing meal at Soter Vineyards.  We joined the wine club at  Soter so that makes eleven wine clubs now.  Having a wonderful time even with the rain and snow.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 8, 2017.

Al, see if you can take the Clipper (from downtown Seattle) over to Victoria for a visit! 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 8, 2017.

No time to visit Vancouver on this trip, since Sandra wants to see more of Seattle.

Yesterday we visited four wineries, starting when we met my sister Carol and her husband Rich at Bergstrom.  This was a high-end experience and I know you guys would love the wines here.  Next we stopped at Arbor Brook which is a more casual place, but the Pinot was still very good.  After lunch at the Red Hill Market, we tasted at De Ponte Cellars - also very nice.  My sister headed back home to Corvallis after that one, and Sandra and I went back to Youngberg Hill for a guest-only tasting of their Pinot's.  We love staying at this B&B / winery!  The guy in the Youngberg Hill photo is the winemaker / owner Wayne and he is with an employee who was pouring the wines.  We had a good chat with him and we shared a Mark Ryan Syrah I had opened the previous night with him.  Later we had a nice dinner in McMinnville (Thistle) and I had another glass of Oregon Pinot with a pork dish.  Lots of wine on this Tuesday!

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 8, 2017.

Sweet kitty yesterday at De Ponte Cellars.  She walked over to where Sandra was sitting and climbed up on her lap.

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Reply by MJET, Mar 8, 2017.

Sounds and looks great RBA! Keep it coming!!!! 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 10, 2017.

Thursday was mostly a tourist thing to see a few places near my sister, like a museum in Brownsville, Oregon.  We then paid for a big dinner at Del Alma to celebrate my oldest sisters 70th birthday.  We opened two bottles at the restaurant, paying the $8 per bottle corkage fee.  Today (Friday) we drove the 300 miles to Walla Walla Washington and now we shall spend three nights in the Cameo Heights Mansion.  Very nice accommodations here!

Oh, Rich (my sister Carol's husband), Sandra and I did a big Pinot Noir tasting at their house on Wednesday evening.  First six bottles and then Rich opened a bottle his friend had made too.  The best of these?  The DuckhornGoldeneye from Anderson Valkey in CA.  All the Pinots were nice though.  His friends home-made wine came in last but it was a drinkable Pinot Noir.

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Reply by rckr1951, Mar 11, 2017.

RBA - How did you get the juice stay in those bottles?  That's quite a trick.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 11, 2017.

You can get 'wined out' on these trips.  I bet I drank three glasses that night.

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Reply by amour, Mar 11, 2017.

YEAHHH DUCKHORNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN REIGNS!!!

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