Last week, I took a long-overdue vacation to see my brother who just moved from Oakland up to Portland. I decided to drive and make a few stops along the way.
Our first stop was Crater Lake in Oregon, which is a surprisingly short-ish drive from the Bay Area. We made it in just about 7 hours. Unfortunately the campsites in the park were all full, so we stayed just outside of the park at Diamond Lake, where there were plenty of first-come, first-serve sites available.
Our next stop was the Columbia River Gorge, which everyone was telling me I had to see. The above photograph is from the Vista House, just off Highway 30.
Along the highway that follows the gorge are tons of waterfalls and parks you can stop at and hike out to. We only made 2 stops, but saw plenty of glorious waterfalls. We may be in a drought down here in California, but up in Oregon everything is still lush and green.
See? So much green!
We also visited the Willamette Valley, a must-see winemaking region up in Oregon that’s just an hour or two outside of Portland. We paid a visit to Brooks Winery, Cristom, and Byrn Mawr.
Highlights from Brooks were the 2013 Amycas white blend and the dry muscat. Bright, floral, and so very fresh!
At Cristom, the grapes weren’t even done with verasion yet, while here in California we are already up to our eyeballs in harvest.
It was a great week off, and we enjoyed the spoils of the Pacific Northwest. If you find yourself up in Portland, make sure to head out to the countryside and buy some of those famous Oregon blackberries – the enormous ones. If they are fresh, they taste like a blackberry blossom smells.
Loads of new wines will be added to the shop this week. Stay tuned for updates!