On a recent trip to Portland, I wanted to stay someplace unique. And unique doesn't begin to describe McMenamins' Kennedy School. It opened as a primary school in 1915 and educated the young uns of Portland's northeast suburbs until 1975. Then it was condemmed to the rubble heap. The McMenamin brothers saved the school and revitalized it - infusing it with historical artwork reflecting the histories of Kennedy's students and teachers.
It is now, in my opinion, one of the swankiest hotels in Portland. The school is part of the McMenamins stable of places for "families and friends." The concept is unique, and quite enjoyable. Additionally, for the wine lover, the brothers M also operate a winery - Edgefield Winery.
I was a bit concerned that the winery was simply a novelty to be served at the McMenamins' restaurant & bars. To my surprise, several of the wines were fine examples of Northwestern U.S. vino.
2002 Black Rabbit Red - mostly Cabernet & Merlot with some Pinot, Syrah, and Grenache as accent spices. The perfect house red. It's smooth, with subdued fruit and a little spice
2002 Chukar Ridge Vineyard Syrah - Very good new world Syrah. Black cherries and a bit 'o pepper
1999 Winemaker's Reserve Pinot Noir - Sadly, I think age has sapped this Pinot's strength. Structureless and underwhelming
2004 Pinot Gris - P.Gris of the simple persuasion. a pleasant enough wine to drink while you're waiting for your heirloom tomato salad
2004 Yamhill County White Riesling - Just a bit over the line in terms of sweetness, yet enough acidity to save it from syrupville. Another good white to sip at the bar
If you happen to find yourself in the Northwest, check out one of the McMenamins' fun & funky properties.