When you think of Valentines Day, the word “romance” probably comes to mind. But what makes something romantic? Is it dressing up, or how much you plan? Is it the gift that maybe awaits you at dinner, or whether or not rose petals line your floors when you get home? Or is it something deeper? Perhaps romance is the act of being intentional, making time for someone important to you, and prioritizing that relationship. And who says romance is reserved for couples only? Why can’t you celebrate your love for a friend, or even better, yourself? How ever you’re choosing to celebrate love this year (self-love, romantic, or platonic), we at The Dundee Hotel have you covered with an itinerary fit for the romance of cellar season, filled with silver misted mountains, lush trees, and the quiet comfort of wine country in winter.
* Note: this itinerary covers all of winter, but if you’re traveling on Valentines Day, or the weekend before or after, check out each winery’s schedule for specific events. From Bubble Fest at Ann Amie to Pre-Valentines Dinner at Saffron Fields, and Valentines Weekend at The Four Graces, you’ll have plenty to choose from all month! Just keep in mind that this itinerary has been designed for a long weekend getaway, so always make sure to check the hours of each establishment, and, whenever possible, make reservations ahead of time.
- 5pm: Arrive in Dundee and start your trip off with a bang at Furioso Vineyards’ “After Hours.”
- You will be trying plenty of local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on this trip, but a fun introduction to wine country is to start with an unusual variety. After the main tasting room is closed, Furioso Vineyards opens up for their “After Hours”, which consist of unique vintages from all around the world. (Don’t worry though; Furioso wines are of course still available.) Excite the palate and take in the Valley from one of our favorite spots before heading to dinner.
- Why it’s romantic: Trying something new with someone is a fun way re-connect. Maybe your tastes have changed since the last time you visited the Willamette Valley. Maybe you fall in love with the same bottle, or notice opposite notes. Leave your comfort zone and try something you might normally shy away from!
- 8pm: Dine at Tina’s
- For dinner, try one of Dundee’s top fine-dining establishments: Tina’s. Only using locally sourced ingredients, Tina’s embraces the bounty of each season, so the menu changes frequently. They believe in preparing meals that are not only delicious, but also sustainable, sourced solely from farms that practice a responsible use of the land.
- Why it’s romantic: Unlike a lot of large and flashy restaurants that come to mind when thinking of fine dining, Tina’s is small and intimate. Allowing you to feel almost as if you’re dining in a loved one’s home.
- 10pm: After dinner, retire for the night in your one-of-a-kind room at The Dundee Hotel.
- Listen to the rain thrum onto the roof as you embrace the magic of winter in Oregon.
- 10am: Take The Morning To Relax
- It’s time to take it easy. Pick up some brunch from Red Hills Market and bring it back to enjoy in your room. Take a luxurious shower and snuggle up in one of our signature robes.
- Why it’s romantic: Modern times are busy. We rush from one thing to the next, fitting in meals, or grasping for time together between meetings and appointments. Embracing a “lazy” morning can give you some time to disconnect from the outside world. Perhaps that leads to a meaningful conversation, or maybe it allows you to simply be with someone, without the need to talk or fill time. Read, sip some tea, or lay back down for some snuggle time. Just put those phones away, and take the morning to focus on what’s in front of you.
- Noon: Wine Tasting At Dusky Goose Vineyards
- It’s time for your first wine tasting of the day: Dusky Goose Vineyards. On clear days, the sweeping, romantic views of the Valley including several Cascade peaks, while the rain brings in silver misted ribbons that ebb and flow through the vines.
- Why it’s romantic: Sometimes romance comes in the sense of awe, and experiencing a beautiful place. Bathe in the beauty of the PNW as you taste the result of the very ground you’re standing on.
- 3pm: Wine Tasting At Domaine Roy
- In order to experience the romance of the Willamette Valley, we want you to see as many views of it as possible! That means you’ll be visiting two wineries today. This time, your destination is Domaine Roy. Domaine Roy aims to make wine accessible without ever sacrificing elegance or quality. The staff is equally open to answering questions or giving you time alone to reflect on each pour. You’ll be eating dinner after this, but if you feel up for a pre-supper snack, make sure not to miss their gourmet hummus plate!
- Why it’s romantic: The answer here is similar to the one above, but if you want to really embrace the Willamette Valley, you must see it from different perspectives. You’ll be surprised to learn how different one experience can feel from another. Try to show what you know about your Valentine, perhaps guessing which one you think will be their favorite vintage, based on what was expressed at Evening Land and Furioso.
- 6pm: Dinner At Bistro Maison:
- Chef Jean-Jacques and his wife Deborah have a combined 50 years in the food and wine industry, working across the globe from Paris to Rome, New York City, and now the PNW. The perfect compliment to any local Pinot Noir, this classic French bistro is the ideal way to celebrate a mini-getaway in wine country. Just make sure not to finish off the night without one of their decadent desserts!
- Why it’s romantic: On a scientific level, food and romance have always been linked. After all, they both produce hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine, which make us feel good. But beyond all that, there’s something very intimate about sharing a meal. And if that meal comes from a well-known French bistro…. all the better.
- 10am: Visit Red Ridge Farms
- Wake up leisurely and head to Durant Vineyards at Red Ridge Farms. Spend the morning wine tasting, and exploring the only olive oil mill in the Pacific Northwest. There are plenty of local food items on the menu, from small bites to larger entrees and desserts, just make sure not to get too full because you’re off to your official lunch next! (Note: Red Ridge Farms frequently holds special events and classes, including floral arrangement 101, perfect for Valentine’s Day!)
- Why it’s romantic: Red Ridge Farms is a great place to reconnect, because it’s not just one seated tasting, so it adds a sense of spontaneity. There’s a winery, food, olive oil tastings, local products to explore, and even cookbooks for purchase. See where the day takes you and take your time, you might learn something new about each other.
- Noon: Food and Wine Pairing At Left Coast Estate
- You’ve been wine tasting already, but now it’s time for a special experience at Left Coast Estate. The 45 North event includes a seasonally inspired wine and food pairing lunch, featuring Left Coast Estate’s gardens and greenhouses. Each lunch pairs four estate wines with carefully crafted small plates showcasing the bounty of the region.
- Why it’s romantic: We’ve discussed why wine tasting is romantic, as well as dining together, so what’s not romantic about bringing those two things together? Maybe it brings up memories of some of your favorite meals in the past, or maybe it makes you think of future places you’d like to travel to and new foods you’d like to try.
- 3pm: Let’s take things on the road!
- It’s time for your private Equestrian Wine Tour, pulled (upon request) by a horse-drawn carriage. Snuggle up with your Valentine as you take in the vistas like royalty. Private tours allow for a more flexible itinerary, so make sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
- Why it’s romantic: A horse drawn carriage? We believe this needs no explanation.
- 6pm: Dinner And A Movie
- Last night you experienced French fine dining, so tonight romance will take you in an entirely different direction. It’s time to grab a pizza to-go from Wooden Heart Pizza (located right in the Dundee Hotel) and then head to the 99 Drive In Movie Theater for a comfy, snuggle movie fest! Multiple films play each night so make sure to check the schedule ahead of time. Drinks and snacks can be purchased at the theater, so all you need to bring is your pizza, and some blankets to make it an extra cozy evening.
- Why it’s romantic: Dressing up is fun, and a gourmet meal always makes a good time. But there’s a different kind of romance that comes from splitting a pizza and allowing yourself to feel low key and silly and comfortable in a pile of blankets. We suggest picking a comedy that allows you to laugh and release all the expectations that often can accompany Valentines Day.
- 11AM: Get Bubbly At Argyle
- Seize the day before you head home by enjoying a glass of bubbly for breakfast! There are full sparkling tasting flights as well as glasses and bottles for purchase. To avoid sipping on an empty stomach, try one (or two) of their charcuterie boards. Argyle loves showcasing small bites from local establishments.
- Why it’s romantic: There is something very fun about sparkling wine, signifying the importance of an occasion like weddings, graduations, or the start of a new year. And there is no better place to have a glass than at the world-renowned sparkling winery that is Argyle.
- 1pm: Explore nature while taking a leisurely stroll through Harvey Creek Trail.
- Harvey Creek Trail takes you through some of Oregon’s lush greenery. These forested pathways can make you feel miles away, while in reality, still keeping you a convenient distance from town. Best news? All trails end at the same spot, so you can enjoy the walk without the added stress of getting lost. This hike provides both forest and vineyard views, with the occasional bridge and creek. Just make sure to stay on the trail and respect all flora and fauna.
- Why it’s romantic: There’s a reason so much poetry and music revolves around nature. To us at The Dundee, spending time in a forest feels synonymous with connection. When you’re surrounded by ancient trees, and that quiet awe of the natural world, your mind calms and you’re pleasantly engulfed by the comfort that accompanies feeling small in the world. No words are necessary, and no meetings back at home matter. In nature, you can absorb each moment as is comes. Breathe it in.
- 3pm: It’s time to head home.
- You have reached the end of your itinerary, but keep in mind there are countless places to explore not mentioned on this list. The important thing is to prioritize the time you’ve taken to get away, and embrace each new experience with a sense of curiosity, humor, and intention to enjoy whatever happens. Just don’t forget to book your next stay with us before you head home!