Hoping a long circuitous route later today to land in Portland late tonight and spend four days in Pinot Noir bliss.

This will be my third visit to the Willamette Valley. I’m planning on seeing some old favorites and friends and visiting new spots. Oh, and pick up some fresh hazelnuts and jam.

Visiting Willamette always has a different feel to me. It’s not as hectic, crazy, and commercialized as most of the California regions. Oh, and the Pinot Noir just rocks. Pinotphiles can drive from winery to winery searching for a bad glass and are unlikely to find one! That’s my kind of wine country.

I have an appointment to visit with Jesse Lange, Lange Vineyards. Lange is one of the premier producers in the valley. The same day I’ll make my first visit to Anderson Family vineyards with their spectacular views atop the Dundee Hills.

I have a private tour of Domaine Serene Friday morning. I plan on making my first stop at Domaine Drouhin. After interviewing Laurent a year ago in Indianapolis, Drouhin had to be on this year’s stop.

I will also meet with two interesting ladies doing fun stuff with Oregon’s beautiful wines and fruit and turning it into jam at the Republic of Jam.

I look forward to seeing old friends at Winderlea and making my first stop next door at Maresh.

There’s much more but that a small sense of the plans. I’ll be blogging each evening, doing updates on Twitter, and have lots and lots of photos.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com