When to Do Oregon Wine Country

Want to plan the perfect wine vacation? Oregon wine country is beautiful and exciting just about any time of the year. But we must say, there are certainly some prime times to visit. With the exception of winter, when most wineries close their doors to visitors, each season has something great to offer.

Oregon Wine Country | Rainstorm Wines

Spring

Put a spring in your step with a relaxed, crowd-free setting. While the weather is busy trying to decide if it should be cold or warm, wineries open their doors and welcome the year’s first visitors. Cool and rainy days dominate the season, but this means that crowds are thinner and wineries are quieter and bit more peaceful.

Summer

Tasting goes full throttle during the summer months in Oregon wine country, as the weather is gorgeous and everyone wants to enjoy every second. Many of the state’s 400+ wineries host events and festivals during this season. If you want to get in on this action, the time to go is between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Everything from tastings, including our own Rainstorm wines, to vineyard tours to special goody giveaways await.

Fall

Fall is a busy time for vintners in our fair state. This is harvest season, so it’s a mad dash to make sure the grapes  – pinot noir, riesling, cab, and more – are harvested at the peak of ripeness. From there, the transformation from fruit to wine begins. For those who want a more hands-on experience with their wine tasting, autumn is a good time to visit. Many wineries offer activities like grape picking and stomping.

Just about any time of the year is the right time to visit Oregon wine country. You may even find a few wineries that are open in winter, but be sure to call ahead to check the hours before making the journey. And don’t forget: Rainstorm wines can be enjoyed anytime – anywhere!

Great Wines for an Oregon Summer Cookout

Summer and cookouts go together like mouth-watering chicken and crisp Rainstorm rosé. Nothing beats a warm evening and a sizzling grill, especially when you add some delicious summer wines.

Summer Wines | Rainstorm Rosé | Rainstorm Wines

Some inspiration for perfect pairings:

Chicken: Good news! Nearly everything pairs well with chicken. This versatile protein is terrific with sparkling wine, malbec, and everything in between. While there are some wines that will really bring home the wow factor, most of the common varietals will pair nicely with grilled chicken.

Try: Rainstorm pinot gris

Burgers: There’s nothing better than a burger hot off the grill. Oh wait: There is!  A burger hot off the grill and a glass of wine. Red goes best with this family favorite, whether you opt for a spicy syrah or a fruit-forward merlot. Rosé is a surprise hit too, especially when you go gourmet. Dress up a burger with caramelized onion, goat cheese, and a chilled glass of this bright beauty.

Try: Rainstorm rosé

Steak: A true classic, steak is best served with a dry red wine. Think cabernet, zinfandel, or even a merlot. The richness of the beef complements the tannins in the wine, resulting in a fabulous flavor collision worthy of glorious summer.

Try: Cabernet sauvignon

Pork: Throw some chops on the grill and start chilling whites like a riesling or a chardonnay. Like red? Break out a bottle of red zinfandel. Either way, you’re going to love it.

Try: Chardonnay

Seafood: Shrimp, salmon, tuna…all of these are perfect for the grill, and a glass of wine will make them even perfect-er. It’s usually a good idea to stay on the white side of the wine spectrum, but there is one notable exception: pinot noir. Trust us when we say to drink this if you’re having salmon or tuna.

Try: Rainstorm pinot noir (salmon/tuna); pinot gris (shrimp)

Who’s ready for a cookout? These suggested pairings are tried and true, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what you like. Want to sip a Rainstorm rosé with your porterhouse? Be our guest. Prefer a cabernet with your salmon? You do you. Summer is all about having fun, and so are summer wines. So pop open your favorites, and enjoy!

Best Getaways in Oregon for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend: The official start of summer – and the perfect reason to get away. But with so many great spots in Oregon, it can be hard to choose your destination. Head to the coast for a beach adventure, or venture inland to indulge in delicious Willamette Valley wines? Tough choices! 

Willamette Valley Wines | Oregon Pinot | Rainstorm Wines

Here are our favorites getaways:

  1. Brookings: The southernmost city on the Oregon coast, Brookings is a town that comes alive on Memorial Day weekend when the Azalea Festival takes place. This four-day event comes complete with Ferris wheel, parade, car show, and tons of food and craft. Pro tip: End each evening with a glass of Oregon pinot.
  2. Bend: Attention, beer lovers! Bend is home to SMaSH Fest, an annual event featuring local craft beers, music, and much more. Even wine lovers have to admit that the brews are beyond tasty. While you’re there, you can also enjoy some of the local points of interest, like the Desert High Museum or a trail hike.
  3. Willamette Valley: Our local vineyards produce some of the finest wines in the world, like Oregon pinot gris and crisp rosé – perfect for summer. Book a B&B, plan your tasting route, and head to the Valley for a relaxing – and delicious – long weekend packed with Willamette Valley wines.
  4. Portland: Memorial Weekend is the official opening of summer fun at the Mt. Hood Skibowl Adventure Park, where a half-mile, dual-alpine slide snakes down the mountain for adventure-seekers looking for that downhill rush. There’s also a zip line and mini golf, along with other family-friendly activities. Plus, it’s Portland. There’s tons to do there!
  5. Grants Pass: Grants Pass is the place to go if you are looking for a more traditional way to observe Memorial Day. The U.S. Marine Corps holds an Observance Ceremony each year, with a gun salute and speeches from former servicemen and women. More than 1,000 flags line Hillcrest Memorial Park for the event. It’s the perfect way to honor our current and retired veterans and remember those whom we’ve lost.

Don’t spend Memorial Day weekend just wishing you were somewhere else – hit the road and travel to one of these great spots in Oregon! Drink some Willamette Valley wines, reflect on Memorial Day and what it means to you, and start summer off the right way!

10 Exotic House Pets That You Need

We’re big animal lovers here at Rainstorm wines. Nature gave us the best gifts in pets – and in fine Oregon pinot gris or rosé wines in the summer! You know what else we think are cool? Exotic animals – the kind that make really good (and legal) pets.

Rainstorm Wines Exotic Pets

If you’re interested in responsibly expanding your menagerie, consider these pets (while sipping your favorite Rainstorm wines, of course!):

  1. Hedgehog: Shy but curious, these guys and gals can be handled and played with – just be careful of their quills. They don’t shoot out like a porcupine’s, but they can hurt if you’re jabbed with one. Hedgies make for low-maintenance, fun pets that are great for careful kids.
  2. Silver fox: While the words “silver fox” typically bring George Clooney’s face to mind, the real silver fox is even cuter (sorry, George). These smart, beautiful creatures are bred specifically to be pet. Be forewarned, though. They may never be as domesticated as you like, and you will need a large outdoor space for them.
  3. Wallaroo: Ever heard of a wallaroo? We hadn’t either, until recently. These little marsupials are like miniature kangaroos. They can be quite shy, but once they trust you, they are affectionate and playful.
  4. Boa constrictor: If you don’t mind sharing your home with something long and slithery that enjoys strangling its victims, then a boa constrictor is for you. Be aware that these snakes can easily surpass 5 feet in length!
  5. Hyacinth macaw: These colorful birds are extremely affectionate and like to cuddle with their owners. How adorable is that? Plus, you can even teach it to say, “I love Oregon pinot gris!”
  6. Sugar glider: Sugar gliders are tiny marsupials, similar in size to hamsters. You can’t have just one – no really, you can’t. They live in colonies, and they can get sad and lonely if they’re left on their own. They love to be around people, and they’re playful, so they make great pets for families with older children or reliable people who can devote time and attention to them.
  7. Piranha: What hails from South America, has razor sharp little teeth, and is capable of devouring a small mammal? You guessed it, a piranha. If you have some as a pets, you won’t want to cuddle with them, but they are definitely cool to watch.
  8. Mini donkey: Mini donkeys may be roughly the size of a large dog (think Great Dane). Stubborn but loyal, these cute little guys and gals are very affectionate and need a large space to roam. If you’ve got a bit of land and plenty of love in your heart, a mini donkey makes an ideal pet.
  9. Axolotl: Once you figure out how to pronounce its name, the axolotl makes a great pet. It’s a type of salamander and – wait for it – it can regrow its own body parts. Wow!
  10. Bengal cat: Calling all cat lovers! Bengal cats are like mini tigers – beautiful, sleek, and 100% awesome. They’re also really high-energy, so if you plan to get a Bengal cat, make sure you’re prepared to keep it entertained.

Pets are a joy, and they make our lives more complete. If you are ready to open your home to an exotic pet, don’t forget to do your research – preferably with some Rainstorm wines on hand!