My first-class team of co-workers recently took home the marketing team of the year award (ain’t no thang) and to celebrate, we planned a fun bonsai trip to the city of roses for two days of pure indulgence.
Portland has always been high on my list of places I want to visit. Honestly, the only person I’ve ever known to be slightly unimpressed was my dad who so boldly put it, “There’s just a bunch of people doing nothing up there.” He clearly missed all of the people that have jobs and happen to make stunning fermented beverages but we can forgive him for that, right?
After we checked into Hotel Vintage, we made our way down to the Pearl district, which is littered with delicious food trucks, city lofts and local breweries. One thing that struck me immediately about Portland was how clean it was. It reminded me of a greener San Francisco that moved at a slower pace.
We had some time to kill before our BrewCycle Tour started so we set out to… taste through some more beers. We hit Deschutes & Rogue and moseyed on over to BrewCycle to get a light workout in while we drank through all the beer in Portland.
The tour was a blast! We laughed the entire time and people were definitely jealous of our hot wheels jammin’ 90’s hip hop — it was sort of like if the Flintstones were really into Tupac. After the tour we regrouped at the hotel for some Pinot and cheese before making our way to dinner, which was obviously finished off by a late night visit to Voodoo Donuts.
My buddy Kyle (the one with the beard and glasses) recommended that we go to Antica Terra to kick off our day of wine tasting through the Willamette Valley. At first, we thought we had the wrong place — our driver must’ve gotten the directions wrong. Nope. We we’re greeted right away and told they were “ready for us.” They walked us through two rooms that you would expect to find in a large warehouse but not a high-end wine tasting experience. Well you know that saying, “never judge a book by its cover”? This was one of those times. The third room they took us to was stunning. They had gorgeous lighting hanging from a repurposed wooden ladder and a beautiful table with crafted tableware. More importantly, the wines were spectacular!
Penner-Ash (one of our company’s newest acquisions) is located in one of the most premiere wine growing areas in all of Oregon. They overlook the Willamette Valley and boast stunning views, gorgeous Pinot Noir wines and have been known to host some pretty lavish wine parties. When we arrived they were setting up a teepee for their summer camp party. I only wish we could’ve stayed for that wine club pick-up party!
Our last stop before heading home was another recent JFW acquisition, Gran Moraine, which just so happens to make one of my favorite Pinot Noir wines. If you like old world wines but are most partial to California Pinot Noir, you HAVE to try Gran Moraine’s Pinot Noir wines. Further, if you ever get the chance to visit them, do it — the property is just breathtaking.
There was no shortage of weird in Portland, and it’s clearly what makes it such a unique place. I can’t wait to take Katie back up there with me next time — we definitely have some more exploring to do in Oregon.