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Portland’s Festival of Lights and Urban Wineries

DSC_2100While planning to visit Portland’s urban wineries, add The Grotto to your itinerary. The Grotto is open throughout the year but currently it is filled with music and lights of the Christmas season.

The Grotto in Portland

The Grotto also known as The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, originated in 1924. The Grotto is owned and maintained by The Order of Friar Servants of Mary. Today The Grotto is a botanical garden and a Catholic shrine.

We discovered The Grotto when family members took us to the beautiful site to view DSC_2098 the extraordinary colorful Christmas decorations for their annual Festival of Lights. The Festival of Lights begins at 5pm when it is very dark. Visitors walk a long path with many angels and other religious symbols lighted by numerous lights. Eventually one reaches a colorful, life-size nativity scene.

We visited on one of the first opening days of the 2015 festival. It was unusually cold but we enjoyed our visit which included various local music groups, Grotto carolers and a small petting area with inquisitive and friendly goats. We liked walking into the visitor’s center which had many sculptures.

Check out some of our photos. If you are planning to visit Portland, visit the Grotto’s Festival of Lights. We were first time visitors to The Grotto, the next time we visit Portland we hope to return to the Grotto to see the botanical gardens.

Portland’s Urban Wineries

ENSO Winery in Portland

ENSO Winery in Portland

Of course, as visitors of Portland, I like the idea of urban wineries. While wine enthusiasts will not find vineyards, the proximity to winemaking facilities can make some great experiences. While in Portland we visited and wrote about two urban wineries: ENSO and Hip Chicks Do Wine.

Other urban wineries in the city include:  Angel Vine at Urban Crush, Viola Wine Cellars, Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, Clay Pigeon Winery, Division Winemaking Company at the Southeast Wine Collective, Fullerton Wines at the Southeast Wine Collective, and Helioterra Wines at the Southeast Wine Collective, Fausse Piste, Seven Bridges Winery, Willful Wine at Urban Crush. Details and winery links are available on the PDXUrbanWineries website.

On our next visit to Portland, we hope to visit more of these boutique urban wineries.

Hope you all enjoy Portland, Oregon as much as we do. By the way, so far during our trips to Portland, we have not encountered any of the characters from the show, Grim!

Also, if you are interested in the connection of wine and religion, check out the series of articles written by Meghan Sullivan, called Wine in the Bible.


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