Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Willamette Valley

Most wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley close around 4pm, and my stay at the Columbia River Gorge meant a late arrival. Fortunately I found two wineries in Newberg that were open.

Penner-Ash was open until 5pm.

I wasn't the only one interested in the hillside vineyard's fall colors.

I chose to go with the $10 option instead of the $15 all-pinot option. The Viognier was my favorite... although, to be honest, I wasn't crazy about Penner-Ash's wines.

But the view over the area was pretty.

Next stop = Utopia Vineyard, perhaps the only winery in Willamette Valley open past 5pm (they close at 6pm).

Special deal for the weekend = tastes of all the wines for $10.

The majority of the people visiting the winery (not me, since I'm not a local) were there on account of an Oregon magazine's list of the best pinots. One of Utopia's was listed at #2 (2008, $48 a bottle).

The owner / wine-maker Daniel Warnshuis was also the one pouring at the bar and telling stories. Fantastic wines, and a great end to a wonderfully long day. Recommended.

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