Trip Reports

Unexpected Awesomeness: Wine Noir & Dali Art in a Tiny Town

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It was one of many modest looking galleries by the road in Willamette Valley and only chance that we happened to stop at the Lawrence Gallery.  There was a sign for a Dali exhibit and we decided to pop in on the way home from the coast.

It was rainy and bleak the whole trip, so here's a happier exterior photo via Google Maps

It was rainy and bleak the whole trip, so here’s a happier exterior photo via Google Maps

We had no idea what we’d just stumbled on to. It reminded me of the gallery in the Kenai Peninsula, but even more impressive.

The Dali exhibit wasn’t just prints or one tiny painting. It was an extensive array of Dali works in a variety of media.

And not just Dali, a beautifully curated collection or glass, bronze, etc from many noted artists including Kandinsky. Signe Lawrence, one of the owners was incredibly friendly and offered us tips for visiting the area in addition to stories behind the works themselves.

And set in the back of the gallery was another find — Wine Noir. A tiny wine bar with a carefully curated selection of wines. David, the owner and former skateboarder, seeks out the best from small production, boutique wineries, mostly with female winemakers, that aren’t widely distributed. His approach is to offer tasters a chance to sample the wine versions of “indie films that don’t get mass recognition but win all the awards.”Wine Noir Tasting McMinnville OR Lawrence Gallery

Fresh chevre and balsamic pairings

Fresh chevre and balsamic pairings

And then there’s the free chocolate tastings. I’m not a chocolate person, but his Substantial Chocolate changed my life.Wine Noir chocolate McMinnville OR Lawrence Gallery

They’re vegan. They’re also Ayuverdic. And they’re amazingly tasty with nuanced flavors including mushrooms, cinnamon, and pepper. And several of them paired beautifully with the wines we were tasting.

Who knew rose went well with dark chocolate?

Who knew rose went well with dark chocolate?

Exceptional art, exceptional chocolate, and exceptional wine choices. Definitely worth a stop if you’re near McMinnville. And ask David about his Medici skate board. 🙂

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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