When I was making my plans for the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla, it took the Wine Brat all of one tweet on Twitter to convince me that I should just extend my stay and go with the group that was going to be going on a tour of the Willamette Valley before the conference. Today's pre-pre-conference trip was all about learning more about the world of Oregon wine, and especially about some wonderful Pinot Noir.

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After a leisurely morning, mostly spent piddling around on Twitter and watching the USA's dramatic World Cup victory, Joe Herrig of Suburban Wino, and Tamara Belgard of Sip With Me, and I headed out to meet up with the Willamette expedition. The first exciting turn of the day was the bus that we were taking out to our wine tastings. We were obviously going to be riding in style in a double-decker bus, fit for the streets of London. The bus tour was headed up by a recent start-up business called Double Decker PDX. We were actually lucky enough to be participating in their maiden voyage, which was fun. The owners of the tour company, Brooks Thompson and Kent Metcalf, definitely went out of their way to show all of us crazy bloggers a good time, and I really had a blast with the unique travel arrangements.

I will be posting more details on this trip in the coming days, but I will say that I had a wonderful time getting to know some of Oregon's producers, and was very impressed with the hospitality of the wineries that we visited today. The three wineries that we visited today were Soléna Cellars, which has one of the most interesting back stories that I've ever heard, Soter Vineyards, and Anne Amie Vineyards. All three wineries were kind enough to spend a good deal of time with us, and poured some very good wines. All in all, I consider my first trip to Oregon wine country to have been a success. I'm looking forward to hit Yakima this afternoon, and then it's on to Walla Walla.