Oregon’s Willamette Evolves…

A handful of the Valley’s key urban centers are developing small downtown areas, such as Newberg and McMinnville, complete with small hotels like the McMenamins’ Hotel Oregon in McMinnville. Lucky guests staying in these small downtowns can walk to great restaurants like Thistle, to feast on local greens and esoteric cocktails. However most of the major winery destinations are fairly spread out.

Some of the greatest wines for me were those that I stumbled upon accidentally on this trip. A lunch at the low-key Newberg restaurant Subterra afforded a chance to taste the GC, or Grochau Cellars, Gamay Noir from Amity in Yamhill County, south of McMinnville. CG also makes a delicious Tempranillo and a Tinto red blend, all retail priced below $20.

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