A couple months after our wine tasting weekend in Portland, we flew up again for an overnight trip to surprise our friend for her birthday. As her husband was in on the surprise, we strategically planned our 30 hour Oregon trip.
We took the 7AM flight out of LAX, landed 2 hours later. Once we arrived on our friend’s doorstep, she was greeted with a warm “Surprise!” She was totally caught off-guard and super excited. I always love the idea of surprising friends and family when they least expect it.
We even had time for a French breakfast of un café et un croissant and we were on the road at 11AM, headed towards wine country.
Itinerary for wine tasting day-trip from Portland
11:00 | Hit the road and leave Portland
12:00 | Wine tasting at Domaine Drouhin
13:30 | Lunch at Valley Commissary
14:45 | Coffee break! Espresso at Flag & Wire Coffee
15:30 | Wine tasting at Eyrie Vineyards
17:00 | Back to Portland for dinner!
We made a reservation at Domaine Drouhin and we were in great spirits for our first tasting. The Drouhin family owns and operates a well-known and respected winery in Burgundy that started its operation in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the 1980s. It was great to visit a French winery in Portland since there is such a similarity between Burgundy and Oregon pinots.
It looks like we brought the LA weather with us, because the sun was out and shining brightly. We didn’t plan it, but it turns out the Frenchman and I were matching in our blue turtlenecks and jeans.
We had a table for the four of us in a corner of the tasting room overlooking the cellar room. As you can tell, both Frenchmen were quite excited… probably at the prospect of getting some wine back in their veins.
Lunch at Valley Commissary
After our first tasting, we were ready for lunch. We headed towards McMinnville to Valley Commissary where we enjoyed a couple burgers and sandwiches with a glass of wine.
Espresso at Flag and Wire Coffee
The Frenchmen always need an espresso after their meal and the girls also needed a pick-me-up before the next wine tasting so we walked down the alley behind Valley Commissary to Flag and Wire Coffee. These guys actually close at 3PM, which we almost learned the hard way but thankfully they were very welcoming and let us in nonetheless for a nice cup of Joe (or rather, a strong and tasty espresso!)
Just down the street from our lunch and coffee spot is the tasting room for Eyrie Vineyards. We visited this tasting room back in 2012 and we are big fans of their wines. The tasting room is located in an industrial part of town rather than a scenic vineyard, but that doesn’t take away from the wine experience.
Eyrie is known as the first producer of Pinot gris in the United States and it’s founder, David Lett, was known as “Papa Pinot”. In 1975, Eyrie became the first American Pinot noir to compete successfully with the Pinot noirs of Burgundy.
The Frenchman getting behind the counter, reliving the days when he used to be in the wine industry. While these days are now gone, he does practice on a daily basis!
We like to take our time during our wine tasting experiences, chatting with the staff and retasting some wines when given the chance. As a result, we typically visit only 2 or 3 wineries each time. What this means, however, is that there are still plenty more Oregon wine trips in store for us in the near future!
Unless otherwise credited, all photos are by LesSoufflet.com