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When I started writing a wine column seven years ago there was no intention of getting into the wine tour business. But there is a desire among many to travel to wine country with all of the arrangements taken care of by an insider.

Grape Sense LogoWhile I won’t quite claim insider status just yet, my first trip of 2014 treated my eight guests to fabulous food, accommodations, and wine tasting with owners and winemakers.

The 2015 trip runs June 15-20, or five nights and four full days. Drink & Eat Oregon is designed for anyone with a wine interest. We’ll be drinking some of the best Pinot Noir along with Oregon’s signature Pinot Gris and emerging light-bodied Chardonnays.

Here is how the trip works. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to get to Portland, Oregon. A room will be reserved for each couple at a major downtown hotel. We being with a reception Monday night June 15 and then take off for the Willamette Valley the next morning. Once you arrive in Portland – all expenses are covered by the trip fee until the trip ends Saturday morning, June 20.

Again, all expenses – lodging, transportation, meals, wine tasting – are covered by the registration fee. The only thing not covered is the wine participants might purchase. That’s made easy too! You can have wine shipped home by the winery or join a wine club. Additionally, I cover the shipping costs, and all the handling, of one case of wine for each couple on the trip. You can buy a bottle or two here and there and your registration will cover the cost of having it delivered to your door.

Last year we visited Lange Estate, Winderlea, Domaine Drouhin, Vidon, Alexana, Saffron Fields, and Hawk’s View Cellars. We dined at McMinnville’s iconic Nick’s Italian Café and Recipe in Newberg.

Additionally, we take a break from all the wine tasting on Thursday and drive the stunning Columbia River Gorge. If you’ve never seen it, you are missing one of the most beautiful spots in the United States.

The cost per person is $2600, double occupancy. Just look for other similar trips and you’ll see it’s very reasonably priced for a boutique wine tour. As a matter of fact, when I checked search engines the closest thing I could find was a 3-day trip for $2700. A trip similar this one was $3800.

Besides the great tasting experiences led by winemakers and owners, I’ll be along to answer questions and give some insight on Oregon wine and the spots we visit.

You can find more information about the trip on my wine blog – www.howardhewit.net – at the top of the page just click on “Drink & Eat Oregon 2015.” You can write me with questions at: hewitthoward@gmail.com

I already have considerable interest on a potential trip to Burgundy, France, for next year.

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