Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Short Stretch – SR 47:
Northern Willamette Valley OR

One fine Sunday morning, my dear friend Kathleen (of Good Stuff NW fame) took me for a spin in her snappy red Mini Cooper, and we set out for the nearby Northern Willamette Valley. When folks head out this way, they often hit 99W – a popular highway packed with large commercial wineries. But we decided to take SR 47, the road less traveled, and that made all the difference.

Kathleen and her Mini
And what a charming road it was. Not much traffic, with a gently rolling landscape composed of farms and vineyards, and the occasional picturesque barn. Quite the pleasant Sunday drive – and only about an hour from Portland proper.

Scenic SR 47

Being Sunday morning and all, we weren’t up for too much drinking, but we did check out the Carlton Winemakers Studio where you can sample several different artisan wines by local winemakers. And the space is lovely – open and airy and loft-like with lots of light. Plus, there’s a nice, spacious deck out back. If you plan ahead, you can bring a picnic and hang out all afternoon.

Tasters at the studio

One suggestion: If you do visit and want to do some serious tasting, make sure to bring your own snacks. When we were there, they didn’t have any bread or cheese on hand (which would of been nice, since this is wine tasting, after all). But we roughed, it and managed just fine without palette-cleansing treats.

After a bit of sipping, we hopped into the Mini and buzzed back to Portland lickity-split, and still had plenty of our Sunday left to savor.

Carlton Winemakers Studio
801 N. Scott Street
Carlton, OR 97111

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