Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Lineup

It’s summer in the Pacific Northwest, and that can mean only one thing!

Hiking along the shoreline of the amazing Crater Lake? Strolling through the aromatic International Rose Test Garden? Biking down Mount Ashland? Berry picking in the Willamette Valley? Terrific tastings of clear, crisp Oregon pinot gris? Ok, summer here means a lot of things! But one of our favorites is the Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series.

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The “Wild” Life at Oregon Zoo

In 1979, the Oregon Zoo became famous for more than its animal life. It was the first zoo to host a summer series of concerts. Today, these events are eagerly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed. Music ranges from classic American to intricate Croatian to a Bowie tribute band from Brazil. Like diverse Oregon wines, there is a “flavor” for everyone at the zoo.

General admission tickets grant you a festival-like experience — get out the blanket and get ready to relax. This is first-come-first-serve, so get there early! If you want to be sure of a spot, take advantage of reserved seating. If you really want to live it up, opt for “Terrace” seating. You’ll enjoy a private cash beer and wine bar and a buffet. (Stage views are first-come-first-serve.)

Local brews and wines are available for purchase, as are foods from a variety of vendors. (No outside food/beverages permitted.) The Concert Series is committed to showing off the best of the area’s local and sustainable food and drink options. Enjoy!

The Oregon Zoo sure knows how to put on a show. Better yet, you get a two-fer: an awesome performance and a day at the zoo. Your ticket allows you admission to the zoo on the day of your concert, so you can arrive early and visit your furry, feathery, and slithery favorites.

It’s summer in Oregon — and the possibilities are endless. Get your concert tickets now!

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.

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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.

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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.

Snow Covered Portland, Oregon- Drone Footage

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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!

Why Portland, Oregon is Weird and We Like It (With a Glass of Rainstorm Wine)

Austin, Texas may hold the title as the original “weird” city, but Portland has quickly gained notoriety as the weirdo on the West Coast – and we love it! Portland is home to all sorts of odd and awesome things, from shops and restaurants to local scenery and people. Of course, we’re also known for our fabulous Oregon wines (including Rainstorm wines, naturally), but there’s nothing weird about these – they’re just delicious!

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Here’s why we’re okay with that adjective being bestowed on our fair city:

  • The Naked Bike Ride: PDX is one of the few places on Earth where, once a year, you’ll find thousands of people riding their bicycles along a predetermined route WHILE COMPLETELY NAKED. Let us repeat that: everyone is completely naked. As in, zero clothes. On bikes. En mass. ‘Nuff said.
  • The Horse Project: Do you like horses? How about tiny, colorful plastic horses tethered to rings scattered along city sidewalks? Well, we like them in Portland, and this is obvious by the hundreds of maned beauties you’ll find randomly throughout our city. Giddy up!
  • The Giant Paul Bunyan Statue: Because who cares that he’s actually supposed to be from Michigan or Minnesota or some other M state? We love him in Portland!
  • Hardcore Scooter Gangs: The Hells Angels they are not, but it would still take a brave soul to confront one of Portland’s notorious moped gangs. Groups such as the Twist n Play and the Moped Army regularly get together to terrorize the city compare paint jobs and putt around the city at about 43 mph, tops.
  • The Peculiarium: Yes, we actually have an entire museum dedicated to the weird. Packed full of oddities like zombie brains and an alien surgery exhibit, this place is definitely bizarre but in a delightful way. And, it’s only $5 to get in. Unless you’re a dog or wearing a particularly spectacular costume, in which case admission is free!

We told you Portland was weird, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, you’ll have to come out and see for yourself, and don’t forget to sample some delicious Oregon wines while you’re here! Rainstorm wines can be found all over the city, so stop into one of our weird bars or restaurants for a glass or five!

How to Grow Your Own Herb Garden While Drinking Oregon Wines

What’s better than learning to grow your own herb garden? Drinking wine of course! Because wine makes every project a little more fun, right? Straight from the rich, moist soil of Oregon in the vineyards of Willamette Valley comes Rainstorm wines where we grow our grapes. So sip on some Oregon wines and lets learn how to grow an Oregon inspired herb garden. Herbs gardens are a fantastic way to introduce more flavor into your life, and you don’t have to have a green thumb to grow one, either. Here’s how you can start your very own herb garden:

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  1. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Since we are getting down to the roots lets unfold and sip on some vino.Oregon wines will make the next steps even more fun, we promise.
  2. Decide where to plant the herbs. Herbs can be grown outdoors or inside in pots; they just need enough room to spread out.
  3. Make sure the herbs will receive adequate sunlight. Most herbs love the sun. If the temperature regularly climbs above 90 degrees, though, choosing a location that has filtered sunlight or afternoon shade will keep your plants healthy.
  4. Prepare your soil. If you’re planting in the ground, prep the soil by using a garden fork or rake to break up compacted dirt. Add a layer of compost if you have it available, or mix in a little bit of fertilizer. A small amount of fertilizer can also be added to indoor potted herbs to promote growth.
  5. Choose your herbs. There is a huge variety of herbs available, so think about how you plan to use them. Lavender and rosemary can be used to freshen up a room or even as a hair rinse. Basil, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro are commonly used for cooking, while mint and lemon balm make a delicious tea. Fresh chives, for example, elevate a simple farmer’s market salad into a perfect summer treat. Even more so when you add a glass of dry Pinot Gris.
  6. Get your herbs situated in their new home! Use a small shovel or even just your fingers to dig out little spots for your plants, spacing them according to the recommendations on their tag. Carefully remove the plant from its starter container, place into the hole, then add soil to fill in any gaps, pressing it into place.
  7. Give them a drink. Herbs don’t like to be kept overly moist, but they do need to be watered when the soil begins to dry out. Water the plants in immediately after planting, then continue to monitor the soil to ensure it doesn’t become too dry.

Once your herbs are stabilized and begin to grow (having reached about 6 to 8 inches in size), you can harvest them as needed. Snip about ⅓ of the stalk or stem, cutting off what you need with a pair of clean shears. Herbs grow best when pruned and harvested frequently, so be sure to cut them back regularly to ensure healthy, productive plants.

Now go get started! Herbs are easy to grow, beautiful, fragrant, and can enhance the flavor of even the most basic meals. Here in the PNW, we emphasize using fresh, locally produced foods as much as possible, and these are made even better when homegrown herbs are added.  And when paired with delicious Rainstorm wines, you’ve got a complete flavor profile that will make your palate sing with happiness!

We Bet You Didn’t Know These 7 Things About Oregon or Oregon Wines

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When most people think of Oregon, they picture dense forests and maybe Fred Armisen or Carrie Brownstein. But there’s so much more to this rugged land, including smooth Oregon wines. Check out some quirky facts about the Beaver State. Who knows – maybe one will come up at your next trivia night!

  1. Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area is home to North America’s deepest river gorge. The gorge is 8,000 feet deep, and the Snake River carves a path through the mountains. This area is home to a number of recreational activities, including boat tours, white water sports, fishing, camping and more.
  2. Oregon has 159 yurts available for rent in its State Park system.  Yurts are circular tents used for camping or everyday living, and are ideal for visitors who enjoy relaxing (with a Willamette Valley wine, of course!) and taking in the surrounding sights.
  3. Oregon is home to more than 750 wineries – each putting their own spin on the area’s 70 different varieties of wine grapes. It’s no wonder Oregon wines have gotten so much attention as some of the best in the world!
  4. Like cheese? Then you need to visit Tillamook, Oregon. Tillamook produces some of the world’s finest aged cheddars (pairs perfectly with Rainstorm Pinot Noir) and is the state’s largest cheese producer.
  5. Oregon loves it’s llamas. So much so, that one quarter of the nation’s llamas reside in Oregon. Alpaca you a suitcase so you can see for yourself!
  6. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is situated in the caldera, or top, of an volcano. It is world-renowned for its deep blue color and crystal clear waters.
  7. Every year, Portland hosts the World Naked Bike Ride, bringing together one of the largest collections of nude cyclists in the world. Not for you? Grab a glass of Pinot gris and enjoy the show!

Oregon is one of the most magical places in the world. Come see for yourself.