Whitewater to Wine: A Multi-Day Indulgence Trip with Boudreaux Cellars
Deschutes River, OR
Minimum: 8 people Maximum: 11
Orion Expeditions is teaming up with Boudreaux Cellars owner and winemaker Rob Newsom for a multi-day river trip with wine lovers, foodies, and outdoor enthusiast in mind. Raft 44 miles of the Deschutes River in Oregon followed by evening food and wine pairings sure to satisfy the pallet, as well as, the soul. In May there are canyons of green, and abundant wildflowers. It’s a great time of year to enjoy the scenery and relax down by the river with good food, wine, and great company. During the month of May on the Deschutes, it’s starting to get warmer, yet we are still allowed to have dutch oven cooking and campfires at night. Our guides are amazing cooks (one actually IS a gourmet chef), and they are also musically gifted. We will also be hosting an evening costume night event we like to call “Dinner at Eight”. This silly over the top red carpet event will be complete with white tablecloths, candles, and music that will surely create the ambiance for a night to remember. Because why not? If that’s not river “casual”, we don’t know what is. Make it fun! That’s what Orion Expeditions and Boudreaux Cellars are all about. If you like good wine, great food, and relaxing river times in a naturally scenic setting then you’ll love this trip!
about Rob Newsom of Boudreaux Cellars
A multitalented winemaker who produces some of the best handcrafted wines in the Northwest. Rob credits Leonetti Cellars owners Gary and Chris Figgins, along with John Abbott from Abeja Winery in Walla Walla, for gently guiding him to his rustic alpine wine making adventure.
The former mountain and rock climbing guide was working for Gore-tex (for whom he developed a fly-fishing wader in the 1990’s) when he first tasted a 1985 Leonetti reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Not realizing that Leonetti wines are in high demand and sold only to people on a mailing or waiting list, Rob called the winery and asked to buy a case. The Figgins family were charmed by the Southerner and managed to collect enough bottles to fill his first case order.
It was the beginning of a long friendship and mentoring. The winemakers and Rob fished together, and he entertained them with Bluegrass music and jokes about Boudreaux, an infamous Cajun folklore character known for his brilliant sense of humor and pursuit of high adventure. In 1998, Rob began making homemade wine, and in 2001, when he made his first commercial wines, Chris Figgins suggested he name them Boudreaux.
The tall, lanky winemaker is also an experienced cook; a step into his kitchen blesses you with some of the most mouth-watering Cajun food this side of Louisiana. “My mother taught me that if you want to eat, you have to learn to cook.” He crafts his wines from the perspective of a gourmand, pairing wines with food to create synergy.
Rob says wine making makes use of all his talents, both left-brain and right-brain: science, invention and process combined with blending, cooking, tasting, music—and jokes. Even though Boudreaux wines are award winners, Rob never loses his sense of humor and even crafts little ditties for each wine. “Drink this Merlot, eat smoked Coho, kick off your flip-flops, dance on rooftops” is an ode to a recent Merlot.
Laughing at yourself is a great way of entertaining,” says Rob. “We have as much fun at it as we can.”
Day 0 (evening before the trip). Meet and Greet. Your guides will meet you at Maupin City Park (Maupin, OR) the evening before the trip. Here you will get to briefly meet your guides, Rob Newsom of Boudreaux, and other participants. You will receive a river bag that will house your belongings for the duration of the trip. You will have the option of camping with the group this night or may arrange your own hotel accommodations in town.
Day 1: We will shuttle everyone to the river and enjoy an early morning breakfast before starting our trip. Following a few introductory, activities we will float 7 miles downstream to our lunch spot just before Trout creek. We will have another 11 miles on the river before ending at Lone Pine camp for the evening. Guides will prepare a delicious meal to be paired with Boudreaux wine, and we will enjoy time around the fire.
Day 2: After breakfast, we will get on the river, and shortly thereafter we will pull over to scout White Horse Rapid. It will only be about 3 miles down to lower Whitehorse camp, where we will camp for the evening. After lunch, a few of the guides will hike up to the flagpole. It’s a challenge by choice activity. Guest can choose to go on the hike or hang out and relax at camp. This night we will host a “guess who’s coming to dinner” evening where everyone comes dressed up in costume to an over the top fancy dinner complete with white tablecloths, candles, a red carpet, and fun music so doesn't forget to pack a costume! Don't be afraid to get creative!
Day 3: Wake up and have breakfast at Lower Whitehorse Camp. After packing up camp we will have lunch before taking off downstream. From there we have another 10 miles down the Buckskin Mary camp where we will have our last night of food and wine pairing accompanied by music and campfire afterwards.
Day 4: After breakfast, we will get all packed up and get into all of our river gear and raft down through Boxcar and Wapinitia rapids. Our final day will consist of 12 river miles before ending at our lunch in Maupin, Oregon.
Cost per person: $950 per person. Costs include all food from breakfast on Day 1 through Lunch Day 4, 4 river guides, the wine maker, group equipment, dry bags, sleeping cots, shuttle from Maupin to Warm Springs (transportation downriver via raft will put us back at the cars on day 4) Personal items, speciality snacks, and transportation to and from Maupin, OR are not included. +21 and older. Tents can be rented in advance upon request (supplies are limited).