Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oregon Wine Country: @Portlandia, Wine and Photographs

September and October are the perfect time of year here in the Portland PDX area. We usually have warm days and sparkling sunshine. My husband and I look forward to fall. We often take a drive out through the wonder emerging wine country located SW of downtown Portland. There is a tour route with signs that will lead you around but better yet, there is a smartphone App called Oregon Wine to keep you on the right roads. If you love stunning scenery, good wine and trendy small communities, this is the place for you.

Our back road drive took us to a small winery called A Blooming Hill Vineyard and Winery located off of Blooming Hill Road near Hillsboro, Oregon. It was there we found a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, a patio in the sun and some amazing unique wines. 

View A Blooming Hill Vineyard in a larger map
In many cases the winery and the experience they offer is what makes the day memorable. In this case we particularly enjoyed the fact that the winery was low key. There is nothing pretentious about the home where the tasting room is located and the patio is lovely but simple. It offered the perfect casual Portland wine tasting experience.

This winery is one of those quirky places that make PDX so interesting. It turns out Blooming Hill makes the wine of choice for Portlandia (TV series based on all that is weird about Portland).  This is the story Holly Witte emailed me. Holly owns the wine along with her husband:
The people from Portlandia called us and asked if we would donate wine for their guest stars, which we did, of course.  Then, one night, we started getting texts from wine club members that they saw it being poured on Portlandia!  I followed up and found out that they liked the wine so decided to use it on air. That was exciting.  This year, they told me they are thinking about a skit around the wine and, of course, we were happy to donate more to them!  We'll see what they do with it.
So in turns out Portlandia like free stuff. I wonder if their guest stars work for free just to become a part of that wacky experience. I suppose not.

Let me say right now the Portlandia TV series is one of the things that Keeps Portland Weird but Blooming Hill Wine is not. It is extraordinary. They grow all their own grapes and make the wines on the estate. Their Pinot Noirs are bright and perfect. They lay claim to a Pinot Noir that is a double gold medal winner...yes, that is one better than a gold medal. They are selling the award winning Pinot Noir for $20. 

We loved their Pinot Gris especially and bought a bottle to take to Arizona with us. Their Mingle Wine was interesting and inexpensive. It is made from a mingling of several types of grapes and is perfect for making Mimosas when mixed with orange juice. The winemaker told us he and his wife make a drink they have dubbed Minglemosas for breakfast on weekends. 

I have just added Portlandia's connection to A Blooming Hill Vineyard and Winery to my list of things I will talk about when Portland comes up in the conversation next time.

McMinnville, Oregon
Rooftop Restaurant at McMenamins Oregon Hotel
McMinnville Or. (iPhone photo)
We have our very own version of California wine country here in Oregon...right down to a St. Helena clone.  Honestly, our McMinnville so incredible. It is located south of Portland on Oregon Highway 99. Good shopping, beautiful restaurants and a lovely olive oil/vinegar shop. McMinnville is home to Linfield College so the community reflects a college towns youthful feel while still being trendy and upscale. We had not been there for several years and I was just blown away! It just gets better and better 
We had lunch on the rooftop of the old Hotel Oregon. The hotel was restored by the McMenamins Brewpub group and is a destination on its own.
Here are a few pictures I took with my camera and my iPhone. Enjoy!
Mt. Hood as seen from A Blooming Hill Vineyard and Winery
Late Harvest Grapes
Fall Colors at Bald Peak State Park

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