Caprio Cellars Fills a Unique Niche in Walla Walla

Nestled in a lush valley, Walla Walla in Eastern Washington is home to more than 120 wineries, a number that continues to grow as more and more world class wines emerge from this distinct region. With so many wineries to choose from, selecting the right ones to visit on a weekend getaway can take a bit of research and planning to fill your time in Walla Walla with memorable experiences. Typically tasting room experiences have many similarities no matter which winery you visit, the biggest is walking into the tasting room, stand at the bar or try to grab a table, and taste wines usually for a fee that is waived if you purchase wine.

A side by side tasting of two vintages, Eleanor Estate Red Wine, 2018 and 2019. Enjoyed by one of the many seating areas available at Caprio Cellars.

So what if a winery came in and shook things up a bit with a new focus on hospitality and a distinctive “wine tasting experience” that completely changes the way that visitors taste wine in Walla Walla. Even better, what if they made your wine tasting more of a personal discovery in an elegant indoor or inviting outdoor seating area and paired it with locally prepared food, delivering an individual experience to your tasting? This is what Caprio Cellars has done, filling a unique niche and doing something a little avant-garde when it comes to hospitality and how people experience their Caprio Cellars wines.

Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to travel to Walla Walla and after reading so many five star reviews about Caprio Cellars I was delighted to visit and experience their food and wine pairing first hand. Caprio Cellars is a small producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc
located in the heart of Walla Walla Valley, WA.

Meet Dennis Murphy….

I was also fortunate enough to chat with owner and winemaker Dennis Murphy. Our conversation covered so many topics from his personal wine journey, how Caprio Cellars got it’s start in Walla Walla and so much more. I hope you enjoy the interview along with highlights from my visit to Caprio Cellars.

What was your initial connection with wine? Was wine something that other member of your family enjoyed as you were growing up?

Growing up in a large family with Italian roots, there was always wine present for any celebration. The stories of the “Mustache Pete’s” in New York making wine like the home country of Italy was regularly told. When I was in college, I learned how to cook for myself and incorporated wine into any special event. Once I could afford some good bottles of wine, I started to collect wine.

When did you actually “fall in love” with wine? Do you remember the wine that was “the one” that started it all? Is there a story behind it?

I fell in love with wine and the Walla Walla Valley at the same time. In the late 90’s, I would drive to Walla Walla for my construction job. I passed a few wineries and thought there was no way anyone was making decent wine in Eastern Washington. I saw a bottle of L’Ecole No. 41 on a wine list while visiting Seattle and I asked if it was any good. The waiter said it would “blow my mind”. The waiter was spot on, the L’Ecole No. 41 merlot blew my mind. I then started stopping to visit the Walla Walla wineries and decided to move to Walla Walla in 1999 to get involved in the emerging wine scene.

Dennis purchased the land which was previously wheat fields, for Caprio Cellars in 2003 and the first vines were planted in 2005. The first vineyard was named “Eleanor, in tribute to his late grandmother Eleanor Caprio. The first harvest took place in 2008, and once the first wines were bottled, the name Caprio Cellars was chosen.

The name “Caprio” Cellars came from my grandmother, Eleanor Caprio. My grandmother Eleanor was an amazing women. She had a zest for life and loved her children greatly. On top of that she was beautiful and a great Italian cook. I would love to go to her house, get a big hug from her and then a plate of manicotti.

In addition to being the owner and winemaker of Caprio Cellars Dennis still owns a construction business. I was curious how he juggled these two careers.

“This is certainly a story of two careers. The winery has mostly consumed evenings and weekends. Fortunately I have a great team at the winery so I can lean on them. I would describe myself as equally right and left brain, so Caprio is largely my creative outlet. There have been many hurdles along the way, I would say that understanding the patience involved in the production of wine was something I had to learn and ultimately have appreciated.

Caprio Cellars’ Walla Walla Vineyards

There are nearly 3,000 acres of vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley but only a few of the areas wineries own estate vineyards. Caprio Cellars is amongst them with three sites Eleanor’s, Octave and Sanitella that each take full advantage of the warm sunny days in the valley along with the array of vine loving soils found there.

I asked Dennis why being an estate winery from the start was so important to him.

When I was learning to make wine, I worked on the sorting table and noticed that the winemakers were mostly excited when their estate fruit arrived, but when the contract fruit arrived it was either picked too early, too late or was not clean enough. I learned early on that if Caprio was going to make world class wines, it had to own vineyards that produced world glass grapes.

Caprio Cellars was born with the intent to produce world class wines from Bordeaux varieties. On the Eleanor site they are growing 2 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 of Merlot. Octave which was planted in 2007 has 22 hillside acres with 16 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 acres each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as 1 acre of Malbec. The newest vineyard with high elevation, Sanitella, has Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and some Sauvignon Blanc.

Caprio Cellars is all about Hospitality

Walla Walla although becoming more of a wine tourism destination is still relatively an unexplored area to many wine enthusiasts. With his attention to detail and how he wants guests to feel when they visit Caprio Cellars, Dennis is doing his best to bring Walla Walla into the spotlight by putting hospitality in the forefront.

The ultimate goal at Caprio Cellars is for each guest to feel like they are getting VIP treatment when they arrive and I can attest to their success of achieving this after my visit. I asked Dennis if he could talk a little about the hospitality component of Caprio Cellars and how it compares to other wineries.

Caprio has set out to deliver a level of hospitality in a unique fashion. We ask that you make
an appointment so we can prepare for your arrival. We greet you with our sparkling wine to set the tone
and cleanse your palate. We then invite you to find a comfortable spot in our well thought out
hospitality center. Once you are comfortable, we take you on an odyssey of food and wine.”

Dennis went on to share;

“Our Executive Chef Ian Williams along with our Customer Experience Director Emily Kiefer have hand curated
wine and food pairings for your journey. Along the way, our associates mindfully allow you to enjoy yourself and share the story of the winery, winemaking and the history of the area.”

Emily Kiefer, Customer Experience Director at Caprio Cellars.

Photo courtesy of Caprio Cellars

At Caprio Cellars the team believes that a shared spirit of generosity along with the European tradition of serving great food and wines together will transform how guests look at hospitality in the wine industry.

Tasting journeys at Caprio Cellars are by appointment only and though the tasting room has space to seat 60 guests inside with additional seating outside, Caprio limits their ninety minute wine tasting experience to about twenty people maximum. This allows guests to feel like they have their own private space and gives the staff more time to spend with each person or group.

Caprio Cellars greets each of their guests with a glass of Caprio Cuvee Sparkling Wine when they arrive for a tasting. I loved this welcoming touch and it really set the mood for a great tasting experience.

If the roomy space and welcoming environment isn’t enough, you may be surprised when you visit that you are treated to a food and wine pairing and there is no tasting fee. This alternative approach to delivering an excellent culinary pairing to compliment their wines and not charging for the experience is all part of Dennis’ vision for a Caprio Wine experience and how he believes his guests should be treated.

Although in high demand, Caprio Cellars does not sell their Caprio Cuvee sparkling wine but Dennis said that they are working on making a sparkling Rosé that they will sell.

Seasonally Inspired Food Pairings

Before becoming a premier wine-growing destination, Walla Walla has always been renowned as a powerhouse agricultural area in Washington. So, it only seemed fitting to feature in-season locally grown organic and sustainable small courses to accompany the Caprio Cellars wines. This challenge has been expertly achieved by executive chef and Walla Walla local Ian Williams.

In the Caprio Cellars Kitchen, Chef Ian strives to offer seasonally inspired plates to accompany every Caprio Cellars wine tasting with a menu that changes as new local ingredients come available throughout the year.

Caprio Cellars 2021 Estate Rosé

The first small course of the day was a beautiful Spiced Red Potato Salad with English peas, red grapes, Greek yogurt and micro celery. The hint of spice in the delicious fork tender potato salad was a fantastic addition to get your taste buds ready for the remaining courses, plus it was a true compliment to the Estate Rosé that it was paired with.

Though I am a big Cabernet Franc fan I don’t always enjoy it as a Rosé because of the somewhat bitter finish. This 100% Cabernet Franc Estate Rosé from Caprio Cellars however is a fantastic exception. This Rosé made in the Provence style expresses the high elevation basalt vineyard of Sanitella perfectly with its balanced fruit and minerality. Great acidity with fresh watermelon and just the right amount of tart fruit makes this Rosé a true crowd-pleaser.

“My style of winemaking is to let the fruit speak for itself.”

Dennis Murphy

In regards to Washington wines and more specifically Walla Walla wines, I asked Dennis if he had a philosophy of winemaking—a style that he was aiming for and how he would describe it.

The Walla Walla Valley is on a similar latitude as Bordeaux France. This has proved well to grow Bordeaux varietals and produce Bordeaux style wines. Caprio is known for their Cabernet Sauvignon based Bordeaux blends. My style of winemaking is to let the fruit speak for itself, use great French oak barrels and produce a layered wine with integrated tannins. An approach that I think will ultimately have Caprio as a world class red wine producer.

Caprio Cellars 2021 Estate White Wine

When the stunning plate of Poached Prawn Nicoise arrived it was almost to beautiful to eat. These perfectly cooked prawns on top of a bed of vegetables and country olives with a sauce gribiche and garden thyme was a real show stopper and Savignon Blanc forward Estate White with a touch of Semillon couldn’t have been a better pairing for this dish.

A beautifully concentrated blend of 72% Sauvignon Blanc and 28% Semillon from the Santilella Vineyard, this Estate White Wine surprises and enchants with its delicious texture. White blossom floral notes combine with delightful layers of subtle spiced peach and pear aromas and flavors in this noteworthy Estate White from Caprio. Incredibly food friendly, this wine would be the perfect table wine for get togethers and family dinners.

When asked if his winemaking style has changed over the years, Dennis replied:

My style of making wine has not really changed over time. Each vintage presents a new offering of opportunities and challenges, this demands that I address the vintage and honor the conditions.

Caprio Cellars 2019 Red Label Cabernet Sauvignon

The week that I visited in July, Washington Cherries filled the farmers markets and Chef Ian took advantage of the cherry bounty by combining it with beets, smoked pork belly, caramelized fennel and golden raisins to create a stunning Castoldi Farm Beet Agrodolce that was an ideal companion to the Caprio Cellars Red Label 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon.

This Walla Walla Valley 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon from Caprio Cellars is the first vintage to welcome grapes from Sanitella vineyard into the blend. Comprised of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc this blend has a beautiful boutique of black fruit with soft floral and mineral notes, tying the best of these three grape varieties together. Soft tannins and gentle acidity create an incredibly well balanced sip. Really a lovely Walla Walla red.

While tasting wine I always wonder what influences the winemaker choices during the crafting of the wine. So I asked Dennis if aesthetic concepts such as elegance, harmony, character or finesse played a role in his decision-making process.

I want my wines to balance between acidity and mouth feel. This is easier said than done. I have worked hard on raising the acid level and achieved it in the 2015 vintage of our Eleanor Red Wine. Since then, I have been able to achieve the mouth feel and longevity I have been looking to present in our red wines. I am gifted with a very sensitive taste and smell, so I use this to my advantage when blending. I blind taste the blends and rely on my first impression of smell and taste for the final blends.

Inspired by the Blue Mountains

When traveling I always like to seek out back roads and off the beaten path destinations to explore so before I left Caprio Cellars I asked Dennis if he had any suggestions for an afternoon drive outside of Walla Walla. Dennis told me about a special lake up in the Blue Mountains about half an hour away and I knew it would be the perfect place to spend the rest of the hot July day.

The Blue Mountains, or as most people call them “the Blues,” cover more than 4,000 square miles of eastern Oregon and Washington. The mountains span from southeast of Pendleton, Oregon, over to the Snake River bordering Idaho, and then up into Washington, where they fill up much of the land east of Walla Walla. The blue hue of their pine- and fir-lined ridges inspired the name “Blue Mountains” by early settlers. After driving up past the Bluewood Ski Area and taking in this magical area, I think it is one of the Northwest’s best-kept secrets.

During the drive I couldn’t help but stop and take some photographs of the Caprio Cellars wine that would be going home with me. This beautiful lake in the Blue Mountains made the perfect backdrop to these lovely wines. Also, since two of the interview questions I asked Dennis mentioned the Blue Mountains I thought adding them now would be a fitting way to wrap up this article about Caprio Cellars.

Walla Walla is really such a great destination for wine lovers and I wanted to know what Dennis thought, besides Caprio Cellars, were the top things people should experience when visiting Walla Walla.

The Walla Walla Valley is a great place to visit for wine lovers because of the high quality of wine and enthusiasm of the wine industry. With this comes some great restaurants as well. The other benefit of Walla Wall is the natural beauty of the area. For people visiting the area, the best places are a drive up Mill Creek, go all the way to the Forest Service roads if it is not the winter, the Blue Mountains are amazing. Another favorite place is Pioneer Park, the trees and flowers are beautiful. The down town of Walla Walla is a must see as well, the history and architecture are interesting and intriguing.

The final question was one that I always have to ask, ‘Do you Have a Favorite Food and Wine Pairing?’

I love to cook, so my favorite food paring with wine is
the 2015 Eleanor with a Snake River Farms Wagyu New York steak, topped with sauteed morel
mushrooms hand picked in the Blue Mountains. The steak needs to be smoked for a short period of time
and the Eleanor needs to breath for a few hours.

Caprio Cellars is always thinking of new ways to disrupt the industry and push the envelope of
hospitality, this unparalleled hospitality is just one reason that they are a must visit for all wine enthusiasts coming to the Walla Walla Valley.

The Caprio Cellars Tasting Room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. by reservation only. In addition, Caprio Cellars also hosts special events and regular winemaker dinners. Visit the Caprio Cellars Website for more information.

I will be sharing more of my trip to Walla Walla in an upcoming article, but for now if you are interested in exploring the Walla Walla Valley you can read some of my past articles, including; Walla Walla Wine Country: Dunham Cellars, Exploring Walla Walla Wine Country: Pepper Bridge Winery and Food & Wine Pairing Experience at Seven Hills Winery.

Images and content ©Drink In Nature Photography/Drink In Life Blog

Unique Flavor Experiences in Newberg Oregon

The Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region, has two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is home to more than 700 wineries. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir producing areas in the world. If you’re a wine traveler with an appreciation for lush green landscapes, speckled with vineyards that are producing some exceptional cooler climate varietals, then the Willamette Valley wine region is sure to accommodate your oenophile travel desires.

When it comes to discovering more about what the Willamette Valley has to offer, there are a lot of small towns in the region that make a convenient and fun home base while you see, hear, smell and taste your way through this popular wine region. In June I made my first return trip to the Willamette Valley in almost 3 years, so when it came to finding my home base during the first two days of the trip, the choice was easy, Newberg.

Having stayed in Newberg on previous visits I was excited to see what had changed since the last time I was there and I couldn’t wait to explore some new local businesses, wineries and restaurants.

Before I get started, I encourage you to visit Taste Newberg to help with your vacation planning.

Newberg, Oregon – A Great Place to Grow!

Photo Credit: City of Newberg

First Some Newberg Facts:

  • Newberg is 22 miles from downtown Portland, in the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley.
  • Within Yamhill County, Newberg sits in a triangle-shaped valley, bordered by the Chehalem Mountain Range, the Dundee Hills, and the Willamette River.
  • The city is home to George Fox University.

Newberg’s charming, relaxed and walkable downtown is dotted with owner-operated restaurants, cafés, galleries, and shops, as well as the Chehalem Cultural Center, George Fox University, and the Hoover-Minthorn House, the only presidential site in Oregon.

Newberg made it to the top ten in USA Today’s 10 Best Small Town Food Scenes in 2021!

Celebrating the local art community, Newberg also has a First Friday Art Walk from 5-8 pm monthly on the FIRST FRIDAY of the month except January and July.

Just one of the beautiful murals found in Newberg.

Newberg is a place that shares a mixture of “things to sip, savor and enjoy,”

As you ease into the rhythm of this historic small town, you’ll discover it has its own sense of place and plenty of local favorites to uncover. Here are some of the spots to visit that will make your visit to Newberg Wine Country, your all-time favorite getaway.

Good Company Cheese Bar & Bistro….

The cheese case is filled with wedges and entire wheels of cheese, waiting to be sliced and wrapped to order.

Located in Newberg, Good Company Cheese Bar & Bistro is manned by professional cheese mongers who can offer great suggestions for any comforting cheese dish or made-to-order charcuterie.

The shop has a European vibe, so you’ll find plenty of products from there, as well as local Oregon favorites including Briar Rose Creamery in Dundee, Rogue Creamery in Medford, Face Rock Creamery in Bandon.

Inside the store shelves are loaded with wine, jars of jam and honey and an assortment of crackers.

In the shop you’ll find everything you need to build-your-own take along picnic basket. If you want something that’s assembled for you, ready-to-go charcuterie and cheese boards are also available.

Although Good Company is primarily a cheese shop, you can also sit down for a meal. On the menu there’s something for everyone who loves food, especially cheese!

In addition, they offer nice selection of craft beer, cider, a wide variety of wines, a full bar, and a variety of non-alcoholic options.

I opted for a glass of Crémant d’Alsace as part of their Fizzy Friday Special.

A specially made cheese plate and a Pâté Trio served with Dijon, pickles, and crostini made the perfect late afternoon snack.

In Newberg each day, can be a new tasting experience.

Honey Pie….

I’m going to be honest here, Honey Pie can be a little hard to locate at first, my best advice, Follow Your Nose. I could smell the woodfired pizzas before I found this “speakeasy” type space tucked into an alley behind the shops on College Street.

A favorite place to stop for a pie by locals, Honey Pie is serving up Artisan New York style pizzas and salad bowls. Seating is available, but be warned it is ‘first come, first serve’ and in the outdoor only eating area, space is limited.

Honey Pie also offers Takeout and delivery.

Experiencing the sights, smells and flavors of the Newberg food scene is reason enough to stop and spend some time there.

Owned by four locals, Honey Pie seeks to create tasty pie for all people, made with local ingredients and Love. Honey Pie Pizza is proud to function as a community space in support of local schools, farms, and nonprofits.

Feeling hungry from a day exploring Newberg, my husband and I ordered the BIANCA with garlic cream sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, Calabrian chili, and kale. As well as the PIG & PINEAPPLE red sauce, mozzarella, pork shoulder, and pineapple. Both were delicious.

Call me crazy, but I think that the cold hard cider and two unique Honey Pie pizzas was even more enjoyable on a rainy Oregon evening.

Chapters Books and Coffee….

Downtown Newberg might be small but it is rich with offerings, especially when it comes to quaint places like Chapters Books and Coffee.

This cozy independent bookstore and coffee shop, Chapters has a curated selection of used and new books, as well as a lovely coffee area that serves up local beans with a selection of fresh baked goods.

Perfect for a leisurely morning and fuel for the rest of the day’s adventures.

Chapters has an open and airy ambiance, with high ceilings, brick walls and plenty of well-spaced tables alongside couches and chairs to sit and rest for a spell.

A great place for a cup of Joe or a latte anytime. Chapters has a relaxing atmosphere that seems to say, “stay as long as you like!”

I enjoyed a White Mocha Latte with a delicious Marionberry Scone.

Newberg has a local go-to for all the important things in life — like delectable pastries!

Sprinkles of Joy….

Who wouldn’t want a Sprinkle of Joy in their life?! When I saw the name, I just had to stop in and see if there were some sweet treats to take with me to enjoy later in the afternoon.

Sprinkles of Joy is a place to find an experience in flavors!

Mother-daughter team Karen and Kelly Pratt opened the Sprinkles of Joy Bakery to bring joy to people with their edible creations.

Located at 621 E 1st Street, just across the street from Chapters Book and Coffee, is a commercially based bakery that makes custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

While in Newberg, if your sweet tooth eventually overpowers you, finding joy in the little things, like a scrumptious cupcake, is easy to do at ‘Sprinkles of Joy’.

With such a wonderful selection of treats to choose from it was hard to pick out a delicious baked good, or three, to enjoy with an afternoon cup of coffee.

The experience of flavors, the ambiance of the surroundings is what makes Newberg a unique destination.

Newberg is the northern gateway to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the first town on Highway 99W when driving from Portland, a popular route to hundreds of vineyards and wineries. In and around Newberg itself there are over 65 wineries, including wineries with countryside estate vineyard sites and seven downtown tasting rooms all within walking distance of one another.

The city of Newberg is the gateway to Oregon wine country where new flavors and experiences await!

Once you’ve gotten your morning coffee and pastry fix done, downtown Newberg has a few more tastes for you to scout out in multiple local wine tasting rooms.

Et Fille….

Et Fille, means “and daughter”

I think any visit to downtown Newberg should include a visit to Et Fille Wines which has a lovely tasting room on First Street. This modern space is bright and inviting, filled with wonderful family photos and geographical information of the vineyards that grow Et Fille’s grapes. The tasting room’s aura sets the stage of Et Fille which was started in 2003 as a father-daughter project of Howard and Jessica Mozeico.

After Howard died in 2017, Jessica kept the winery going and carries on her dad’s legacy by producing delightful elegant wines that perfect expression of the region. Et Fille sources their grapes from L.I.V.E. Certified sustainable vineyards in multiple Willamette Valley sub-appellations including Eola-Amity Hills, Yamhill Carlton, Dundee Hills, and Chehalem Mountains.

Et Fille’s tasting menus provides proof that magic grows from the soil in the Willamette Valley—and this talented winemaker knows just what to do with it.

Before I share my notes, I have to add Jessica’s Winemaker Notes for her Et Fille 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir as they are spot on and express this wine so perfectly:

“Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re in Provence. Each bottle is a transporting vacation with its pale hue, carefree drinking, and softness. The aroma is white floral, orange blossom, and strawberry, followed by watermelon Jolly Rancher on the palate.”

This is a 100% Pinot Noir from the Palmer Creek Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA and I loved it! Which in all honesty is not something I say about a lot of Rosés.

The luminescent pinkish-salmon hue really catches your eye, and the engaging aroma of strawberries and flower petals kissed by the sun escape from the glass without even a swirl. On the palate, flamboyantly fruit-focused flavors of Rainier cherries, wild strawberries with a hint of lemon balm and minerality float together in perfect harmony. I loved the delicateness of this well-balanced yet crisp with acidity Rosé. Such a refreshing Summer Sip.

In addition to the Rosé, Et Fille produces a number of Pinot Noirs, including this Gabriella, named after Jessica’s daughter.

Et Fille also makes a Sparkling wine and a Viognier which during my tasting were sold out.

I had such a wonderful conversation with Jessica during my visit to Et Fille, I learned so much about her family history, winemaking style, her generous nature and how she is always giving back to her community. I hope to share more of this visit soon.

A thing to remember is that many wineries are only hosting tastings by appointment, so schedule online or call ahead to make sure a place is saved for you. 

For such a small town, Newberg offers a plethora of local flavors with plenty of variety to chose from.

Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen….

If you’re a foodie hoping to stay up with the latest trends, Newberg offers a variety of tasty flavors. This includes a number of restaurants offering menus that change with the season and who are focused on using locally sourced ingredients, like the Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen.

Recipe is located in an authentic vintage Newberg home that has been tastefully transformed into a quaint, comfortable restaurant.

This was my first-time dining at Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen and I had heard many accolades about their thoughtfully prepared wine country cuisine inspired by the seasons. All those accolades were definitely well deserved. Although we had picked out some dishes to try, our friendly and knowledgeable server made some great suggestions for our table.

The sumptuous dinner at Recipe began with the soup of the day and a salad of baby arugula with pumpkin seeds.

Wanting to sample as many dishes as our stomachs would allow, we shared the Bucatini-Cacio E Pepe, A reimagined Shrimp & Grits, and Wagyu Beef Coulotte Steak. All of which were fresh, flavorful and fantastic! We did however make sure to leave room for dessert and loved this amazing almond cake with strawberries.

Although Recipe has an incredible wine list, a local wine with dinner just felt right. What better to go with such a wide selection of dishes than a 2019 Seven Springs Gamay Noir from Evening Land Vineyards.

Bright fruit on the nose with layers of earth and spice this Gamay Noir was delicate and silky on the palate with vibrant bursts of raspberry, rose petal and a lively acidity. A wonderful dinner companion.

If you are looking for local ingredients, carefully prepared and served in a relaxing environment, then I highly recommend Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen.

Newberg small town feel delivers big flavors.

Where to stay in Newberg….

When it’s time to call it a night, let me suggest The Newberg Wine Country Suites; Rose Room nestled in downtown Newberg. The one-bedroom suite, has a great location with plenty of dining options, and winery offerings within walking distance.

This spacious suite is the ideal base camp for your Newberg touring, with a a big couch for long conversations and a well-supplied kitchen for preparing a quick snack or a quiet dinner in.

Rose Room is ideal for two people with 1 plush King bed, but the additional Sofa bed, which sleeps 2, makes it the perfect accommodations for a family of four or a girl’s weekend getaway.

In this designer suite you will find everything you need to enhance your wine country holiday.

I also have to mention that this thoughtful bottle of Oregon bubbly, a charcutier board in the fridge, and a package of local coffee along with some regional wine reading material was a nice welcome when arriving in the ‘Rosé Room’.

An evening glass of wine by the fire, from a local winery, like Ayres Vineyard can be a memorable way to sit back reminisce about your time in Newberg.

Locally owned and operated, Lifestyle Properties is the area’s premier, professional vacation rental management company, you can learn more about the Rose Room and their other properties on their Website.

Wait, There’s One More Stop!! Coffee for the road trip home.

Caravan Coffee….

Before heading home, I had one more “must” stop to make, Caravan Coffee. I first discovered Caravan Coffee about 4 years ago and each visit to Newberg requires a return stop by. I enjoy the atmosphere at Caravan and of course the coffee. Plus, bringing home some bags of coffee beans is a great reminder of my time in Newberg.

Now is the perfect time to experience all the local flavor this small town has you offer. Newberg beckons you to come stay a while and experience the laidback charm of its Downtown. However, there is much more to this area than just it’s charming small-town vibes. Newberg is also home to fruit orchards, hazelnut farms, fruit orchards, flower farms (including numerous u-pick lavender farms), and dairies. Within the surrounding area of Newberg, you’ll discover peaceful, picturesque surroundings that can be enjoyed on vineyard tours, paddling down the river, hiking, playing golf, cycling, on a scenic drive, or just a
simple picnic in the park.

Newberg is one of those destinations that you can return to again and again, all the while discovering new places and revisiting old favorites. You can read more about some of my other favorite places in Newberg on my previous article A RENDEZVOUS WITH WILLAMETTE VALLEY.

On an upcoming blog post ‘A Must Sip Guide to the Willamette Valley‘ I will share a deeper look into more wineries in the area surrounding Newberg.

Cheers and Thanks for reading everyone.

My trip to Newberg was part of a media trip and I was hosted by Taste Newberg and Lifestyle Properties during my stay. While it has not influenced this article or any reviews, as a writer I believe in full disclosure.

All images and content copyrighted by Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.