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!

Don’t Miss Oregon’s Wildflower Festival

What’s your definition of a perfect weekend? Spending time with friends and family? Enjoying some good music? Checking out some gorgeous flowers? Maybe sipping on some fine Rainstorm wine? All of the above?

Oregon Wildflower Festival | Rainstorm Wine

If so, the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Wildflower & Music Festival is the best way to combine all these elements into one fun and convenient package. Just be sure you’re incorporating your favorite Pacific Northwest wines, and you’ve got yourself a perfect spring day!

Mount Pisgah Arboretum Wildflower & Music Festival

What makes this wildflower festival so special? Well, everything! Mount Pisgah itself is fantastic, and its 209 acres of trees, flowers and other plants will give you a newfound appreciation for Mother Nature. But during the festival, the arboretum takes on a whole new level of awesome. Vendors come with food and crafts, artists come to showcase their skills, and bands come to entertain festival-goers with live music.

Events include guided nature walks, performances from local musicians such as Satori Bob and The Gossamer Strings, and the ever-popular Art in Nature Trail featuring stunning natural works of art. And, of course, there will be tons of wildflowers on display – a total of 300 to 400 varieties to feast your eyes on.  

Some things to keep in mind as you plan your day at Mount Pisgah: The Wildflower Festival is on Sunday, May 20 from 10 am to 5 pm. The festival is free; however, a donation of $8 per adult is suggested. Parking is available on-site, and parking attendants will be there to direct you. Shuttles will be running from the north parking lot to the gates. Shuttles will not be provided at Civic Stadium, if you choose to park there.

Don’t miss out on the Oregon Wildflower Festival at Mount Pisgah! It’s the perfect way to spend a gorgeous spring day with family and friends or to savor the day solo. After you’ve had your fill of wildflowers, keep the fun going with delicious Pacific Northwest wines. A smooth Rainstorm wine will do the trick nicely. Happy wildflower gazing and wine drinking!

Wine Country Weekend in Oregon

There’s nothing quite like springtime in Oregon. With cold weather giving way to warmer temperatures and plenty of flowers, it’s an ideal time to be outdoors and enjoy nature’s show (but be sure to keep an umbrella handy, just in case). It’s also a great time to plan your Wine Country Weekend and sample delicious Willamette Valley wines.

Oregon Wine Country Weekend Willamette Valley Wines | Rainstorm Wines

May Is Oregon Wine Month

Mark your calendars: May is Oregon Wine Month, with special events planned throughout the state for 31 glorious days. From tastings to educational experiences, every weekend in May can be a Wine Country Weekend. Start off on May 5 with the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Barrel Tour, where you and your friends can tour wineries in the area by bus.

The following weekend, the Dundee Hills Winegrowers host a tasting event with several Dundee Hills wineries, each with its own featured wine.

Drink Willamette Valley Wines

And you definitely don’t want to miss out on the wine event on Memorial Day weekend. Sponsored by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, this wine party includes more than 150 participating wineries and is one of the longest-running events in the region. This is your chance to stoke the fires of your love affair with wine!

There are six wine loops to choose from, including the Portland to Willamette loop where you’ll enjoy a variety of Willamette Valley wines, and the McMinnville walking loop located in the heart of Oregon wine country. With all the participating wineries, you’re guaranteed to find a new summer favorite, like a wonderfully balanced rosé or a refreshing pinot gris. So kick off the summer the right way and plan to attend!

Spring and early summer are the perfect seasons for a Wine Country Weekend in Oregon. Whether you live in-state or will be traveling to get here, we’re ready to share some our finest Rainstorm wines with you.

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

Sangria is a crowd favorite and is very easy to make in large quantities. Most people think of it as a summer classic, but when paired with cranberry and rosemary, it’s the perfect cold season beverage! Ready to be a holiday hero?

Oregon Win | Rainstorm Pinot Gris

 

Photo via SheKnows

Start with a Great Foundation

Often sangria-lovers will opt for lesser quality wines: if they are making bulk sangria and covering the taste with fruit and sugar anyway, what does it matter, right? Wrong. The wine should be able to stand alone.

The simpler the recipe, the better. If we do not have to cover the taste of low quality wine with added sugar, our end result will be a little less calorie-dense (we all know we were going to have seconds, anyway). Your sangria will also taste cleaner and crisper. We recommend carefully selecting your wine for this recipe. Choose a fine Oregon wine as your sangria base. You (and your guests) will be thankful for the results.

Oregon’s mild temperatures create ideal growing regions, and many types of grapes are grown here. Oregon wine, in particular pinot noir and pinot gris, are by far some of the most popular in their class. Rainstorm pinot gris is a top choice for sangria, because its fruity tones and aroma pair perfectly with the apples and strawberries you will cut up for this cocktail.

Rainstorm pinot gris are bone dry and refreshing. They will not overpower nor be ignored.

For this Cranberry and Rosemary White Christmas Sangria, you will need

  • 1 bottle of Rainstorm pinot gris
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup fruit juice (we recommend grape)
  • 12 oz club soda
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Sprig of rosemary (wonderful for taste and presentation)

Combine and allow to sit and cool – and don’t forget to add some more rosemary for garnish. This drink is gorgeous, festive, and easy to make.

Don’t Miss the Festival of Lights at the Grotto!

Oregon is home to many year-round, world-famous festivals. This corner of the Pacific Northwest is a hub for foodies, Oregon wine enthusiasts, and powder-chasers alike. One must-see attraction this Christmas season is the famous Festival of Lights at the Grotto in Portland. It is known as the largest Christmas choral festival in the world! Do not miss this!

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The Grotto is well known for its gardens and gorgeous masses. This popular festival includes about 160 choral concerts, caroling, petting zoos (we all want to see the new baby camel coming this year, am I right!) and much more!

During the holidays, it can be hard to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive. The holidays can become more about frantically shopping and stress-eating gingerbread cookies than about shared quality time. The Festival of Lights is a wonderful activity that highlights the wonder of Christmas. Whether you’re beholding the wonder with children, family, friends, or strolling through for some peace and solitude, you’ll be delighted.

With 600-seat chapels that produce chilling acoustics, family-oriented activities, and gorgeous scenic walks to enjoy, it would be difficult to be a Grinch this Christmas after enjoying the Festival of Lights. It is the type of wondrous experience that stays with you throughout the season.

The spirit of of the season comes alive when the Festival opens the day after Thanksgiving, and it continues until December 30. It is located right in Portland– great for those vacationing to the area. It is conveniently close to the local vineyards that Portland natives and tourists love.

Experiencing wines from the pacific northwest is another vacation must-do; the varying climate conditions create diverse selections of grapes. Before filling up on the holiday-themed food and drink at the Festival of Lights, be sure to check out the vast selection of Oregon wine to enjoy during your seasonal festivities.

Best Ski & Snowboard Resorts in Oregon

Skiers and snowboarders flock to Oregon to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and terrific year-round conditions. What will you discover on our snowy peaks?

Wine from Willamette Valley | Rainstorm

Accessible Trails

Powder-chasers wanting to pass on the tradition to their children often choose Oregon, since its variety of mountains range from beginner to expert. At many resorts, children under 5 ski free. This is a great way to introduce the next generation to the addicting sport.

If you have always wanted to try a snow sport but have been too nervous, Oregon is a great entry-level vacation spot where the mood is relaxed and the resorts are easy-going. Lessons are available at many of the resorts if you need an intro or refresher.

Excellent Conditions

Several of Oregon’s most famous ski areas are located on volcano Mount Hood. And with a climate that produces amazing snowfall with mild temperatures, even those who are not cold weather enthusiasts can have a great time.

If you do not have time to visit the popular wine country in Oregon, you can enjoy a little apres ski with local wines from Willamette Valley, which are available near most popular ski resorts, such as Willamette Pass. Bonus: this unique ski and snowboard area boasts one of the steepest runs in the world. Just ski then indulge!

Another favorite way to enjoy the terrain is through night skiing offered at many Oregon resorts. This is a beautiful way to appreciate nature (and squeeze a few more runs into your day). For those of you who might enjoy relaxing in the lodge instead of on the slopes, Oregon is also known for its innovative cuisine. Paired with delicious Rainstorm wines and gorgeous nature scenes, post-ski leisure is just as exciting.

There’s truly something for everybody. After spending the day on the slopes, don’t forget to to sample delectable wines from Willamette Valley and discover more of what Oregon has to offer.

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.