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.

Why You Can’t Miss Oregon’s Spring Paddle Festival

Looking for something different to do this spring? How about the annual Spring Paddle Festival at Vancouver Lake? Now in its 26th year, this springtime favorite is everything a great event should be – fun, educational, family-friendly, and hands-on.

Pacific Northwest Wine | Rainstorm

So maybe Oregon wine is missing from the line-up, but that’s okay! Pack some snacks and your favorite Pacific Northwest wine and you’ve got all the makings for a picnic between paddling sessions. Now it’s a truly terrific event!

So what exactly makes this a can’t-miss event?

It’s free. Nope, you didn’t misread that. The Spring Paddle Festival is totally free of charge. There’s no admission, no tickets to buy in advance, no need to rent either a canoe or kayak since they’re provided by the sponsor. It’s just a fun way to spend a day or two learning more about paddling and enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends.

It’s fun. In case there was any doubt in your mind about the amount of fun you’ll have at this event, allow us to clear that up. It’s 100% awesome. There are a ton of different sessions to take part in, like Stand Up Paddling 101, Yoga for Paddling, and even a class on how to pack for a multi-day sea kayaking trip.

Not only are all the basics of canoeing and kayaking covered, there are clearly lots of opportunities to learn about niche areas of these water sports. And the best part of all? You get to fully participate by getting out on the water and putting your new skills to the test!

It’s the perfect way to build up a thirst for wine! Not that you need an excuse to enjoy a fine Oregon wine, but we must say that the Spring Paddle Festival can certainly help develop a thirst. Whether you pack a bottle or two into a picnic basket to enjoy on-site or you follow up the event with glass or three at home, nothing beats enjoying a nice Pacific Northwest wine after a day on the lake.

This year’s Spring Paddle Festival takes place April 28 & 29 – don’t miss it!

Columbia Gorge Wine Tasting Experience Comes to Portland

Busy on Thursday, April 12? You are now! That’s when the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers are coming to town. Dubbed the Portland Grand Tasting, this is a can’t-miss event that both wine enthusiasts and casual imbibers will enjoy for its educational and social opportunities – and of course, the many fabulous Willamette Valley wines.

Willamette Valley Wines | Rainstorm Wines

This tasting event will feature unique tastes from all over the Valley, with offerings from more than 20 vintners, including Rainstorm wines. Merlot’s, pinot grigios, chardonnays, rosés – they’ll be there, along with all your other favorites.

Each winery will be showcasing its finest varietals and vintages, and this means smooth, delicious wine galore. Whether you just like wine or you’re in full-blown love with it, this is your chance to develop your relationship with the grape even further through education and ample tasting opportunities. It is a love affair worth nurturing, after all.

Your ticket to the Portland Grand Tasting will include admission to the tasting room where complimentary tastings abound and light snacks are available for nibbling. You’ll also get a cool commemorative wine glass so you can prove to all your friends that you were there.

If you want a next-level experience, opt for the VIP ticket. This will score you early admission to the event, access to the VIP balcony, small bites, special library tastings, and more in-depth wine educational experiences. There are only 70 of these tickets available, though, so if you’re a true VIP, get on it.

Don’t miss out on April 12. If you’re in the Portland area, make plans to sample some of the best Willamette Valley wines there are at the Portland Grand Tasting. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on this incredible tasting opportunity!

Visit the Largest Orchid Show in the Pacific Northwest at the Oregon Orchid Show

If you’re scratching your head, thinking, “What do wine and orchids have to do with each other?”, don’t feel bad. We asked ourselves the same question. And then we realized, “They’re both beautiful gifts from Mother Nature!” Like the finest Pacific Northwest wines, including our renowned Rainstorm rosé, orchids are a product of the earth – soil, water, and sunlight. Add in a bit of loving care, and the end result is something truly magnificent.

Pacific Northwest Wines | Rainstorm Rose

A festival is the perfect way to celebrate and showcase the natural wonder that is the orchid, and lucky for all of us, there’s one happening right here in Portland! On April 21 & 22, the Oregon Orchid Society will present its 75th annual Oregon Orchid Show & Sale.

The event will feature vendors from places like Washington, Montana, and even Ecuador. Each vendor will have their prized orchids on display for both show and for purchase, and there will educational opportunities and potting demonstrations for budding (get it?) orchid enthusiasts.

Since the orchid is one of the most misunderstood plants, the Orchid Show offers an excellent opportunity to learn and dispel some of the myths that surround them. Chief among these is the belief that orchids are extremely difficult to care for. While orchids do have specific requirements to grow and flourish, they’re not impossible.

Once you understand the plant’s unique needs, then the fun can really begin. Prepare yourself, though. Caring for orchids can be an addictive hobby, not unlike wine making. Like many delicious Pacific Northwest wines, orchids just need a bit of TLC in order to reach their full potential.

So whether you’re an orchid fanatic or a friend of one who’s along for the ride, the Oregon Orchid Show & Sale is the place to learn more about one of nature’s most exquisite flowering plants. Follow the exhibition up with a smooth Rainstorm rosé, and you’ve got yourself a solid weekend.

Why You Can’t Miss Whale Watching Week in Oregon

Spotting a gray whale is more than an awe-inspiring sight: it’s a reminder of the beauty – and immensity – of nature. Oregon wine isn’t our state’s only claim to fame! The waters along the our coast offer prime viewing when these gorgeous mammals follow the fish to their seasonal feeding grounds. You cannot miss out on this amazing experience.

Oregon Wine | Rainstorm Wines

The Majestic Gray Whale

These beasts are 40 to 50 feet long (think of a school bus – and then half of another), and weigh up to 30 to 40 tons. It takes a lot of mysids and amphipods (tiny shrimp-like crustaceans) to sustain that bulk! To get their fill, gray whales move like cattle and “graze” in one area until they deplete the food source and move on.

In mid-December through January, pods move from the seas up around Alaska south to Baja California, Mexico. The warmer waters allow mamas to give birth and raise their young. Then, it’s on the move again late March, back up the coast to Alaska. Up to 18,000 of these animals make the trek.

The pace in March is slower (maybe the whales aren’t in a hurry to get back to the cold North!), and you’ll have a chance to spot them all the way into June. A benefit of whale watching during the March season is that the whales tend to swim closer to the shore. This makes for excellent viewing.

Watch Week

During Watch Week (the last week of March), volunteers take up post at popular whale watching spots along the Pacific Northwest Coast. They’ll help make sure you have a terrific experience and see lots of these gorgeous whales.

Why not make a whole vacation of it? You can hit Oregon’s hottest spots, sample our renowned local, fresh food, and enjoy a glass (or two) of Rainstorm pinot noir after a successful day of whale watching. Sounds like the very best of nature to us!

The 10 Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Oregon

Everyone’s Irish on St. Paddy’s Day! So where are the best places to get your green on in Oregon? Let’s take a look:

Oregon Pinot Gris | Rainstorm Wines

 

  • St. Patrick’s Day Dash (Bend): If you’re planning on a night of hearty Irish food and great Oregon wines, build up an appetite with this 5K. It benefits The Kids Center, and if you dress up in your St. Paddy’s Day finery, you could win the costume contest.
  • St. Agatha St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (Portland): Get into the holiday spirit and have some family fun with marching bands, bagpipers, a children’s carnival, and plenty of shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and a glass of Guiness for the adults.
  • Celtic Celebration (Medford): At the Rogue Gallery & Art Center, you’ll find an Irish-themed art show, live music, and traditional fare. If you’re feeling brave, try the “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” singing contest!
  • Paddy’s Bar and Grill (Portland): Take the party to the street: you’ll enjoy Irish music, food tents, and family fun that raises funds for the Children’s Cancer Society.
  • St. Patrick’s Day at the East Burn (Portland): You’re going to love it. Colcannon, corned beef and cabbage by day; live music, dancing, and Guinness by night.
  • A Wee Bit O’ Ireland (Heppner): At this festival, you and the family will get down to some great music, participate in activities, games, and arts & crafts – and of course, get your fill of Irish food!
  • Foley’s Irish Pub (Bandon): Hope you saved room for dinner. At Foley’s, your feast will be complete with bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and corned beef and cabbage. Sick of Guinness? Oregon pinot gris is excellent paired with your corned beef dinner.
  • Kells Irish Festival (Portland): If this is too much excitement for one day, Kells Irish Pub has you covered with a four-day extravaganza. Dancing, bagpipers, food, and Family Day with great activities.
  • The Black Sheep (Ashland): Great eats, great drinks: need we say more? Ok, how about a great old-world pub atmosphere! (Minors welcome until 11:00pm).
  • The Blind Pig Bar and Grill (Eugene): Leave the kids with the babysitter and hit the Blind Pig for great food, cold beer, and a terrific atmosphere.

Where are you going to wear your green on St. Paddy’s Day? No matter what you decide to do, make the most of this fun-spirited day!

Who’s Ready for Oregon’s Tulip Festival?

We are!

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is one of Oregon’s most beloved events. While tulips are undoubtedly the stars of the show, this festival showcases the best our state has to offer. Take the opportunity to enjoy everything from hay wagon rides to the finest Willamette Valley wines in the onsite tasting room. You will never forget it!

Willamette Valley Wines | Rainstorm Wines

Plan On Stunning Beauty

The Tulip Festival starts March 23 and lasts through April 30, 2018. Six glorious weeks to enjoy unparalleled views, gorgeous scenery, delicious food and wine, and plenty of great activities. And tulips! Red. Orange. Yellow. Pink. A full spectrum of spectacular.

The Festival is held in Woodburn, Oregon – just a quick trip from both Portland and Salem. With Mt. Hood as the backdrop, you’ll certainly want to bring your camera to catch the photo ops. You can even enter them in the Tulip Festival Photo Contest.

Once at the Fields, you’ll enter a world of color and wonder. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm rotates their plantings each year so, even if you’ve attended before, you will be treated to an entirely different – and equally vibrant – show.

This is a family-friendly event, perfect for children, visiting friends, couples… anyone who appreciates natural beauty. Even your dog, if he behaves himself on a leash! You can pack a picnic or opt for onsite noms.

Make sure to bring a little of the Tulip Festival home with you; you can purchase gorgeous bouquets at excellent prices. Your table will look amazing with a burst of bright color, your favorite Rainstorm wines, and spring fresh foods. It’s a great way to remember this event long after the blooms fade. You won’t regret witnessing this magic in person and even take a souvenir home! Just like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland.