Summertime and the livin’ is easy – or at least, a little more lax than normal, especially in McMinnville, the heart of Oregon wine country.  Skip out of that Friday staff meeting, make your lodging reservations, and hit the road.  McMinnville’s fine dining, award winning wineries, and fantastic shopping along Historic Downtown 3rd Street are all only an hour southwest of Portland, Oregon. We’ve put together a suggested itinerary for 3 days of food and wine fun at McMinnville wineries, restaurants and shops!

Coeur de Terre Vineyard

Coeur de Terre Vineyard

Friday

When you get to town, grab a coffee at one of our local roasters, Flag & Wire, and get ready to explore the Granary District and Historic Downtown 3rd Street.

Enjoy lunch at Pura Vida Cocina, where the pork belly tacos and house made arepas are calling your name.  Make your game plan for afternoon wine tasting, and don’t forget to pick up your Wine Walk passport so you can get stamps along the way!

The hills are calling your name.  Head just outside of town to Coeur de Terre Vineyards and Maysara, both family owned wineries with welcoming staff and incredible views of the lush valley.  The afternoon just got a whole lot brighter.

Don’t forget happy hour!  Head back into town to McMenamins Hotel Oregon, where the new Carter the Great Lounge is serving up classic specialty cocktails like the Travelling Showman’s Sidecar.  For a side of sunshine with your drink, take the elevator up to the Rooftop Bar for views of downtown McMinnville and the hills.

Dinnertime – make your reservations at Thistle Restaurant for an intimate meal with local flavor.  Ask for a classic Blood & Sand cocktail to start things off, and don’t forget to finish the night with some local berries and custard.

Willamette Valley Vineyards on 3rd Street

Willamette Valley Vineyards on 3rd Street

Saturday

It’s brunch time!  Forget the long lines and still enjoy a fabulous meal. Breakfast at the Crescent Café has just what you need: go for the sweet side with some Bourbon Vanilla French Toast, or stick with savory and enjoy Creamed Chicken & Biscuits.  Don’t forget the coffee!

Pull out your Wine Walk passport and explore all of Historic Downtown McMinnville by seeking out our 20 walkable craft beverage producers.  Get your passport stamped at each location, and turn it in for prizes (note: you don’t have to imbibe at every location – a pop in is great, too!).  Start with sparkling at the R. Stuart & Co. Wine Bar, sample some big Old World-style reds at Remy Wines, sip some lagers with Heater Allen brewery, and even try a cocktail flight at Ransom Spirits.  Don’t forget to enjoy the award-winning wines at The Eyrie Vineyards, one of the founding wineries of the Willamette Valley.  Along your walk, there’ll be something to tempt every taste bud.

Who’s hungry?  This evening, share your bounty at La Rambla, and enjoy some Northwest inspired Spanish-style tapas alongside an amazing selection of local wines or sangria.  Don’t forget to pass the Calabrian Chili Shrimp, a favorite of patrons.  Spanish not your flavor?  Try Nick’s Italian Café, where Oregon wine industry pioneers would dine after planting and tending their vines in ’70s and ’80s, while enjoying house made pasta and an incredible wine list.

Need a nightcap?  Head to The Barberry and enjoy sambuca or brandy on the patio and drink in the ambiance – and the libations.  Some nights The Barberry hosts live music – check the website to see what musical inspirations might be in store.

Red Fox Bakery

Red Fox Bakery

Sunday

Grab a quick bite at Red Fox Bakery, an artisan independent bakery just off downtown 3rd Street – don’t forget some coffee to wash it down and give you a jump start!

While you’re sipping on your caffeinated beverage of choice, stop at local shops to see what’s in stock.  Mes Amies offers on-trend ladies apparel, and Accessory Appeal next door will have plenty of choices for the finishing touch on any ensemble (or the perfect gift for a friend!).  More into the outdoors than outfits?  Check out Tommy’s Bicycle Shop, a locally owned institution since 1949 for those serious about cycling.  Don’t forget Third Street Books, a local independent bookseller, where the friendly shopkeepers will help you find the perfect novel to enjoy during the summer months ahead.

Before you head home, don’t forget to turn in your Wine Walk passport after visiting all of the McMinnville wineries at Evergreen Aviation Museum, home of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, so you can revel in the bragging rights that come with a completed journey (oh, and to enjoy the Wine Walk mementos, too!).  While you’re there, be sure to take a long look around – get up close with an SR-71 (one of the world’s fastest aircraft), WWII era-planes, and even step inside a B-17 bomber or the Spruce Goose itself.

Thanks for joining us in McMinnville – we hope to see you again soon for more culinary and wine adventures in the Heart of Oregon Wine Country.