In June 2010, Sean and I celebrated my birthday for the first time.  Thanks to Sean, it was quite the celebration.  The full story is for another time, but part of the celebration included a really nice dinner.  For one of our courses had glasses of the 2006 Athena Pinot Noir from Boedecker Cellars and it was awesome.  We had already started to get into Pinot Noirs, but this started our appreciation for the Willamette Valley.  We became club members and Sean bought two cases of the 2006 Athena to serve at our wedding (despite the fact that we weren’t even engaged and hadn’t spoken out loud that we knew the other was the one).  Sadly we weren’t allowed to bring outside alcohol to our venue but happily we found other ways to take care of those bottles.  Boedecker played a big role in our decision to make the trip out to Willamette Valley for Thanksgiving.  It wasn’t until we did the research that we realized it was in Portland and not in one of the smaller wine towns. So we ended our Thanksgiving trip in Portland to be sure we made it to Boedecker.photo 10We stayed in downtown Portland in an old department store building that was converted into a hotel.photo 9It’s hard to tell from this angle, but they created showrooms as a nod to the old space.  I really liked the lobby.

Boedecker was about a two and a half mile walk from our hotel.  We had arrived in Portland a little earlier than expected so decided we’d walk.  This gave us a real upper Northwest experience.  Gray, misty, and rainy much of the time.  My mom told me that she quickly learned that a hood is the way to go in Eugene because rain is on and off all day long most of the time.  We only had an umbrella and we were constantly putting it up and putting it back down.  If you don’t have a hood, just wear your hair up because there’s no hope for it really.photo 1photo 3By walking we were able to see the various sides of Portland.  We walked along train tracks which were sketchy, through beautiful neighborhoods, and, very briefly, on a trail.photo 5photo 16photo 2Can you see all the moss on the trees in these pictures above?  This happens a lot in the upper Northwest, which I didn’t realize before visiting.

As we made our way out of the nature trail to Boedecker, the scene really changed…photo 11…to an industrial park.photo 13We were confused.  We didn’t think we had taken a wrong turn, but did not expect to find ourselves in the middle of an industrial park.photo 12But then there it was!photo 15One other woman was inside tasting when we arrived.  We told her and the Boedecker employee the story and how we came to love Boedecker.  They were a little surprised that a) we were club members (we think there must not be many) and b) that we came all the way from Virginia to taste Willamette Valley wine.  It turns out that Boedecker is an urban winemaking facility.  They source all their grapes and make the wine right in Portland.  We didn’t realize that about Boedecker and I didn’t realize this winemaking format existed at all.  I assumed all wine on a large scale was made out in wine country.  We were able to tour their small facility and it was neat.photo 8
photo 7photo 6photo 14Do you see the arches of candles in this display?  We bought one!  They are pieces of old barrels.  We’re still waiting for it to arrive, but we’re so excited to have a piece of Boedecker for our own house!  A nice way to end our trip and a lovely token to keep and remind us of our love of Pinot Noir.

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