Mcminnville1 (13 of 22)

Oregon Wine Country

One of the best parts about living in Portland is how easy it is to leave.  It takes three hours to Tahoe.  It takes three hours to East Hampton.  It takes three hours to get to the west side of Los Angeles.  It takes an hour to the ocean.  An hour to the mountains.  And best of all, an hour to wine. 

McMinnville was our first stop in our wine country excursion. As much as I was interested in the wineries, I was equally interested in the Atticus Hotel. I had seen pictures of the hotel when it had opened, loved the aesthetic and bookmarked it for future outings. I have fallen in traps in the last few years of being drawn to spaces but disappointed with the reality of it. Atticus was even better. They killed it in hospitality. And this is an area that many hotels, ironically, have been lacking. The extras and nice touches come with a price tag. While we were out on the curb arguing about something trivial, we were greeted by someone from the front desk just letting us know that they were happy to see us and answer any questions we had. I was almost confused about how pleasant that was. “Who is this non-robotic person who seems genuinely invested in my happiness, at least on a temporary basis.” When we made our way to the front desk, she told us all of the great things about McMinnville. She gave us a map. She told us where to drink. She told us about the espresso behind the desk. Filled up our water bottles! Burger place adjacent to the lobby. What more could we ever want?!? No bullshit resort fees!

McMinnville has many tastings rooms in the downtown within walking distance. I love this. They are largely small producers. And no one has to argue about who drives. You don’t have humiliate yourself in a silly limo. Or wait for the one uber in town. We went to Elizabeth Chambers. The tastings were good. I think next time I would rather ask for the favorite bottle that best suits your taste and head to the garden. I am not really a stand around for a pour kind of gal anyways.

We went to Bistro Maison for dinner. Brian and I are bistro people. And this restaurant does the French Classics great. We were happy to sit outside. It was an unusually hot weekend and the interior of the restaurant was stuffy and garlicky. The patio is charming but not fancy. Think laminated tablecloths and plastic furniture.

About 15 minuets from McMinnville is Dundee, home to one of our favorite wineries, Argyle. They have a fantastic tasting room, but it’s hardly the typical tasting room. It’s a beautiful building with big indoor seated area and bar. But really about its the outdoor seating, covered and heated. Known for their sparkling selections, they have some great stills too. But not food. AND no standing around for pours, get a flight of sparkling.


Just across the street are two great options for food. The Red hills Market has a wood fired oven pizzas, and I’m told very good salads as well as sandwiches and cheeses and all the things you expect from a wine country market. Also great outdoor seating.

A few steps away, The Dundee Bistro is also a step up. We loved the pasta dishes, but everything looked incredible.


I know there will be several more visits to McMinnville a year.  There are so many exciting restaurants opening and truly exceptional wineries.  The best part is that these spaces are seasonless so you can visit all year around.  I have heard that the Allison is also a loved place to stay and eat so that is on our list for the next visit.