An outdoor living room awaits guests at The Setting Inn in Newberg. ##Photo provided
A fire pit and bocce court make for fun in the Willamette Valley sun at The Setting Inn. ##Photo provided
A grand fireplace makes a statement inside The Setting Inn. ##Photo provided
Winemaker Jesse Katz of The Setting Wines in Napa. ##Photo provided

Unique Setting

Newberg inn offers cool amenities with tasting room in the plans

By Sophia McDonald

Northern Willamette Valley wine country remains chock-full of wonderful wineries to visit, and now a new lodging option adds yet another reason to make the region your next destination. The Setting Inn, which opened last May outside Newberg, promises a memorable stay.

Located on 10 acres, the eight-room inn includes fire pits, bocce ball courts, a garden, fruit trees and a barn furnished with a fireplace, TV and games — it serves as a hangout spot and small event space. The inn also boasts a boutique vineyard, giving guests a chance to get up close and personal with the grapes, something that often isn’t allowed at commercial vineyards, explains general manager Yndira Marrero.

“The entire property is for the guests to enjoy,” says Marrero. “We have no restriction on leisure.” As implied by the name of the inn, “We want to be the perfect setting to share with those you love and create everlasting memories.”

While there is no restaurant, guests receive a breakfast box, containing fresh pastries from Portland’s Pearl Bakery, cheese from Briar Rose Creamery in nearby Dundee, as well as salami, fresh fruit and ingredients for mimosas. Thanks to the hotel’s top-notch concierge service, guests can also make special requests for treats or extra services, which the staff does their best to accommodate.

“We try our best to make a connection with the guest and have them feel comfortable contacting us and asking for things,” says Marrero. “They always have our phone number, which is a mobile, so when they’re out in town and they need something, they just send a text message.”

Still in development, an onsite tasting room will showcase the dynamic inn’s other surprise: The Setting Wines made by California winemaker Jesse Katz. While best known for high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux blends and other wines he makes at Sonoma’s Aperture Cellars and Devil Proof Vineyards, Katz started The Setting Wines in 2014 with two philanthropic friends as a way to give back. The Setting Wines does a lot of private labels for fundraisers and charitable auctions. The brand has collaborated with the L.A. Lakers, Tony Hawk, Ellen DeGeneres, Emeril Lagasse and many others, raising approximately $2.4 million.

The Setting Wines have always been made with grapes grown in Napa and Sonoma, and served in the tasting room at The Setting Inn’s original Yountville property. But now with a sister inn here, Katz is working with Oregon fruit. For his first vintage in 2021, he sourced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Chehalem Mountain Vineyard, a cooler site with a longer growing season and great acidity.

“Cabernet has more richness and tannin and tells more of the story, with acid being the second act,” he says. “With Pinot and Chardonnay, acidity has to be the leading actor in my mind to bring balance to the wine.” The Chardonnay is being aged in a larger puncheon to add texture and richness to the wines, and the Pinot will be made with about 33% new oak, allowing the pure expression of the vineyard site to come through.

Although Katz hasn’t assembled his final blends, he’s ecstatic with the wines so far. “I think we have some really special wines that will showcase the uniqueness of the area.”

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