I love houses with big comfy beds, fluffy pillows, soft bathrobes hanging in the closet and views of beautiful green and nature through outside every window.
That’s the type of house I’d normally live in, but since I’ve had to spend a lot of time in major cities over the past few years I often have to wait until I take a trip to find this kind of peaceful abode.
Low Heaven Farm in Mcminnville was just that for me. Peaceful. Green. And just like home…. if home were exactly the way I wanted it to be. nestled in the countryside while just a six-minute drive from downtown McMinnville
Located in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country, mid-way between McMinnville and Carlton, on a large piece of farmland, Low Heaven Farm feels like arriving at a home away from home. Owners Sally and Ron are warm and friendly. If you don’t see them during your visit you will at the very least enjoy their hospitality in the form of a welcome note, snacks and a well-stocked fridge (with your favorite breakfast foods). Note: the rental home is a smaller house (though quite spacious) just next to the big house — with lots of privacy and a separate driveway and entrance.
The views from inside the rental cottage are those of big swaying trees, lush green farmland, a spectacularly intricate treehouse complete with frolicking squirrel families, bird houses and flowers. In this distance you can usually spot the alpacas and goats wandering around and munching grass, laying in the sun or cuddling together (when it’s not so sunny). The animals are friendly so we weren’t shy about going out and giving them a little love. The billy goats were especially friendly.
And as if getting a house with so much green, beautiful surroundings with fuzzy farm animals wasn’t good enough, the house also comes with a more completely stocked kitchen than I’ve ever seen in a rental. We found all sizes of pots and pans and dishes and every kitchen tool — even a coffee bean grinder, salad spinner and blender.
The bed was super comfortable with high quality pillows and linens. And there were plenty of extra towels, bathrobes and bath supplies in the cupboards and closets.
Looking to explore the Willamette Valley? No need to get online (though the wifi works fine). The house is very well stocked with baskets full of travel maps and brochures, coffee tables full of local travel magazines and shelves of travel books. There’s even a big binder full of super detailed information (courtesy of Sally and Ron) on everything from local restaurants, markets and art galleries to health centers, gyms and favorite day trips.
On a free day we visited the Miller Woods Conservation Area, the perfect place to get out and hike for a few miles without going too far. Just a few minutes down the road from Low Heaven Farm, the unspoiled and uncrowded trails lead through open meadows, woods and along a creek.
I was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time at Low Heaven Farm this spring and I can say that it’s easily the most peaceful rental I’ve stayed at so far, and perhaps the favorite place I stayed in Oregon wine country (even though I’ve stayed in quite a few fancy B&Bs and luxury hotels) over three months. While I love luxury and pampering, I also love cooking for myself, not having any neighbors in connecting rooms, playing the piano and wandering freely around acres of farm land.
Thistle (228 NE Evans Street, McMinnville): For classy pre- and post-dinner cocktails in trendy but intimate setting, we opted for Thistle in downtown McMinnville. The mixologists were phenomenal and catered to our unique palates perfectly. Plus the drinks came in super pretty glasses.
Growlers Tap Station and Cider House (1036 NE Baker Street, McMinnville): This was a fantastic stop for excellent local ciders. We tasted a whole lineup of Carlton Cyderworks ciders from bone dry and crisp to quince infused, fruit infused and whiskey barrel-aged. The Slake was my personal favorite — uber dry, plenty of acidity and super refreshing just the way I like. Best of all, Growlers Tap Station sells growlers to go.
Flaneur Wines (258-A N. Kutch St., Carlton): Less than 10 minutes from Low Heaven is the cute little downtown area of Carlton where many wineries opened tasting rooms. One of my favorite shops was Flaneur — which does tasting by appointment only. We were lucky enough to taste through pretty and well-made pinot noirs and chardonnays with the owner, Martin.
De Ponte Cellars (17545 NE Archery Summit Road, Dayton): At De Ponte Cellars, we sought the winery’s unique white wine, Melon de Bourgogne (a Muscadet).
Carlton Cellars (130 W Monroe St, Carlton): Carlton Cellars produces Auxerrois blanc — which is a clone of Chenin blanc that is super rare to find made outside France. There are very cool things going on with the white wine scene in Oregon right now!