Insider Guide: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Dave and Lois Cho, founders of CHO Wine, list their recommendations from McMinnville to Dundee and Newberg.
Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.
Meet the insiders: Dave and Lois Cho, founders of CHO Wines
Dave and Lois Cho took a nontraditional route to winemaking. The couple busked before performing in Southern California wineries, and a stopover to meditate with monks in Burgundy further cemented Dave’s appreciation for a shared meal over a humble bottle. Now he and Lois, a family nurse practitioner, source grapes from Oregon’s Willamette Valley to cultivate expressions of Pinot Noir, pét-nats, and more. Here are their recommendations from McMinnville to Dundee and Newberg.
WHERE TO EAT:
Red Hills Kitchen is a “favorite date-night spot,” Lois says. “We love their seasonal menu offerings and vast wine list, including our 2015 CHO Blanc de Noirs. The Pantry within RHK has a lot of grab-and-go items from local producers.” If you’re looking for more casual fare, venture out to sister restaurant Red Hills Market in Dundee for “a large selection of wine, beer, and picnic items.”
WHAT TO DO:
“We hope to have a CHO Wines tasting room by 2023. To hold you over until then, say ‘hi’ to some of Dave’s industry friends at Argyle Winery in Dundee.” If you’re traveling with young kids, “head on over to Stoller Family Estates in Dayton, where they can take turns on the tire swing to their heart’s content.”
WHERE TO STAY:
“If you can, plan ahead and score a room at the Atticus Hotel; this is the swanky place to stay in Mac,” which is what the locals call McMinnville, Lois says.
WHERE TO DRINK:
WHERE TO SHOP:
Mac Market is a “must-visit” eclectic gathering spot in McMinnville. “There’s a little bit of everything for everyone,” from plants and locally sourced produce to wine. “Check out First Street Farmers Market in McMinnville from May to October!”