PORTLAND, OR. – No matter how often I fly to the west coast to visit Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country, I just never get tired of it.

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Hotel Deluxe a great little find near Portland’s famed Pearl District.

This trip is really more ‘wine business’ related than a trip  with three wine buddies in the fall of 2016. I wrote a short series of stories this spring about a handful of small Oregon wineries, the challenges, and how those small wineries thrive.

At the invitation of the marketer helping promote those wineries, I’m visiting for some Monday/Tuesday visits with those wineries and hitting a couple of others as well. Alloro, Lenne, Vidon and maybe Stoller along with JL Kiff are on the two-day itinerary. I’ve booked Wednesday on my own to visit personal favorites Winderlea and Lange wineries. I’ve left a slot open intentionally.

I am anxious to talk to the winemakers about climate change and the impact warmer temps could have on Oregon’s famous lighter-bodied Pinot Noir. We might chat about the explosion of interest in Rose’ and the continued emergence of Oregon Chardonnay. I’m interested in price pressures as Oregon wine gains more and more acclaim.

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My wine writing life: a great panini and a keyboard.

I arrived in Portland about 2 local time. I’m staying at Hotel Deluxe, a very cute and funky place downtown I stayed during my first visit about a decade ago.

I’m meeting up with a young Wabash College alum friend for dinner tonight. We’re going to Bistro Agnes, a French restaurant, which boasts two James Beard award-winning chefs.

I’m going to try to post after the restaurant visit tonight. Right now, a very nice smoked turkey panini and a glass of Durant Pinot Noir. Well, you do have to jump right in you know!

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