Once again, we stumbled onto wonderful wines

By Dan & Krista Stockman

With February doing its worst to depress us, our thoughts turn to warmer days with sunny skies and, well, of course, wine.

Last summer, to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, we spent a week in Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country. Like other major wine regions, there are far too many wineries to visit them all in a week – even for professionals like us. The Willamette Valley is home to nearly 700 wineries; there was no way we would get to even a decent-sized sample of them. But we had to start somewhere, so we made a list of wineries we wanted to visit based on research, recommendations and names we recognized. Even then, our list was far too long for the time we would be visiting: We had never been to Oregon, and there was a lot we wanted to see and do, leaving a limited amount of time for wine tasting.

On top of all that, we knew visiting during a pandemic would make the experience very different and even expected that some places might not be open. What we didn’t expect is that experiences would, in many cases, be better than visiting in pre-pandemic times.

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