The Shallon Winery (1598 Duane Street / 503-325-5978) in Astoria is probably the only place in world that makes specialty wines out of whey, chocolate, wild berries, mangos, plums and a host of other exotic ingredients. However, the unique wines (which are excellent) are only half the reason to visit the tasting room the Shallon Winery. The other reason to go is to have a conversation with owner and winemaker Paul van der Veldt. Paul gives visitors a full tour of his winery. He also dishes out history lessons on the Astoria region, botanical teachings on local plants, and advice on any restaurant or activity in a 50-mile radius. He’ll even explain why aging wine in oak barrels only make it taste like wood. Be warned, though, you’ll be expected to hold up your end of the conversation and don’t be surprised if Paul takes notes as you describe your job and life.
After sampling the chocolate orange, cranberry-whey wine, and the wild plum wines (if he has them in stock), don’t be surprised to find yourself buying a few bottles.