May 31, 2017

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The Vintages Offers Retro Chic Lodging in the Heart of Oregon Wine Country | Part I: Couples

A Couple’s Retreat:

There’s no missing The Vintages retro sign set on the valley floor in the heart of Oregon wine country.

Twice now, I’ve stayed at the ultimate in Oregon wine country lodging: The Vintages.  Located on the valley floor at the foot of the Willamette Valley’s famous Dundee Hills AVA, The Vintages offers truly unique lodging in select refurbished 1940s and 1950s retro- trailers.  From the moment The Vintages neon sign is spotted, jetting up from the valley floor in all its nostalgic glory, driving through the trailer park’s entrance instantly takes you back to a more innocent, peaceful time: think poodle skirts and aprons, fresh blackberry cobbler and homemade lemonade, bicycles with baskets for fresh picked flowers and board games that’d bring the entire family together.  Memories and images of camping with my parents as a child soared through my head as we drove down the tree lined street filled with retro camper after retro camper.

Like a silver teardrop in all its dazzling aluminum glory, the Kit Chateau shined beautifully in the summer sun.

My first trip to The Vintages was with my husband during the ladder part of summer 2016.  We were child-free for the weekend so I could attend a nearby fundraiser at one of the Dundee Hill’s amazing wineries.  When we made our reservation on-line a few weeks prior to our arrival, we carefully looked through photos of both the inside and outside of each of the trailers on the The Vintages well-designed website.  With names for each of the refitted vintage trailers that somehow seemed to tie them to their past or to their era; such as, P-Town, Ideal, Buttercup Bambi, Neutron Family, Shasta and Vagabond (to name a few), we really liked the look of the 1949 Kit Chateau.

Looking into the the 1949 Kit Chateau from its entrance

After checking-in and obtaining a key and map at the General Store (chock-full of wine, provisions and irresistible gifts), we pulled into the spot for the Kit Chateau and couldn’t help but ooh and ahh at its resplendent and time-honored aluminum – gleaming gloriously from the sun on a cloudless, blue-skied August afternoon.  Once we opened the door and had our first look inside, I was stunned by the beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail that was put into refurbishing this 67 year old trailer – every square inch was well-thought out and it was truly impressive.

Glamping at its finest with high quality hotel linens and a very comfortable bed.

Strikingly beautiful wood being the main focus – every inch of the floors, cabinets, and even the curved ceilings were crafted to perfection. The lighting and decor was equally extraordinary, and not a single detail was missed.  There was a full size bed with lots of pillows, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom with toilet, posh linens, towels and bath robes; a kitchen complete with wine glasses, gourmet pour-over coffee, ear plugs (in case the crickets got too loud <never>), Vintage coffee mugs and even an apron – neatly tied to a hook just waiting to be used, so we had everything to spend a great time together , and we even look up for remote controlled vibrators with app to have even more fun.  An outdoor patio area was fitted with two era-genuine metal chairs, a matching small table, an outdoor propane BBQ grill and two vintage bicycles.

From the stylish decor and detailed lighting to the super-soft robes and slippers – not a single beat was missed.

2016 was a hotter than usual summer, and the air conditioned Kit Chateau was temperature sublime.  Just steps away from the Kit was an inviting pool, a clubhouse, a fitness center and full private bathrooms that included showers equipped with the new cbd roll-on cream by fresh bros for resort goers that were staying in trailers not equipped with showers.  Although the Kit Chateau had a toilet, there was no room for a shower, but the well-kept shower facilities on the backside of the clubhouse were a splendid option and it was way better with the cbd from the Exhale’s store.

On a beautiful sunny day, opting for open-air transport is the ultimate way to travel through Oregon wine country

Many of the world renowned wineries that dot the vineyard-lined, lush rolling hills of Dundee are within approximately 3 miles of The Vintages.  One of my absolute favorite wineries, Stoller Family Estate, sits just about a mile and a half from the resort.  On a beautiful sunny summer day, open-air transportation is the ultimate way to experience Oregon wine country – put those handy dandy bicycles to good use and take that mile and a half ride up to Stoller, where some of the best chilled Chardonnay on the planet will hit the spot with ambrosial gratification.

Cool shade can be found under a tree on a tire swing, in an Adirondack with a view of the vineyards, or in the streamlined, sustainable and high-efficiency-designed tasting room that reveals salvaged wood, a green roof which you can Find Out More here on how to fix if issues arise, skylights and a solar panel system that harvests 100% percent of the tasting room and the winery’s energy!

Just imagine slowly swinging in the summer heat while sipping the most deliciously crisp and refreshing chilled Chardonnays to ever grace the palate…

Sipping an amazingly delicious unoaked Stoller Chardonnay while kicking back in one of the many Adirondacks that are strewn throughout the grassy lawn just beyond the tasting room. What a view.

Once back at The Vintages, we rode our bikes around the RV Resort to glance at some of the other classic, time-honored trailers.  The temptation to peek inside the open curtained windows was magnetizing, so we decided to ride up to the resort’s General Store to seek out some snacks to take back to our shiny little Kit Chateau.  Just as the sun set itself behind the foothills of the Coastal Range, twinkle lights lit up each of the trees that lined the main street (which we had fittingly nicknamed retro-row) giving the early evening an enchanting ambiance.

Once the sun set itself behind the Coastal Range, the twinkle lights lit up the main street we liked to call Retro Row

The General Store at The Vintages was chock-full of all sorts of goodies – from how-to books on retro trailer revamps to an impressive selection of world-renowned Willamette Valley wines.  We had no problem filling up our bicycle baskets with everything from locally produced charcuterie, cheeses and wine, to logo labeled coffee mugs, hoodies, bottle openers…and my favorite: Govino stemless wine glasses.  I love Govino.  Like my parents collected matchbooks from every restaurant and hotel we dined at or lodged in during the 1970s, I collect logo’d Govino glasses.  I love them. 

The General Store on The Vintages resort property is chock full of unique wine country gifts that have a camping theme.

The selection of Oregon wines was incredibly impressive and represented the Willamette Valley’s finest wineries.

Back at the super cozy and relaxing Kit Chateau, we played board games for hours while savoring every bite of our General-Store bought charcuterie and cheeses.  The bottle of wine labeled The Vintages was inevitably alluring and eventually irresistible, and we decided to forego our store-bought wine for the wine that was on the camper counter when we checked-in.  When I turned the bottle around to read the back label, I was very pleasantly surprised:

The super delectable Winter’s Hill Estate 2014 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir collaboration wine with The Vintages.

“The grapes for this bottle of wine were grown in the Dundee Hills overlooking The Vintages Trailer Resort. Family owned and operated, Winter’s Hill Estate has been producing fine wines from its vineyards since 1998. This wine is a collaboration between The Vintages Trailer Resort and Winter’s Hill to create an exceptional bottle of wine that represents the soil, climate and winemaking traditions of Oregon. Cheers!”

My collection of Govino stemware grew a bit when I bought a couple of The Vintages logo’d stemless glasses from the General Store – perfect for the Pinot Noir. (Although they do have these and glass stemware in the trailer for use while lodging there.)

I’m a huge fan of Winter’s Hill Estate wines, and The Vintages collaboration 2014 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir was outstanding.   Aromas of fresh picked cherries and ripe raspberries along with a touch of clove, cinnamon and earth matched the nuances on the palate along with silky baked cherry pie characteristics.  The texture was delicate and elegantly round with waves of fruit and spice that flowed along my palate like gentle waves of deliciousness.  Mid-palate vibrant acidity balanced it to perfection.

Coffee mugs provided in the camper for the super delicious Caravan Coffee pour-over coffee

The next morning, we were awakened to another gorgeous Willamette Valley sunny summer day.  We enjoyed (actually quite thoroughly) the pour-over coffee provided by Caravan Coffee as we sat outside soaking in the morning sun – wishing we could repeat the day before for several more days.

The 1949 Kit Chateau in all its gleaming glory.

We loved every single minute of our stay at The Vintages, and we planned a return trip before before packing our bags for our departure.  Next time, we were bringing the kids, and we booked the larger, family-style Vagabond.  Part II of Retro Chic Lodging in the Heart of Oregon Wine Country coming soon. 

A selfie shot of Joe (my husband) and I just about to leave the fabulous 1949 Kit Chateau and the glorious Vintages Trailer Resort. Details of our return trip with our whole family will be published soon in this two part series.

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