Sarah & Wine – Willamette Valley Edition

Sarah was really patient with me when I decided to visit almost all the national parks in Oregon, in exchange I insisted  on treating her to get to spend the last day in the wine region.

We were flying that night, but we had all day to drink wine! We drove towards the Valley and drove next to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum where they keep the famous Spruce Goose. Unfortunately for Eitan, he had promised a day of wineries for Sarah, he almost had a heart attack caused by FOMO when he accepted that we were going to miss it, but wanted Sarah to have her nice day and a Spruce Goose museum was not her ideal way to spend a day.  So we drove around until we found the main city close to the wineries to have something to eat. We found an amazing Peruvian restaurant with delicious fusion food!

The Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region, has two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is home to more than 500 wineries. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing areas in the world.

Our first stop was the Rex Hill Winery. Btw, the wineries we picked were decided by Sarah’s outstanding ability to find good deals on yelp, gracias Sarita!!

We were the only ones there so we got a very nice guy to explain the wines and recommend other wineries around the Valley.

Buffered from Pacific storms on the west by the Coast Range, the valley follows the Willamette River north to south for more than a hundred miles from the Columbia River near Portland to just south of Eugene. To the east, the Cascade Range draws the boundary between the Willamette Valley’s misty, cool climate and the drier, more extreme climate of eastern Oregon.

The second winery was the Raptor Ridge, again we were the only ones! This started to feel like the fake grocery stores in North Korea just made for tourists.

The name Pinot Noir is derived from the French words for pine and black. The pine alluding to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.

All these wineries had some sort of smell displays, where you can smell different scents like coffee, flowers,  and spices that Improve your ability to pick out aromas in a glass of wine.

The often finicky Willamette Valley climate is the promised land for Pinot noir in America. Wineries also produce Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Melon, Gewürztraminer, sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc and some Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot among other lesser-known varieties.

The next and last winery was Ponzi, which was the fanciest one and by far the best wine we tried that day.

Apparently, this wine has 96 points, which means it is really good! and guess what? it was delicious as expected!

We headed back to the airport stopping one more time at the gas station where Eitan got out of the car to pump gas, an angry woman walked towards us screaming that I cant do that! do what??? Eitan asked. You can pump gas by yourself!! New Jersey and Oregon don’t trust people to not blow themselves up while pumping gas, and the states would rather leave the job to professionals.

Long ago, all gas stations were full-service. The first self-service station opened in California in 1947, and the idea caught on across the country. Only Oregon and New Jersey, for their litany of reasons, decided to keep doing things the old way. Granted, we never had an issue in our 5 days here in Oregon so we had to get screamed at least once.

On the flight home, there was a moment we could smell the smoke from the huge forest fires from inside the plan. It was basically a layer of smoke that settled a few thousand feet high. Trust me, It is a smell you don’t want to be smelling during a flight!!


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