Salem is about twenty five miles southeast of McMinnville, so we decided to head over and check out the capital city. We found the capitol building and took a stroll along the mall area in the front of it (Enzo liked that!). The downtown area is fairly nice, and we could tell that they are making improvements. It was Jim’s birthday that day, so we found a nice little restaurant for lunch and toasted to him with a glass of the Bryn Mawr Rosé, which happened to be on the menu.
On the way back to McMinnville, we stopped at Failla Wines, an established winery in the Napa Valley which has recently expanded to Oregon. We had a great experience with our knowledgeable guide, Mark, who poured four Oregon Pinot Noirs and a California Chardonnay.
In their foray into Oregon territory, Failla has leased property from Zenith Vineyards. The tasting room is brand new, and although it is small – hats off to the designer because it is very cozy with its farmhouse chic design. Setting is important, but ultimately it is all about the wine. We have tried California Failla wines in the past (the ones in distribution, we have not visited the Napa location), and we found that the Oregon wines are holding up quite nicely to their California counterparts.
Back to Brooks
We stopped in at Brooks for our second time and enjoyed some wine and cheese on the patio. It was a nice little appetizer before we went back to McMinnville for our dinner reservation at Thistle (look for more details about our food experiences in an upcoming post).