Wine Blogger Bus Busted in Oregon

It was a tense few moments on the way to wineries in Carlton, Oregon, when local police boarded our bus full of wine bloggers and told us to get off. The giveaway came when he told us to go across the road and head up the driveway. Saying he was “hot and sweaty and not happy” should have tipped us off, but when I asked the officer if this is a joke, he insisted he was “not happy.” That’s me saying, “This is so strange,” as I disembarked the bus and saw the line of cars waiting behind the police cruisers.

By the time we got to the Carlo and Julian Winery, the joke was apparent. Later, after dinner at The Horse Radish in downtown Carlton, the town council confessed. It was a conspiracy of the wineries and the police to capture the attention of the Wine Bloggers Conference. The police chief we’d met, Kevin Martinez – nicknamed “Officer Goodbody” – appeared in jeans and button down shirt and informed us that he was not wearing breakaway pants, much to the chagrin of the ladies in the room.

carlton OR town council,

The Carlton Bounty Culinary Team consisted of: The Horse Radish, Cuvée Restaurant, Cielo Blu, Republic of Jam, Honest Chocolates and Native Salmon Bake. That chinook salmon, cooked as a traditional Salish bake on an alder wood frame over an open fire, was incredible! Compliments to Jeff Lorton of Valley Emporium.

wine bloggers dinner, carlton, OR,

We had Chinook salmon baked over open pit (in 95 degree heat), duck confit salad, Carlton Farms pork loin, braised short ribs, and grilled flank steak w/ blue cheese butter, with a glass of Spottsford Station Est Syrah.

My favorite pairings were the salmon with the WildAire 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir, the ribs with Spofford Station 2005 Estate Syrah, and Honest Chocolates with Cliff Creek 2007 Cabernet Franc.

Participating wineries were Youngberg Hill, Noble Pig, Alexana Winery, MonksGate, Mounvance, EIEIO, Troon Vineyards, Spofford Station, Cliff Creek Cellars, WildAire Cellars, Terra Vina, Seven of Hearts, K and M Winery

The whole evening was a ton of fun. The townspeople of Carlton went way beyond the call of duty to feed, pour and entertain us. Police hoax aside, I think we had the best magical mystery bus of all. Thank you Carlton, Oregon!

Stay tuned for more posts about the awesome Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, OR. Better yet, subscribe!

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Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.

8 thoughts on “Wine Blogger Bus Busted in Oregon

  • August 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Well that seemed so odd so I ‘m glad it all turned out to be a spoof. Sounds like you had a great time there.

    • August 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      It was so odd that it had to be a joke. Like we’d arrived at a bachelorette party.

    • August 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Thanks Cathy. And thanks for having us!

  • August 22, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Cool you got that all on video. Bus #8 rocked! The people of Carlton were awesome!

    • August 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

      They were indeed!

  • August 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    When the police lights were flashing and the bus had to pull over, I wonder how many of you hooligans – er, wine bloggerati – were compelled to stash your open containers! Sure made for a fun read when it broke on FB and Twitter that day. Nice write-up, Mari!

    • August 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Thanks Russ. Open containers may not have been the only things stashed.

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