Wine Country Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, start a new tradition. After you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey and pie, let the smorgasbord continue with Willamette Valley’s Wine Country Thanksgiving. Forget Black Friday; this is the way to spend the day after Thanksgiving. And the day after that and the day after that, because this event runs through the whole weekend! It’s the best way to sample some of the best Willamette Valley wines with family and friends who have come together for the holiday.

Willamette Valley Wines | Rainstorm Pinot Noir

What is Wine Country Thanksgiving? It isn’t a new event; in fact, it’s in it’s 35th year.  But every year brings something new, and 2017 will be no different. More than 150 wineries will be participating, each opening their doors and their cellars to the public for an immersive experience that combines education, food and wine pairings, and of course, ample tasting opportunities.

This is a fantastic way to indulge in some (or, better yet, all) of the fine Willamette Valley wines. Sweet whites, medium-bodied reds, dry rosés and everything in between – whatever your tastes are, there’s a wine for you. It’s also the perfect time to try some varietals and vintages you might not have the opportunity to explore normally.

Of course, Thanksgiving weekend isn’t just about wine. It’s also about spending time with the ones you love. That’s what makes Wine Country Thanksgiving so special. It’s not just your average wine festival or tasting event. It’s a way to connect and celebrate with family and friends, and maybe even make some new friends along the way.

So make Wine Country Thanksgiving part of your holiday tradition. Kick off the festivities with a bottle of Rainstorm pinot noir (the unofficial wine of Thanksgiving!), then head out to the wineries of your choice for a tasting extravaganza!  And this year, when Aunt Ethel asks what you’re thankful for, you can proudly declare, “Willamette Valley wines!”

10 Parks to See Foliage in the Fall

The best part of autumn is seeing green leaves change into brilliant shades of scarlet and gold. Oregon is one of the best places in the U.S. to see this annual transformation, and nothing beats a foliage excursion capped with a picnic featuring fine Oregon wine. Ten parks to make the most of beautiful fall colors:

Oregon Wine | Rainstorm Wines

  1. Mt. Hood Scenic Loop: At 146 miles, this scenic drive provides plenty of autumnal viewing options. The Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood may be the focal points of the trip, but the abundant trees with their stunning fall colors are the real stars of the show.
  2. Forest Park - Just west of downtown Portland, Forest Park is home to an extraordinary amount of flaming maple trees. The Maple Trail Loop Hike is the best way to enjoy the splendor, so strap on some comfy hiking shoes.
  3. McKenzie River - Here, you can enjoy the fall foliage on foot or by car. Hiking trails along the riverfront are the perfect place to take in the warm fall colors. For those who prefer to enjoy the scenery from their vehicle, the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway winds around colorful aspen stands that will give you a brand new appreciation for the season.
  4. Washington Park – Right in the heart of downtown Portland, Washington Park may not be your first guess for amazing fall foliage, but you’d be making a mistake to skip this one. Between the trees at the Hoyt Arboretum and the Portland Japanese Garden, you’ve got a feast of autumn color to enjoy.
  5. Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway - The 172-mile route hugs the Upper Rogue and North Umpqua Rivers, both of which are lined with beautiful trees dressed in their autumn best.
  6. Drake Park - This Bend, OR park is a fall must. Mirror Pond holds true to its name, reflecting the brilliant colors of the maples and willows that fill the park and giving you double the beauty.
  7. Lithia Park – Lithia Park covers 93 acres in Ashland. In addition to the “usual suspects,” like maples and aspen, you’ll see some different species, like the Japanese snowbell and European beech.
  8. Upper Klamath Basin - The oaks are the real stars here. Other autumn performers include maple, aspen, and red alder.
  9. Silver Falls State Park – The Trail of Ten Falls is the spot to be, and hiking along this path will introduce you to color like you’ve never seen before.
  10. Willamette Valley, aka Wine Country – People don’t normally associate fall foliage with wine country, but Oregon’s Willamette Valley is still host to some of the season’s most phenomenal color shows. While the stands of white oak have given way to vineyards, the warm browns and yellows of the season can still be found throughout the Valley – along with delectable Rainstorm wines.

Autumn’s dry, crisp, dynamic flavor pairs perfectly with complex, diverse, and “colorful” taste of a great Oregon wine. Enjoy.

The 5 Best Airbnb Rentals in Portland, Oregon

From incredible natural scenery to lively entertainment and decadent foods and local Oregon grown wines, Portland is a fantastic vacation spot. Making sure you have the perfect homebase from which to enjoy the city is key. Here are the 5 best Airbnb rentals in the city; grab a glass of Rainstorm pinot (the perfect complement to vacations!) and start planning.

 1. Saul Zaik Treehouse – Located in the middle of the 193-acre Marquam Nature Park, this treehouse was made for people who want breathtaking 360 degree views. Hiking trails crisscross the park, and the city amenities are just a short drive away. Or you may be content to just relax in the treehouse, which is an architectural wonder in its own right.

cntraveler_treehouse-living2. The Mud Hut – This 1-bedroom earthen hut is completely hand-built. It’s lighted by candles and heated by a wood stove, perfect for those looking for a more rustic experience. The hut is surrounded by a large garden, and its private and serene setting make it ideal for unplugging and unwinding.

Oregon grown wines3. Garden Oasis – Within walking distance to Mississippi Avenue, this garden guest house is perfect for couples who want city accessibility and a private, relaxing retreat. The bungalow is situated amidst a lush garden and features 300 square feet of indoor living space, as well as a private patio. A cozy, tranquil place to recharge after experiencing Portland.

Rainstorm Pinot4. Zen Loft - It’s hard to believe the Zen Loft was once just your average garage! The owners used a mix of reclaimed wood and steel to create a peaceful, modern hideaway right in the heart of Portland, and there are tons of extra amenities to boot. The loft is an entertainer’s dream, with a huge kitchen and a large accordion door that opens to the patio, creating a massive indoor/outdoor space. There’s also a fireplace and a hot tub – the perfect spot to enjoy an Oregon grown wine.

The best Airbnbs in Portland to bring some Rainstorm Pinot.5. O2 Haus - For those concerned about their carbon footprint, staying at O2 Haus is a must. This property is a net-zero passive home, relying on solar panels and airtight insulation to keep the property comfortable. Guests have a private bedroom, but share common spaces with the owners, longtime Portlanders who can recommend activities, restaurants, and more.

Oregon Grown Wines


Your choice of lodging is one of the most important considerations when you go on vacation. In Portland, you have tons of options, but these 5 Airbnb rentals are truly some of the best. Whatever you’re into, whether it’s outdoor activities, nightlife, or just staying in to unwind, there is a rental that will be perfect for you. Just don’t forget to pack your favorite Rainstorm pinot.