Part of my time in Portland included a day trip to the Willamette Valley, which is considered the heart of Oregon's wine country. It's a beautifully lush area, which starts about 45 minutes south of Portland, and it's like something out of a fairytale. The color green takes on a multitude of shades and shadows, and neatly planted grape vines traverse the gently rolling hills.
My friend, Tim, was nice enough to drive me around, stopping wherever I asked, so that I could jump out and take a picture or two (or three!). It was good to catch up with him, and even though it was a cloudy day, we still enjoyed the scenery. It was fun to drive without a map, yet only occasionally ending up on a road that had dead-ended! It seemed as though no matter where we went, there was always a good photo opportunity. I'd love to go back to the Dundee Hills area, and spend a weekend, as I think one could really enjoy early mornings and late evenings there.
Eventually it was time for lunch, and we drove back toward Carlton and the Horse Radish, where I'd eaten before several years ago. The Horse Radish is a cheese and wine bar, and it serves a great lunch. The woman at the counter proudly told me that her daughter is its new owner. Another daughter showed me out back, where she'd been working on the landscaping. The food was great: we had a cheese and charcuterie plate, as well as a grilled cheese and proscuitto sandwich. The wine tasting was equally good! If you're in the neighborhood, I highly recommend this place. It's on Main Street, and easy to find.
After a quick stop in nearby Lafayette to visit Lafayette Schoolhouse Antiques (where, as you can see, the sun came out), we made a final stop at Argyle Winery, for a champagne tasting...a great way to end the day!