Chocolate and Pinot

Happy Valentine's Day!

This weekend we had a rare opportunity to go out and celebrate Valentine's as grown ups.
Any more, Valentine's Day is more about family and fun.  Which is great, but it was so nice to go out and do something special.

One of my favorite local vineyards has an annual chocolate and Pinot Noir festival during Valentine's weekend.  It's a fantastic event, with local chocolatiers giving samples and selling special chocolates.
Willamette Valley Vineyards has several of their Pinots available for tasting, all spread out around their cellars and tasting area.  For $10 we were able to taste 9 different wines and we got a Reidel glass to boot.

I love Oregon wines, and I am so happy to take you on a pictorial tour of our weekend!

The stately entrance

I love the views here- you can see all over the southern Willamette Valley.  It's really gorgeous when the sun is shining!  (it wasn't Saturday- in fact, it was pretty windy, and getting a shot without my camera jiggling was a challenge!)

Lots of visitors to the state have trouble pronouncing Willamette. 
 It's not Willa  mettie. 
It's not Willa  met.
This cheeky t-shirt that all of the staff were wearing will help you with the pronunciation:

(it rhymes, just in case you're still confused)

We made our way around the tasting area, and bought a couple of particularly tasty looking treats

The one on the right was a dark chocolate marionberry truffle.
Both were fabulous!
The caramel was from Extreme Chocolates, and the truffle was from Bursts Chocolates.

While we were enjoying the view, one of the somaliers came over and presented us with the bottle of wine you see in the photo- some friends of ours who couldn't go with us surprised us with this lovely gift!
Thanks again, R & L!

We paid an additional $5 to have cellar access and do some barrel tastings.

The stairwell leading down to the cellars is lined with candles.  I tried to get a good shot, but it was too dark and blurry.  Really pretty though!

I love the cellars- they have more candles around the barrels.
A local monastery that is famous for their fudge - the Briggittine Monks - had some yummy melt in your mouth samples and gift boxes for sale.

Me and my Valentine.  ♥

If you're ever in Oregon, or you like to take road trips and do some tastings along the way, I highly recommend visiting.  A great resource is "Wine Trails of Oregon" by Steve Roberts.  It lists all the vineyards by region and a photo and summary of the winery.

Last, but not least, I love this little feature in WVV's display case:

The nutshell version is that one of the producers of Friends was wine tasting in Oregon, came to Willamette Valley Vineyards and loved it so much, she brought bottles back for the cast.  They featured it in one of their episodes (as seen in the Joey and Rachel photo).  As a thank you, they all signed the bottle and a cast photo in appreciation!  How cool is that?

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day whatever your plans may be.
We're taking Hannah to see a movie.  :)


  1. Oh Denise looks like such a fun time!!! You and your Valentine look so sweet together :) Happy Valentines day! :)

  2. how perfectly romantic. we get a coffee date tonight, and i'm super excited.

  3. My kind of date! Looks like you had a great time!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful day Denise! The view is so beautiful and you two look absolutely adorable!

    Happy Valentines day!


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