A Great Oregon Wine Tour
Hello everyone and thank you for checking out our site.
We are Wayne and Camille Oppenheimer, The King and Queen of wine country. When you book a tour with us we will be your first contact and maybe even your guides. We met in wine country and together have developed one of the top rated wine tour businesses in Oregon. Our years of working in this industry, our experiences, building our circle of friends and colleagues in this industry were really training for being the ultimate tour guides.
I grew up in Beaverton, a great suburb of Portland and my love for Oregon wines began in the mid 1980’s. At that time there were only a handful of wineries here in the Northern Willamette Valley, today there are over 500. Back then wine tasting was just a hobby but in the mid 90’s I took it a little more seriously and made the decision to move to the Napa Valley in California. Not turning my back on Oregon, just broadening my knowledge and understanding of west coast wines. I was lucky to have been there when I was, I got to know Robert Mondavi while working at Mondavi Winery, and let’s face it, in the mid 90’s The Napa Valley was cool as F#&!.
Eventually my wandering heart and love of wine lead me back to Oregon where I started A Great Oregon Wine Tour with a minivan, a winery map, a website and a fancy new flip phone.
I opened a small wine shop in SE Portland called WineUp Wine Merchants. Life was simple, exciting and a great adventure. The wine shop is where I REALLY learned about wines from all over the world, and out on the wine tours is where I REALLY learned about Oregon wines. And if managing a wine shop and an emerging wine tour business wasn’t enough I started a show on the internet called WineUpTV.com. It was a blast, I got to interview distributors and winemakers both local and when they were in Portland I interviewed winemakers from all over the world. I filmed from my wine shop, I filmed in Wine Country, I filmed wherever I thought would be fun and interesting. You can still see my old shows on YouTube.
Fast forward a couple of years to May of 2009. One afternoon while out meeting tasting room managers and learning my way around this ever growing region I ran into Camille. She was selling wine making equipment at the time and the rest as they say is Rock-N-Roll.
So I am NOT a native Oregonian, I grew up in Orange County California, the land of warm beaches, Disneyland and Saturday night L.A. club hopping. Ice cold beer and sweet cocktails were my beverages of choice. I really didn’t care for wine at all. My friends were drinking wine and I wanted to be in on their wine conversations so I read articles and books on wine tasting and I learned how to taste and appreciate wine. Never would I have believed that one day I would be co-owner of a wine tour company in Oregon. Heck, I worked for Pacific Bell for over 13 years, I thought I would retire from there and live in California for the rest of my life.
In the fall of 1996 an opportunity to move to Oregon presented itself. As a single mom, the idea of getting my children out of the rat race of So. Cal and in to the beautiful Pacific Northwest sounded pretty good and off we went.
We lived in a little farm town just east of Salem (the state capital) that reminded me of Mayberry. I got a job as the Credit Manager for a food coop called NORPAC, it was 1 mile from our house and across the field from the high school. Perfect!
In November of 1999 I applied for a seasonal job at Willamette Valley Vineyards, a wine elf so to speak. I did grocery store demos, worked in the tasting room and helped people put gift baskets together for the holidays. It was SO Much Fun, not like work at all. At the end of my holiday stint the owner of the winery approached me about staying on permanent. We worked out a few details and was hired in January of 2000 and have worked in the Oregon Wine Industry ever since.
I left W.V.V. in spring of 2005 to work for myself. I formed a company called Bacchus And Friends where I offered tasting room management and profitability consulting, wine club design and a bit of staffing. I also became an independent rep for a capital lease company offering financing for wineries and eventually started selling wine making equipment for one of my customers. For 6 years I drove all over the state of Oregon offering all of my services to wineries, I have met just about every wine maker, tasting room manager and production manager in the state.
THEN…. In the spring of 2009 I was at Lange Estate Winery talking to Jessie Lange about upgrading his wine press. When I left the building and headed to the parking lot I met Wayne, a handsome guy with a wine shop and a tour company and the rest as they say was history. We got married August 1st 2015 and I think we are great life partners and business partners.