Has anyone been to the open houses held on long weekends? (Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) Our trip to visit your wonderful neck of the woods happens to coincide with a bunch of open houses, and I typically lean toward a pretty quick in-and-out tasting. Should we try to get appointments on Friday to avoid the crowds? Live music, chocolate pairings, drunk crowds, and tours do very little for my appreciation of the actual wine, and a lot of wineries seem to be promoting that type of thing for Saturday/Sunday.
We've done quite a bit of exploring in the Willamette wine country, some favorites include Amity, Ken Wright, Soter, Domaine Drouhin to give you a baseline for our tastes, but this trip we're going to focus on the Columbia Gorge. We're equal-opportunity drinkers when it comes to varietals, but we have a lot of great Oregon pinot in our cellar already from previous trips so this time we're hoping to focus on other types of wine, though not to the exclusion of good pinot if we come across it.
Here's a list of the wineries participating in the open house:
This previous chowhound thread had recommendations for the following wineries...if you have opinions on any of the wineries below, please share--the recommendations I've been able to find were pretty spare.
Cascade cliffs - "reds"
Waving Tree - Italian varietals