Part 1: 2023 West Coast Road Trip - Willamette Valley - Goodfellow, Martin Woods, Vincent, Morgen Long, Patricia Green Cellars and Kelley Fox

So it’s been about 3-4 years since I’ve discovered this forum and really gotten into tasting and collecting wine. So my wife and I figured it was time to head West to the source of OR/CA wines and do some tasting! When ordering online without tasting, it seems like just picking and praying, so we thought a tasting trip was in order. We booked a trip that would allow us 2 days of tasting in each Willamette, Sonoma and Napa along with a nice leisurely trip down the 101 to see the Redwoods.

So much great advice from this forum, both for the wines, the road trip, etc.

Onto some reviews - given it was 19 wineries over 6 days of tasting and 11 or so days of travel, no detailed notes, but will make some highlights where applicable.

First stop - OR
Day 1:
Our first tasting was with @Marcus_Goodfellow and what a great way to kick off the trip. Marcus was great host, and gave my wife and I a deep dive into the lay of the land for the Willamette, how the geography and weather plays a vital role, etc. He set up a great tasting of 8 wines which really started off the trip on the right note. His knowledge and passion for the area are certainly second to none.

  • Pinot Blanc
  • Pinot Gris
  • 2020 Durant Chard
  • 2018 Dundee Chard
  • Pumphouse Block Temperance Hill Pinot
  • 2018 House block Whistling Ridge Pinot
  • Long Acre - Whistling Ridge Pinot
  • Deux Vert Syrah

I also learned something else - take photos of the line up. After we left I realized I didn’t grab any photos so a few of the vintages I am not sure of, but we really liked the 2 chards and House block so I know those vintages because we purchased some bottles.

Our next stop was off to the Hi-Fi Bar around the corner for a tasting of Martin Woods. We opt’d for the more expansive 8 flight pour. The HiFi bar is a really cool place, if we were closer to McMinnville we probably would have went back 1 night. Good place for a mid-day tasting as they have a few options for meat/cheese/tinned foods etc so can you get some food while tasting. The host, assistant winemaker I think his name is Paul, was super entertaining and a great host to walk us through. MW makes a lot of different varietals not just from WV but other areas of Oregon as well. There is definitely a unique profile to his wines, and that comes from using mostly, if not 100%, all local wood for his barrels. My personal favs were the Gamay and Syrah though the Havlin Chard and the Havlin Gruner were nice and on a reorder I may pick up a few of those.

  • 2019 Havlin Chardonnay
  • 2019 Koosah Vineyard Chardonnay
  • 2019 Hyland Pinot Noir
  • 2021 Koosha Pinot Noir
  • 2019 Gamay Willamette Valley
  • 2019 Syrah - The Rocks
  • 2019 Hyland Riesling
  • 2019 Havlin Gruner Veltliner

Our last stop day one was with @Vincent_Fritzsche of Vincent Wines. Again another fantastic tasting. It was really nice meeting Vincent as I’ve been buying some of his wines for over a year now, so always nice to put a face to the bottle and story behind the label.

Our lineup:

  • 2020 Royer Chard (fantastic, one of our favs from the trip)
  • 2021 Pinot Gris
  • 2018 Eola Hills Zenith Pinot
  • 2018 Ribbon Ridge Armstrong Pinot (purchased a few bottles here too)
  • 2016 Ribbon Ridge Armstrong Pinot

The Royer was fantastic. It was also great to try the two Armstrong’s side by side for a comparison. the '18 just hit us better, for no particular reason, so we picked up some Royer and 2 bottles of the '18 Armstrong. Had already been a fan of his Gamay, but now his Chard will be a staple for sure moving forward.

Day 2
We started off the day with @Seth_M_Long at Morgen Long tasting at his space at Sequitur. This was a unique tasting because he does not have much in bottle right now for sampling. So we started off by opening a 2019 X-Omni for a tasting, then went through his 2021 lineup all straight from the tanks. This included X-Omni, Seven Springs, Marine, the general WV bottling as well as a special 1 off AVA Bottling for 2021. He is bottling Feb 28th and starting his mailing release sale shortly thereafter. It was a great intro into his portfolios, the vineyards from where he sources, his barrel program, his winemaking techniques, etc. Though we rarely had a “bad” tasting, this one was fairly unique given the set up, the tanks samplings, etc. If you like WV Chard, Morgen Long should be on your short list to purchase. As Seth says, his goal is to create Lemon/Lime Mineral Juice, and to that extent, he gets it right on each bottling.

Our second stop was at PGCs. @Jim_Anderson wasn’t around, though maybe he was in hiding! I’ve never purchased from PGC because with 30+ bottlings, it is confusing for a newbie. Well the two hosts we had in the tasting room did a FANTASTIC job of cutting through that for us. The standard tasting included:

  • 2021 Sauv Blanc
  • 2019 Volcanic Pinot
  • 2019 Marine Sedimentary Pinot
  • 2019 Estate Vineyard - Old Vines Pinot
  • 2019 Corrine Vineyard - Anklebreaker Block
  • 2019 Mysterious Arcus Vineyard

After the tasting they asked for our feedback and my wife I and were semi close and leaned more towards the Estate/Corrine but after hearing our feedback the host came out with a sampling of the Dijon Clone bottling from Freedom Hill and the Etzel Block as well. Both those samples were complete homeruns. We left with bottles of the FH. EB and well as some of the SB.

Last stop for our OR trip was with @Dustin_Swenson at Kelley Fox. Talk about a host - Dustin was super gracious and super funny. He had a club member stop by to pick up his order so we had a nice tasting all together. I was really shocked in a good way by the Vermouth. Trying to make lemonade of the lemon 2020 vintage, Kelley teamed up with a friend and made some Vermouth. I don’t think I’ve knowingly had Vermouth before, but the red wine + botanicals (almost like a gin, which I like) was super interesting. I personally liked the Carter and Hyland PN’s too out of the line up.

Our tasting included:

  • 2021 Barbie Pinot Blanc
  • 2021 Mirabai Pinot Noir
  • 2021 Marsh Vineyard, Liminal Pinot Noir
  • 2019 Carter Vineyard, Pinot Noir
  • 2019 Hyland Estate, Coury Clone, Pinot Noir
  • 2020 Vermouth

The small boring details.
Hotel: We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Newberg. It was sufficient by HIE standards. I travel a lot for business, have 100,000’s free points so just made sense. It is on a busy road with every convenience one may need, but only 1 minute away from “downtown Newberg”.

Driving Service: We hired Main Street Drivers and we had a nice experience with Dan the driver. No issues, good service with the reservations, following up a week before to introduce the driver and overall would recommend.


Great set of visits. The KF Vermouth is dynamite.


Sounds fantastic my friend. We are heading up there in early April for a Rhone Rangers tasting in McMinnville, and will look at the notes you placed and figure out some specific tastings as well.

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Hi Larry - you wont be disappointed. We only spent a few hours in McMinnville but I could see that as a better spot for a more “hip” vacation. Newberg has a very small downtown which is nice, and there are big chain stores, supermarkets, etc so if you forgot something, or want to stock up on water for the room, being in Newberg was certainly easy.

We were briefly in McMinnville in December but it was snowy and icy and we only tasted in the tiny city itself. We did not make it to HiFi but plan on it this time if time allows . . .


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HiFi is a great stop in McMinnville. Can’t recommend it enough. Looking forward to being there this Saturday.

Hi-Fi has a great wine list during the wine bar hours. Highly recommended!


tagging this for the day / time I finally make it out there for a trip of my own. It is long overdue! Great summary, thanks for sharing


Great meeting you both, thanks for the write up and sharing all your visits. You hit some good ones!! Hope the redwoods were amazing.

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Eric. Sounds like a terrific lineup.

Thanks for the recap.

Lemon Lime Mineral Juice from Morgen Long sounds intriguing. Hope you brought back a few bottles!

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Thanks Tony - I was able to get 2 bottles from X-Omni 2019 from him but that is all he had available. Gladly will share one if our group moves out of our traditional European Wine tasting theme :slight_smile:

The mailing list opened today so I am looking at getting some 2021…though after this trip, I’ll have to buy with a little more caution due to space/budget constraints but I’ll be a buyer.

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looking forward to the shipment of those Royers and Armstrongs! Too bad the Royers themselves took those bottles before our tasting so we couldn’t bring them home with us!

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Dustin at Kelly Fox is an interesting guy. We stay in Carlton every year and Kelly Fox is always a must go.

Totally agree. My wife and I went there THREE times during our weeklong trip. Was great to meet @Keith_A_k_e_r_s in person there over a couple glasses of Austrian riesling and Loire cabernet franc.

Our “Nights on the Town” pretty much consists of going to Hi-Fi for a couple glasses and then going someplace on Third Street for dinner. Where we go to dinner is optional, but a stop at Hi-Fi is required!