Tomorrow, Dec. 12th, is the Clatsop Animal Assistance annual silent auction, colossal bake sale, and raffle. It’s held in the Fort George Brewery Lowell Showroom in Astoria, OR. Not only can you get pictures of your pet with Santa, but you drink some yummy Fort George beer as you peruse the silent auction items. They have some amazing things every year. We always make it a priority to attend. This group does great stuff for the animals out there. Hope to see you there!
This Saturday, August 8th, is the Canines Uncorked event that benefits the Oregon Humane Society. Pack up the pooches and head out to Washington County to some wonderful dog-friendly vineyards and wineries.
A “License to Taste” passport includes free wine tastings and dog activities at each participating winery. Passports are $40 in advance ($45 day of), with 100% of the passport proceeds benefiting pets in need. The passport is good through the month of August, so you can still enjoy tastings at each participating winery even if you can’t make it to every one on Aug. 8. For information on where to find a passport and other event details, visit the Canines Uncorked event page.
Participating vineyards and wineries include
- A Blooming Hill Vineyard: Pinot & Pet Talks (pet communicator)
- Apolloni Vineyards: Paws & Paint (painting for pets and people)
- Ardiri Winery and Vineyard: Nose Works (Nosework course)
- Blizzard Wines: Relax with Rover (animal massage)
- David Hill Vineyard and Winery: Lickin’ Luau (ice cream social)
- Dion Vineyard: Tails & Trails (hike through the vineyard)
- Elk Cove Vineyards: Puzzles & Pinot (dog puzzle games)
- Helvetia Vineyards: Photos & Fido (photo booth)
- Kramer Vineyards: Perfect Pairs (OHS dogs available for adoption)
- Montinore Estate: Grapes & Glamour (dog fashions)
- Oak Knoll Winery: Reds, Whites & Rescues (OHSTAR & Oregon Canine Search and Rescue Team)
- Plum Hill Vineyards: Take me Out to the Ball Game (fenced off-leash dog area & water play)
- Provincial Vineyards: Treats & Toys (self-explanatory!)
- SakéOne: Yappy Hour (OHS dogs & Second Chance)
- Willamette Valley Vineyards at Tualatin Estate: Flights & Fitness (agility activities)
All of these vineyards and wineries can be found on the interactive dog-friendly map.
We were fortunate to be included in a special evening at Yamhill Valley Vineyards, thanks to a former co-worker. We were met by a Party Bus and the vineyard owner, Denis Burger, in Beaverton for a ride filled with tastings and stories .
On our way to the vineyard, we tasted a 2014 Rose of Pinots, a 2013 Chardonnay, and a 2013 Pinot Noir Estate. We learned about how the growing season, rain, and soil affects the wine, as well as about the different techniques used to make the wines. With an hour to spend chatting with Denis, we heard some great anecdotal stories and learned quite a bit.
Once we arrived, we were treated to some 2012 Pinot Blanc along with appetizers. After appetizers, we went on a tour of the barrel room to do some barrel tasting. This is where it really got interesting! We were able to taste wine in a 2 yr old barrel, a 1 yr old barrel, and a new barrel – all with wine from the same single block and all from the same year. They make their barrels locally but use French oak logs. The only factor that differentiated one batch to the next was the age of the barrel. It was so interesting to taste and smell the oak that was imparted to the wine from the different barrels. Then we tasted the same wine from a barrel made from Oregon oak. What a difference! The best part was when we got to taste the finished product made from a blend of the different barrels. It was wonderful.
Dinner was served in the tasting room. We had some tasty lamb chops cooked on the Traeger, as well as salmon, asparagus, and rice. It was delicious! And, it was accompanied by more of the 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve. This was followed by their 2012 Tall Poppy Pinot Noir. We really liked it because it was bolder than most Oregon Pinot Noirs we have had. Since we love big, bold reds, this was right up our alley.
We ended the evening with their 2013 Riesling on the beautiful deck off the tasting room. It was a beautiful end to a gorgeous evening. Since we all came on the party bus, we didn’t have to worry about the drive back home. That’s the way to do it!
While I usually write about places that are dog friendly, the deck at this tasting room is not accessible without going through the tasting room. So, it’s probably best to leave your pup at home when visiting this one. You can, however, say hi to the resident wine dog who comes to work daily with his owner. Update: Since this was posted, I’ve learned that the back deck is dog-friendly. Just check in at the tasting room for access to the back deck with your dog.
Saturday was a gorgeous day to spend in Oregon wine country. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperatures were in the high 70s.
We were in wine country for an event at Willakenzie Estate and stopped at Penner Ash on a whim. I’m so glad we did. I’ve had their pinot noir before and knew we were in for a treat. Some of our group did the full tasting, while we each got one glass of the single vineyard pinot noir. We headed outside to the breathtaking view of the valley and Mount Hood.
While we were outside basking in the sunshine, we met Lily, who seemed to be having a great time hanging out on the patio with her people.
The grounds at the tasting room are spacious and gorgeous. Picnicking is allowed in the lower level Oak Grove. There are some seats available in the grove, but we saw people who had brought their own chairs.
We had a great time visiting Penner Ash, and now that I know it’s dog friendly, we’ll be sure to visit again with Kendall.
by Gretchen DeMoss
We learned of the winery from the couple seated across from us at the Apolloni wine dinner last week. A visit to the Ardiri website showed that they are dog friendly, so we took a drive out there today to see the place ourselves. The setting is absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine what it would be like on a clear day.
Along the side of the tasting room there are tables where you can sit outside when the weather’s nice and enjoy your wine. Around the front of the tasting room, there’s a fire pit area with beautiful views of Mt Hood on a clear day.
Can’t you just see yourself sitting there, chatting with friends around the fire, and enjoying some wine?
I love how they created different seating areas. There’s a whole other area with grass and picnic tables that I didn’t take a picture of. There’s definitely plenty of space to sit outside and enjoy the afternoon with your dog along.
Inside the tasting room there are also fire pits. It appears that the entire area can be opened up during the warmer months. It’s a beautiful space.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stay and try the wine. It was pretty crowded in the tasting room. This just means that we’ll have to go back with Kendall when the weather is nice.
Do you have any recommendations for other dog-friendly wineries for me to add to the map? If so, let me know? I’ll stop by for a visit and post some pictures.
Last night we attended the Cave by Candlelight dinner at Apolloni Vineyards. Here are some pictures.
Then, we made our way out to the wine cave where we found our name card and took our seats in anticipation of the rest of the meal.
There were 60 people seated at that long table in the wine cave. We didn’t know anyone else at the dinner, so we chatted with the folks around us.
Here is the menu from the evening:
Sparkling Pinot Blanc
Spiced Butternut Squash Bisque
Pear and Pomegranate Salad
with Blue Cheese Croutons & Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Fresh Ricotta and Roasted Vegetable filled Pasta
with Sundried Tomato Sauce
2010 Flaminia Vineyard Pinot Noir
with Roasted Peppers and Balsamic Demi-Glace
Chocolate Viognier Pot de Crème
2011 Viognier Dolce Vino
I hope you found a fun way to celebrate. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Oregon Wine Country this weekend there’s lots going on. Consider stopping by Kramer Vineyards in Gaston or Carlton for a taste of their newly released 2009 Pinot Noir Port, a perfect pairing with chocolate, or perhaps a visit to the charming town of Carlton where you can visit 20 tasting rooms.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m looking forward to our dinner tonight at Apolloni Vineyards. They’re holding a Cave by Candlelight Valentine’s Dinner in their wine cave. I made our reservations the moment I saw the email come out because I knew it was going to be a special evening. We don’t usually go out on Valentine’s Day, but the cost of this wine dinner wasn’t any more than any other wine dinner we’ve been to any other time of the year, so it sounded like something we wanted to do.
For those of you not going to the dinner tonight, they have their Sweet as a Cupcake Weekend going on all weekend where they’ll be featuring wine-inspired cupcakes, gluten-free sweets, and even treats for the kids. This takes place Saturday and Sunday, February 15th and 16th in the Tasting Room. 11 am – 5 pm
It’s been a snowy few days here in Oregon wine country. They’ve asked everyone to stay off the roads to give our very small road crews the chance to clear the roads in time for Monday. The tasting rooms at most of the wineries are closed today. It’s a good day to stay in and sip some wine by the fire. Stay warm.
by Gretchen DeMoss
Welcome to our new blog. I’ve been blogging for years at The Adventures of Kendall the Cavalier where I blog about everything Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, food, travel, wine, and everything in between. I wanted a chance to focus on wine and the wonderful dog-friendly wineries we have here in the Pacific Northwest, so I’ve created this new blog, Good Wine Dog. Kendall, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and I look forward to exploring the wineries and the wines of the Pacific Northwest.