Treehouse Paradise – The Perfect Getaway with Oregon Wines

Can we all just agree that hotels are sort of boring? All the rooms look the same, there’s the same tired continental breakfast, and at least half of the guests are stuck with a view of rooftop AC units or something similarly awful.

Pinot Rose Wine | Oregon Wines

Okay, okay…not ALL hotels are like this. Even so, there are a lot more lodging options out there that you can consider. Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise In Cave Junction, Oregon is one of them, and it’s definitely not your average place to stay. Nestled amongst the redwoods near the Oregon-California border, Vertical Horizons is a resort unlike any other you’ve ever been to. The “rooms” are actually individual tree-houses, situated high above the ground among the leaves and branches. Each treehouse is beautifully furnished and equipped, and the 360 degree views of the surrounding forest are phenomenal.

If you find yourself in this part of Oregon, booking a couple nights at Vertical Horizons is a must-do. Not only is the resort wholly unique, there’s tons to do on-site and in the local area. In addition to outdoor activities like tree climbing, hiking, volleyball and horseshoes, there are several local vineyards serving fine Oregon wines. You can sample a brisk chardonnay or a smooth pinot rose wine at one, and then head to another to taste their vintages. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon?

After a full day of activities, your own private treehouse is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Sit on the deck – or inside where it’s cozy and warm if you visit in the winter –  with a chilled glass of pinot rose wine and gaze at the tranquil beauty of the forest around you. Then, pat yourself on the back for choosing a truly extraordinary place to stay instead of the standard hotel option!

 

The Witch’s Castle in Forest Park, Oregon

Oregon is renowned – and beloved – for it’s wonderful weirdness. The Naked Bike Ride and The Peculiarium are some of the best known attractions, but there’s one place that makes the cut purely because of its spookiness. The Witch’s Castle in Forest Park, with its tragic yet intriguing history, has become one of our more mysterious draws. So fortify yourself with some Rainstorm Pinot Gris and prepare for a tale of terror. Maybe a little exaggeration – but get the wine anyway.

Oregon Wines | Rainstorm Pinot Gris

First, relax: there are no actual witches involved in this story. How the Castle ruins got its name is unclear, but it’s not due to any black magic being practiced in the area. The site of the Witch’s Castle was home to a man named Danford Balch, who built a cabin there in the mid-1800s to house his family of 12.

To help clear the area, Blach hired Mortimer Stump. Stump soon fell in love with one of Bach’s daughters, Anna, and requested her hand in marriage. Blach refused, and Stump and Anna decided to elope. When they returned, Blach was so angry, he shot and killed Stump on sight, a crime for which he was executed in 1859.

Over the years, the property changed hands several times before the Portland Parks and Recreation Department acquired it. They constructed a stone building to serve as a ranger station and restroom for hikers in the 1950s, but the property was curiously abandoned about 10 years later.

Since then, nature has worked hard to reclaim the structure. Today it looms ominously, greeting visitors with its moss-covered facade. The eerie atmosphere doesn’t seem to deter many, however, as the Witch’s Castle is still host to hikers and thrill-seekers.

If you’re not afraid of the bad juju that may be in the area, the hike to the castle is worth it. The site is one of Portland’s best-kept secrets and definitely should be on your list of spots to visit. Make a day of it with a picnic featuring the best Oregon Wines. Just make sure you don’t go on a Friday night, unless you want to hang out with local teens, whose palates are most certainly not as refined as yours.

5 Best Places in the World to do Wine Tastings

Planning a vacation to visit one of the world’s greatest wine regions isn’t just for wine aficionados. With a backdrop of stunning scenery and an array of local activities, even the casual wine drinker will enjoy a trip to these gorgeous destinations.

Willamette Valley Wines | Rainstorm Wines

  1. Willamette Valley, Oregon. Willamette Valley wines are among the most vibrant and dynamic in the country, and in the world. The valley produces the grapes from which we make our very own Rainstorm wines. Further, the area covers more than 5,200 square miles, so you can find tastings all over this part of the Pacific Northwest. Prepare to be amazed by the incredible landscape while you’re here, too; forests, mountains, valleys, and rivers converge to create truly breathtaking scenery.  
  2. Sonoma County, California. Sonoma County is just an hour south of San Francisco, and its diverse landscape that includes redwoods and rugged coastline makes it one of the most beautiful places in California wine country. Cool climate wines, such as chardonnays and pinot noirs, are a focal point in Sonoma, but vintners in the area are serving up all varietals and vintages in their tasting rooms. There is something for everyone.
  3. Burgundy, France. The Burgundy region of France is known worldwide as one of the wine industry’s leading producers. The vintages created here feature nuanced flavor profiles that make the trek more than worth it. Make sure you have a reservation before visiting a vineyard, though. Most wineries in Burgundy don’t allow drop-ins, so plan your trip in advance.
  4. La Rioja, Spain. The La Rioja region of northern Spain boasts more than 500 wineries, each pouring fine wines distinctive of the area. The region is known for its full-bodied reds, and robust grapevines and centuries-old winemaking techniques have produced world-class wines. La Rioja is also home to the luxurious Marques de Riscal, the famed vineyard hotel.
  5. Barossa Valley, Australia. Australia’s Barossa Valley, located an hour from Adelaide on the continent’s southern side, is known for its flavorful shiraz wines and rieslings. You’ll feel right at home, welcomed by the open and friendly attitudes of the locals. Visit the country’s oldest, family-run winery of Yalumba, or any of the other many vineyards that offer tastings, tours, and fabulous on-site food.

Wine-centric vacations really are for everyone. The list above showcases just a few of the world’s finest wine regions. Start local with a tasting of Willamette Valley wines; you don’t need to travel across the globe for fabulous wines. But you can!

Snow Covered Portland, Oregon- Drone Footage

Oregon Wines | Rainstorm Pinot Gris

Ever wonder what Portland might look like during a zombie apocalypse?  A recent snowstorm provided the perfect setting for this when a drone captured the city at a virtual standstill. A few daring drivers attempted to navigate the freeways, and for that they were rewarded with snow packed roadways all to themselves.

The footage got us pondering just how little it can take to shut down an entire city. 

A few inches of snow was enough to send everything to a screeching halt. To be fair, this type of weather doesn’t happen often in Portland, but when it does, well, you have be ready for it. And what’s the best way to prepare? With plenty of firewood, candles, some comfort food, and an assortment of fine Oregon wines.

 

Snow days really aren’t so bad, are they? In fact, we would argue that they’re kind of perfect. They’re like a pause button, and since you don’t have control over it, you have to simply stop and wait it out. These moments are a good time to reflect, to take a mental vacation, and to spend quality time with family or friends.

If you’re going to be stuck at home for a couple of days on account of bad weather, you might as well make the most of it. And really, being “stuck” at home can be just the cure for stress, weariness, and fatigue. So the next time the forecast calls for a snowstorm, make sure you’ve got all the essentials on your list: easy-to-prepare foods (read: chocolate), maybe a few board games or DVDs, and some Rainstorm pinot gris or other delectable Oregon wines.

And count your lucky stars that it’s just snow that’s making you homebound, and not brain-eating zombies!