It’s no secret that the west coast of North America is a wine, nature and travel mecca, but there are many estates and visits to be discovered. Today’s post features a guest experience from Julian Parks, founder and author of BC Wine Trends.
BC Wine Trends
That’s BC as in “British Columbia”. When Julian shared his his impressions of the 2015 BC vintage on L’occasion back in May I learned a great deal about the regional wines, many of which aren’t available to me here in the US. The response from L’occasion readers reflected my sense that these wines are something of a secret treasure. Since then, I’ve been enthusiastic to learn as much as I can until I can visit for myself. BC Wine Trends, though focused on the nearby vineyards, also has world-wide experience to share, including a south-of-the-border exploration of northern Oregon.
Oregon Wines Fly Free
Naturally blessed, Oregon is accessible to BC from the north via Washington. While BC Wine Trends traveled by car, I’ve learned that “Oregon Wines Fly Free”, a program that may interest those of you flying within the United States to recreate the BC Wine Trends trip:
Thank you to the 300+ wineries that have signed on to participate in the 2015-16 “Oregon Wines Fly Free” program, a partnership between the Oregon Wine Board, Alaska Airlines and Travel Oregon. This program not only encourages out-of-state Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members to visit tasting rooms by offering free tastings, but it also promotes tasting room sales by waiving the baggage fee on one case of Oregon wine for their domestic return flight home. Oregon Wines Fly Free is unique among Alaska Airlines’ similar programs in other wine regions, as Oregon is the only region with state-wide participation from all airports served by the airline (Medford, Redmond, Eugene and Portland, plus Walla Walla, WA).
Thanks to Julian for sharing this experience with us, opening up a memorable day with family, winemakers and nature for all of us to enjoy. Please visit BC Wine Trends for many more lovely stories and recommendations.
Traveling Through Oregon Wine Country, by BC Wine Trends
The extended family gathering for the wine tasting journey began at an AirBnB in Washougal, a town of 14,000 across the Columbia River from Portland. We travelled by car from Kelowna, experiencing the joy of a 3-hour traffic crawl through Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia. Our son and his family simply took the hour flight from Calgary. To put us in the mood we stocked up on Oregon Pinots and Cooper River Salmon at the local Costco, we have learnt from experience this is far better valued than buying at the wineries! After BC, the wine Costco prices were jaw-dropping.
The Salmon was great, BBQ with an onion, butter and Maple Syrup glaze, washed down with a Joe Dobbes Pinot Gris ($14). The aromas are pear, apple, lime and sweet herb. On the palate, it is dry, clean and quite refreshing. Oregon has developed a deserved reputation for creating flavourful, well-made Pinot Gris.
Follow Julian and his family as they make their way into Dundee for breakfast, followed by a stop at Argyle Winery where the $15 Red Diamond Flight was enjoyed. Next stop is White Rose Estate with a view of the Willamette Valley for a tasting of three lovely wines. Domaine Serene (with a setting to match the name) offers a selection of Burgundian-style wines, a perfect setting to wrap up the day’s tasting. A surprise waits at the end, with whale watching, a moving experience not always available in wine country.
To read about each winery, each wine tasted and discover the treats of this outing, please visit BC Wine Trends for the full report.