Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oregon's Wine Country

A quick, 45-minute drive from Portland yields the most incredible views (on a clear day) and some very tasty wine.

Penner-Ash Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium
View from Penner-Ash Vineyard.

Last Saturday, our friend Sam drove us out to wine country - Dundee and Newberg, to be exact - and we did nothing but bask in the long-awaited sunshine and sip on some damn good vino.

Winderlea Vineyard, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium
View from Winderlea Vineyard.

Our day trip brought us to three wineries and one highly-rated restaurant, all of which are worth checking out if you should find yourself in this spectacular nook of Oregon.

Argyle Winery, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium
Argyle Winery.

First stop: Argyle Winery

Argyle Winery, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

Argyle's gorgeous new digs are borderline breathtaking. The indoor atmosphere screams class without being pretentious, and the floor-to-ceiling windows don't make you feel like you're inside at all. Being that this particular day was [finally!] sunny and warm, we opted to sit outside on their patio and sip on their sparkling "Pop Flight" (a perfect choice considering it was 11 a.m.). The flight was a mere $15 for three pours, but all of ours were free thanks to Sam's membership in their Wine Club. After the tasting, we all left with bottles of their 2011 Black Brut, with one coming in mighty handy during lunchtime (more on that later).

Second stop: Penner-Ash Vineyard

Penner-Ash Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

Holy views! Penner-Ash is set atop a high hill, boasting incredible views of the countryside. We joyfully sipped through our tastings, propped up in Adirondack chairs overlooking the sights (the chairs even had nooks for our wine glasses - genius). To be honest, the wine here was the least impressive of the day, but I still enjoyed sipping their pinot noirs while soaking in that breathtaking view.

Penner-Ash Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

Third stop - lunch! Red Hills Market
Great sandwiches, incredible fries, wines and beer galore to purchase or consume on-site (with the option of also B.Y.O.B.'ing for a $10 corkage fee) - this place is the spot to go for a casual lunch between wineries. Despite the long line, we quickly ordered, snagged a table outside, popped a bottle of that Argyle Black Brut, and indulged in one heck of a weekend lunch. I noshed on the RHM Veggie sandwich ($9), which consisted of house pesto, pickled seasonal vegetables, local greens, and Briar Rose Chevré. For the table, we split the Wood-Fired Jojo’s ($6), seasoned hand-cut fries served with chunky Bleu cheese dressing.

Fourth stop: Winderlea Vineyard & Winery

Winderlea Vineyard, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

Incredible views everywhere you look, a modern and sleek design, AND amazing pinot noir to boot? That's Winderlea. This was our entire group's favorite stop of the day, and I am still regretting not buying a bottle to take home. We all, again, did a tasting (the way to go in wine country!), but the owner also brought us out an extra pour of another pinot noir, because he's just a generous guy like that. I could have easily hung out on their back deck all day, taking in the views and sipping on that fruity, flavorful pinot.

Winderlea Vineyard, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

While I love Napa Valley for all that it is, I am psyched to have a little slice of my own wine country heaven a short drive from Portland. The prices, views, and wines themselves are worth the short trip. Z and I already have a return trip in the works!

For the local readers, have you been to Oregon's wine country before? If yes, what are some of your favorite stops?


  1. I took home a bottle of Winderlea Pinot Noir Rose and I can't wait to drink it when it warms up here. This day looks perfect. I agree, Argyle and Red Hills Market are both amazing!

    1. I've been eager to visit OR's wine country ever since I read your post!