This month our cheerful little town in the Willamette Valley gets down to the business of hospitality with the first city-wide promotion of the year to make it even more fun to come here (if that’s even possible, I mean, short of having pastry tastings on every corner). The TASTE MCMINNVILLE month got underway today with discounted wine tastings at the city’s many tasting rooms, breweries and distilleries; passport tours that wind up making you eligible for prizes when you collect enough stamps at tasting rooms; and special menus and discounts on food at a number of our fine restaurants. A sweepstakes prize drawing offers a stay later in the year at the being-built-as-we-speak Atticus Hotel, air tickets on Alaska Airlines, and passes to the Bounty of the County food event. Details are on the Visit McMinnville site, and the promotion runs through the end of February.
You could, for example, follow an afternoon of knocking back Pinot Gris and Elton Vineyard Pinot Noir at Willamette Valley Vineyards with oysters and gumbo at the Gem Restaurant next door, and save money on both. Or sample Robert Brittan’s excellent Brittan Vineyards Chardonnay from the McMinnville AVA hills and then stroll down to the Golden Valley Brewpub in time for happy hour and Peter Kircher’s fine pork schnitzel. Or maybe it would be an afternoon wrapped around R. Stuart & Co’s gorgeous sparkling wine followed by steak frites at Bistro Maison. And profiteroles, of course. Or maybe all three, you thrill-seeker. The possibilities are endless, and delicious.
All of which is awesome, and another good reason to book several nights with us at the Pastry Ranch, but here’s an irresistible kicker: The ReachNow car rental agency of Portland has partnered with Visit McMinnville to offer discounted BMWs and MINIs for $50/day as part of the Taste McMinnville promo, which means that you can not only eat, sip, quaff and slug in style, but hop into a truly cool ride in between. Details on how to do this are also on the Visit McMinnville site, and if you drive your slick ride past the Pastry Ranch, we will bow and genuflect in awe and admiration.
If we weren’t elbow-deep in new pastry recipe testing, we’d be tempted to do this promotion ourselves, putting our own cars to shame in the process.
Have fun out there.