Labor Day Winery Tour

One of the great reasons to live in Portland is the easy access to wineries. The Willamette Valley is filled with a lot of great producers, many that aren't carried in stores, even in the immediate area. For Labor Day, I decided to head South and check out a few of the ones I hadn't been to before. 

Lovely morning view from Vista Hills' back porch treehouse. 

Lovely morning view from Vista Hills' back porch treehouse. 

I started the morning at Vista Hills, which I had been to before. They have an absolutely amazing view and some fantastic wines. We were a little early though, so we just sort of poked around and took some pictures. Next time we'll definitely need to hang out longer and do a full tasting. I can't wait to take in this view for an extended period of time. 

We were on a bit of a tight schedule, though, so we moved on to Domaine Serene. I'd never tried any of their wines before, so we opted to split the Estate (high end) tasting ($40). It was very pleasant and a fun experience. The staff were top notch and incredibly friendly. Also, there was this awesome mammoth in the yard. 

I would totally share a bottle of Pinot Noir with this guy. Too bad he's behind a fence.

I would totally share a bottle of Pinot Noir with this guy. Too bad he's behind a fence.

After a quick hop down the road, we hit up Domaine Drouhin.

The patio at Domaine Drouhin made for a lovely day of staring into the distance. 

The patio at Domaine Drouhin made for a lovely day of staring into the distance. 

While the two places have similar names, they were very different. At Domaine Drouhin we only got to try 3 wines (we didn't share this time) but for a much cheaper price ($10 each) and at a much slower pace. We enjoyed sitting out on the patio and taking in the gorgeous view. 

The tasting was lovely. My pictures were a little less awesome. Either way, I had a great time. 

The tasting was lovely. My pictures were a little less awesome. Either way, I had a great time. 

Lunch had to be next, so we headed into town for a bite. After a few minutes away from the wine, we were ready to get back at it. 

Next up was Torri Mor. I'd heard they made a wonderful Port, so I was anxious to try it. It was indeed amazing (so good I didn't take a picture). The tasting room there was Japanese themed. That theme stretched out into a beautiful little garden that I took a quick walk through before heading to the next, and last winery on the list. 

A very tranquil walk to help round out the day.

A very tranquil walk to help round out the day.

The last stop was at Lange Estate Wines. The tasting room there was very inviting and friendly. We samples a huge number of wines for our small tasting fee (I think it was $15). It was the perfect way to round out the day. I wish I'd managed to take some pictures there, but I totally forgot. I will say that the 2012 Rose of Sangiovese was my absolute favorite from the tasting menu. 

Do you have a favorite Oregon wine producer?