When you think of American wines I’m sure the first place that comes to mind is California. While California does have a large amount of land dedicated to growing wine producing grapes, they aren’t the only Pacific state that does so. Washington and Oregon also come to play…and they play for KEEPS!
While we were in Portland a few weeks back, Joe had the great idea to drive to Mount Hood and check out the wineries there. At first I didn’t want to, opting to spend more time in Portland. After a rather disappointing sight-seeing day in Portland I quickly changed my tune and decided a day with wineries would be just grand. We rented a car EXTREMELY last minute (thank you Enterprise!) and headed out to Mount Hood.
Before we made it all the way to Mount Hood, we of course stopped for breakfast at Pine State Biscuits. I’ve read that their biscuits are to die for so we found a parking spot and waited in line for 45 minutes. I got the friend chicken, pickle, honey, stone ground mustard biscuit sandwich and a cinnamon roll. Joe got the fried chicken, apple butter, cheddar cheese and bacon biscuit sandwich and a biscuit with apple butter on the side. Everything was DELICIOUS but my favorite was the perfect cinnamon roll. MMMMMM cinnamon. The biscuits were wonderful but I don’t think I would wait 45 minutes again for them.
Now that we had food in our bellies it was time to hit the road again. The reason we choose Mount Hood was because it was only an hour drive outside of Portland. So, like, the drive into work for me 🙂 It is also a very beautiful drive…or so we were told. It was raining the whole way so we didn’t get to see the beauty like I wanted but enough to agree that yes, this would have been a GORGEOUS drive the day before.
We made our way to Mount Hood and started our tour de wine. We hit up 5 wineries and 2 breweries. Yeah…a lot of alcohol was consumed. I was proud of us though, we only came home with 4 bottles of wine and we didn’t join a single wine club! Put that down for a big win for us!
The first winery we went to was Cathedral Ridge Winery. This was one of my favorites of the 5 we visited. The land it was on had beautiful views, the vines were on the property and the staff was very friendly. Plus, the wines were pretty solid. I didn’t love all of them, but hey, you cant love them all. We brought home 2 bottles from this Winery.
Marchesi Vineyards was next and there were vines EVERYWHERE!!! I loved it and wished it was a better day so we could have taken a tour of the land. Instead we went inside to the adorable living room type tasting room. There was screened in outdoor seating with heaters (it was 40 degrees) and inside seating. I decided to sit inside next to the black and white cat so I could get my pet fix. The wines here were decent but nothing I wanted to take home with me. I loved the environment of the tasting room and it was nice that they gave you a small charcuterie board with the tasting. On our second tasting of 6 glasses each, we definitely needed some substance! We left here with no bottles of wine.
Mt Hood Winery was the next stop and my favorite of the bunch. Not only was the place HUGE the staff was also very friendly, knowledgeable and even offered to be our tour guide of the city if we ever came back! How nice right! I really liked the wine here and we came away with 2 bottles. Again, I wish it was a nice day because you can clearly see Mount Hood from this winery. Our host put our minds at ease though and told us you couldn’t see Mount Hood yesterday. While the sky may have been clear mountains can still hide behind clouds. That made me feel so much better!
After Mount Hood Winery we went and got some Juanita’s chips! Mainly because the factory where they are made is right across the street from the winery. These chips were so good and fresh. It might have been because we were feeling pretty good but I tried some more when we got home from our trip and they were just as delicious. Happy dance.
For the last winery we actually went across the river into Washington to visit Domaine Pouillon. NOT…A…FAN. First of all, the land was like an abandoned farm, second there were kids running around the inside. When I go taste wine, I don’t expect to ever encounter children. Not…a…fan. We quickly drank our wine and left without purchasing anything. I cant remember these wines at all and I’m pretty sure its because I was so distracted by the screaming. Booo!
Back over to Oregon Joe stopped at pFriem Family Brewers. I may have taken a small-ish nap in the car while he went inside…but you’ll never know! Joe didn’t have anything to say about the beer here one way or another and since I don’t drink beer I cant say either. On to our last stop and for food.
Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom was said to have the best pizza in town and the best beer. While Joe will agree about the beer, you wont hear me say that about the pizza. Yes it was good but best…that’s a stretch. The homemade root beer was really good though and Joe said it was his favorite brewery out of all the ones we visited Portland included!
After dinner it was time to head back to Portland and make it to Multnomah Falls before dark. We made it with just 15 minutes to spare! The falls are the second tallest in America and its really just beautiful. I’m so glad we went at the time we did because there were only 2 other families. On our drive out I saw at least 10 walking up to the falls. That’s not even including the ones that were already there!
A few photos and playing with snow later, we headed back to our car to get back to Portland. Once in Portland we made a quick stop for some ice cream at Salt and Straw…all I can say is…WORTH IT! I asked Joe to wait in line since my stomach was so over all the eating out and traveling and such. 45 minutes later we were ordering our ice cream. I got honey lavender and cinnamon roll…delish!
After ice cream it was back to the hotel to figure out how to pack art and 4 bottles of wine. Spoiler alert…it all backed just fine! Thank you Oregon for showing me the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I cannot wait to find myself back here again soon.
CHIME IN!!! Have you ever been to Oregon? Is Portland on your bucket list? Wine or beer?