Oregon’s Willamette Valley stretches 150 miles from Eugene to Portland. A diverse agricultural region, the valley is filled with pastoral rolling green countryside, abundant vineyards, family-owned wineries, dairy farms, apple orchards, and friendly farm towns. The Willamette River flows the entire length of the valley, enriching this lush and fertile area. Mountains surround it on three sides, protecting it against cold rain from the Pacific Ocean and desert heat from Eastern Oregon.
With every turn, every mile, its beauty unfolds and there’s no doubt that this is one of the prettiest wine regions in the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon’s answer to California’s Napa Valley, the Willamette Valley is home to more than 700 wineries, more than 900 vineyards, and ten nested AVAs. Winemaking only began here 50 short years ago with Pinot Noir as the star of Willamette Valley. As Oregon’s most famous grape, it’s as finicky as a superstar yet the foundation for some exceptional wine.
The climate boasts a long and gentle growing season. Its mild winters, rainy springs, and warm summer days with cool evenings provide perfect conditions for growing the cool-climate grapes that Oregon is best known for. Because of the ideal growing climate winemakers are also experimenting with other cool climate varietals with great success.
With so many wineries and a vast wine-growing region, it can be hard to know where to start. But this guide to the best wineries in Willamette Valley will help readers discover some astounding Pinot Noir, aromatic Riesling, and the valley’s newest darling – sparkling wine, along with spectacular views and unique wine tasting experiences. If you’re looking to plan a trip, also check out our complete itinerary for visiting Willamette Valley.
TOP WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINERIES & WINE TASTING GUIDE
- Willamette Wine Tours & Travel Logistics
- Boutique Wineries
- Wineries with Views
- Unique Wine Experiences
- Well-Established Wineries
- Where to Stay
- Where to Eat
- …and more
Travel Logistics: Getting to and Around Willamette Valley
There are two primary airports in Willamette Valley – Portland International Airport in the north and Eugene Airport in the south. For visitors wishing to take wine home with them, Alaska Airlines offers the Wine Flies Free program, where passengers can check a case of wine for free.
While it is possible to take a bus to Willamette Valley, renting a car or taking a guided tour with transportation is necessary to visit most of the wineries. Our recommended guided tour offered by Great Oregon leaves from Portland with hotel pickup available. It’s a full-day trip with 3 – 5 winery visits and includes a beautiful vineyard lunch.
Amtrak is another option for visitors traveling to Willamette Valley. The train stops in Eugene and Portland. Again, it’s best to rent a car for visiting the wineries as most wineries are about an hour from Portland Airport.
For a private yet guided tour, take a day trip with Carmine from Oregon Winemaker Tours. Your day is completely customizable, and Carmine is a winemaker himself. Choose from our list of recommended Willamette wineries below, or let Carmine select your stops based on your personal travel preferences. Not one of our readers has been disappointed. We couldn’t recommend a more educational and fun private day trip. Make sure you schedule well in advance as this is one of the best options in the valley.
RECOMMENDED: Browse the Winetraveler Shop for Vineyard Hopping Apparel
If you’re in the Eugene area, travel with Oregon Vine2Wine Tours and visit 3 hand-picked wineries on a tour departing from and returning to Eugene. Includes small bites along with transport.
Boutique Wineries and Intimate Tastings
Bells Up Winery
27895 NE Bell Road, Newberg
What Guests Like About It: Boutique, exclusive tastings with the winemaker, unique varieties, musical theme
Bells Up Winery offers guests who seek out small wineries an approachable wine tasting experience led by the winemaker. Exclusive wine tastings, limited to no more than eight guests, are conducted in the winery’s barrel room or on the outside deck with sweeping views of the vineyard. Three sessions are offered daily, by appointment, starting at 11 am.
Bells Up owners Dave and Sara Specter, a couple of transplants from Ohio, started their winery in 2012 with 9 acres of vines. The name “Bells Up” refers to a musical term – a dramatic moment in a classical music score instructing French horn players (of which Dave is one) to raise their instrument’s bell and project sound with maximum intensity.
As if responding to a symphony conductor’s command, Dave and Sara completely transformed a former Christmas tree farm into a very productive wine making property. It’s replete with vineyards, a winery, and a barrel room neatly composed on a south-facing hillside in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Today Bells Up remains deliberately small-scale, micro-boutique and un-domain production of 600 cases annually.
Hence, it’s fitting that with Dave’s musical background, the wines are also named after symphonies of famous composers. Equal to the great symphonies they are named after, Bells Up wines reflect handcrafted, classically styled expressions of maximum intensity.
Dave conducts the winetasting personally as he sits across the custom-made varnished wood tables from his guests. He serves each wine one at a time as he expertly and enthusiastically describes the characteristics of each one and then explains the musically-derived name for it. Bells Up, like many other wineries in Willamette, serves wine in large, tulip shaped glasses, affectionally known as “Oregon Pinot glasses,” to capture and enhance the aroma and flavors of the wine.
No tasting fees are charged. However, because the winemaker personally guides the party through a genuine, personalized, and private tasting, each guest is requested to purchase a minimum of three bottles each. A $100 non-refundable fee is charged per person in advance when making reservations, then applied back to the three-bottle minimum purchase.
Tastings typically include a sampling of five to six wines like Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and a single vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir sourced from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Dave also produces a Syrah with grapes sourced from the Walla Walla Valley. Unique to the Bells Up tasting, there is also an estate grown Seyval Blanc. And soon to be available, an obscure Northern Italian varietal, Schioppettino, will be on the menu.
Potter’s Vineyard and Clay Art Gallery
14725 NE Quarry Road, Newberg
What Guests Like About It: Art gallery, accessibility to winemaker, homey atmosphere
If ever the perfect blend of science and artistry existed, it would be at Potter’s Vineyard in the Laurelwood District AVA. This family-run winery reflects a work of love for husband-and-wife owners Bill (winemaker and grower) and Sandy (tasting room manager) Sanchez. The couple purchased an existing 3.5-acre vineyard in 2012 and turned it into an art gallery, pottery studio, and tasting room.
The winery intentionally limits production to less than 1000 cases annually, but includes several different varietals from its organic, dry-farmed estate vineyard. They also source from vineyards in Washington. The winery’s goal is “to offer the very best tasting experience in Oregon” and has recently received exceptional 90+ scores in various competitions. Visitors can be assured that Bill and Sandy’s passion for handcrafted old-world style wines will be in every bottle made from their limited production, boutique vineyard. And the magic blend of science and art can be tasted in each wine.
A beautiful art gallery is the setting for wine tasting at Potter’s Vineyard. Stylishly decorated with displays of colorful, clay art products handcrafted by Bill along the walls, the tasting room really comes alive when Bill Sanchez presents his 10th vintage Vino Vasai, Italian for Potter’s wine. Seated at large tables in the center of the gallery, guests sample wines served one glass at a time by Sandy as Bill explains their character, complexity, and the vineyard that produced them.
A tasting includes a flight of five wines, a Rosé, a Chardonnay, two Pinot Noirs, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting menu details the significant information on each wine, but Bill’s running commentary on each of them brings to life his genuine passion and talented artistry in their creation.
Wine tasting costs $20 per person. A tour of the vineyards and tasting costs $30. For $40, guests can taste, tour, and enjoy a charcuterie board to pair with their wines. Public tastings are by appointment only Friday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Private tasting options are also available by reservation. By special request, a private tour of the artist’s pottery production garage can also be arranged. Sales of art and wine are direct to consumer as well as to wine club members.
718 E 1st Street, Newberg
What Guests Like About It: Boutique, the story of the family, location, Viognier
When it’s time to park the car and take a break, this urban wine tasting room, located in downtown Newberg is a delightful stop. Located between two popular restaurants in downtown Newberg, guests often end their afternoon or start their evening at this welcoming wine tasting room.
The name Et Fille reflects the winery’s legacy. It means “and daughter,” representing the founders, Howard (father) and Jessica (daughter) Mozeico who teamed up in 2003 to start a winery on a small test vineyard on Parratt Mountain in the Chehalem Mountain AVA. Today, Et Fille has expanded to sourcing grapes from blocks on six sustainably farmed vineyards located in four different AVAs in the Willamette Valley. The winery produces about 2500 cases annually.
Having learned everything about wine making from her dad, Jessica continues making elegantly complex wines inspired by her late father’s legacy and for the future of Jessica’s own daughter, Gabriella.
The tasting room, with a subtle black, white and pink color theme that is also reflected on the wine bottle labels, is centered around a long bar. However, guests are seated at tables and chairs spread along the walls and the large street front window of the tasting room. Photos of the winery, vineyard, and family decorate the walls.
Tastings are $25 per person and last about 60 minutes. The tasting room manager serves individual tastings by the glass. Guests can taste 5 to 6 wines from the current sustainably crafted wine selection of Pinot Noir, Viognier, and a méthode champenoise sparkling wine. The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday, 12 – 6 pm, appointments are strongly recommended.
The flagship wine that most expresses the character of Et Fille Wines is the Et Fille Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. However, the most popular wine is the Viognier and it sells out quickly.
Each wine is accompanied with a description of its character by the attentive and knowledgeable tasting room manager, Josh. Cheese and charcuterie boards are available to order for $15.00, but if that’s not enough food, Et Fille’s tasting room is conveniently located between two of Newberg’s choicest restaurants, the Rosmarino Osteria Italiana and the rugged Ruddick Tavern.
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Wineries with the Best Views
Youngberg Hill Vineyards
10660 SW Youngberg Hill, McMinnville
What Guests Like About It: Best views, onsite bed and breakfast, fun events, no reservations required
For guests at Youngberg Hill, wine tastings are more than working through a flight of five estate wines offered daily. It’s enjoying the panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains, the Willamette Valley, and the surrounding hillsides covered with 23 acres of vineyards. It’s also about the welcoming hospitality offered to guests who may want to stay at the three-story, nine-suite inn located directly in the center of the property. The Inn also houses the tasting room and provides an extensive outdoor, sheltered balcony seating area for wine tasting.
Owner Nicolette Nickolaou bought the 50-acre estate in 2003. Youngberg Hill is one of the few women-owned wineries in the Willamette Valley and one of two of the westernmost vineyard sites in the McMinnville AVA. It is directly influenced by the cool marine winds coming through the Van Duzer Corridor, allowing the wines made here to be a full expression of where the fruit is grown.
Winetasting at Youngberg Hill offers two spectacular views. One is outdoors from the deck of the Inn. It includes an unparalleled view of the vineyard, the Eola-Amity Mountain range, and beyond that, the Cascades including Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood. Nicolette says, “We have the best views of the Willamette Valley here at Youngberg Hill Vineyards. That’s what makes this place magic.” The other view is that of the interior of the wine tasting room, a well-decorated, wood and brick-accented living room with a fireplace and overstuffed, yet comfortable chairs.
Youngberg Hill offers a walk-in, no reservations required, tasting of five wines for only $30 per person or the Bailey Family wines for $50 per person. For a more elevated experience, by appointment, and a slightly different view of the estate, guests can taste either the more comprehensive Youngberg Hill Reserve wines for $70 per person or the flagship Bailey Family Reserve label wines for $90 per person. In all the tastings guests are seated and knowledgeable servers are present to answer any questions guests may have.
A unique, educational and fun finale to the wine tasting is the comparative tasting of the popular Pinot Noirs from the Natasha Block and Jordan Block vineyards. Both wines are from the same clone yet each distinctively reflects its different terroir in taste and character. Vineyard tours and barrel tastings are also available as are more higher-end types of specialty wine tastings. In addition to wine tasting, local music is featured on Wednesday evenings during the summer along with a host of other events throughout the year. Open daily from 10 am to 4 pm, the tasting room is only a short ten-minute drive from downtown McMinnville.
Bryn Mawr Vineyards
5935 Bethel Heights Road NW, Salem
What Guests Like About It: Best views, onsite Airbnb, Taco Tuesday, Rosé of Pinot Noir
It’s hard to express in words the awesome beauty of the sweeping vista offered by Bryn Mawr Vineyards. From the expansive patio with tables sheltered by enormous white canvas umbrellas, guests can see southwest across the Willamette Valley all the way to the Van Duzer Corridor. Cool winds from the Pacific Ocean that blow through this gap in the Cascade Mountains influence the wines made here by Rachel Rose, winemaker since 2009. Owners John and Kathy Lauer completed their modern production facility in 2017 after starting their winemaking effort in the basement of their original home on the property of only 4 planted acres. They now harvest from 20 acres planted high in the volcanic hillside soils of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.
Guests can sample wines while seated at tables outside on the patio or inside the spacious tasting room. The tasting room is well-lit by natural light that flows through the large windows that look out from the crest of the high hill. A flight of six wines costs $20 per person and is served by an attentive, knowledgeable staff person who explains the characteristics. In addition, a descriptive menu card with flavor profiles accompanies each flight. Open daily from 11 am – 5 pm, reservations required.
Rosé of Pinot Noir is the flagship wine of Bryn Mawr. So popular with guests, it sells out quickly. Tasting includes Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, and Riesling. Guests can rent an on-site Airbnb known as the “idea box home” with two king size suites offering stunning mountain views. All summer long a fun and festive event replays every Tuesday from 5 – 8 pm. Taco Tuesday provides live music and features mouthwatering tacos with special pricing on a select bottle of wine each week.
Willakenzie Estate Vineyard
19143 NE Laughlin Road, Yamhill
What Guests Like About It: Excellent wines, educational tasting experience, beautiful views
Willakenzie Estate Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA offers stunning views from its spacious patio and its elegant tasting room. But don’t let the beautiful surroundings distract you from its luscious estate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. The focus here is on the wine.
Bernard Lacroate and his wife Ronni established the winery when they purchased 420 acres in 1991. Originally a cattle farm, the winery’s name is inspired by the ancient marine sedimentary soil on which the Willakenzie Estate is planted. The Willakenzie soil, formed from the confluence of the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers, is unique to Willamette Valley.
This winery boasts the largest clonal varietal planting of vines in the Willamette Valley. Based on this diversity and in keeping with the winemaking tradition that great wines reflect a true sense of place, Willakenzie Estate produces elegant, cool climate wines. It relies on a long-standing practice of sustainable viticulture and was the first vineyard to become LIVE certified in the Willamette Valley.
Willakenzie has over 125 different vines and 43 parcels. And when winemaker Erik Kramer started here in 2017, he asked to have all the large commercial tanks removed. They were replaced by craft sized tanks so that Erik could make decisions on when to pick for each parcel. Erik and vineyard/land manager Ken Kupperman collaborate to grow and produce wines with depth and distinction. And yes, you can taste that quality in all of the wines.
The 2019 Estate Pinot Noir is Willakenzie’s flagship wine. Erik makes this wine first by choosing the best fruit from the blocks he wants to use to create his masterpiece. Also, the aromatic 2019 Estate Chardonnay delivers a fine example of a classic chardonnay with complexity and layers of citrus and baked bread. The 2020 Tourdion Cuvée Blanc and the 2019 Clariere Pinot Noir are more examples of the fine wine produced at Willakenzie.
The Varietals Flight is $30 per person, waived with a purchase of $75. The Cellar Club Flight is $40, waived with a $100 purchase. Cheese and charcuterie boards are available for $25. Tasting is available by appointment daily, 11 am – 5 pm.
Seated tastings, poured one wine at a time, come with stories of the winery, the vineyard, the characteristics of the wines, and more about the winemaker. While the focus here is all about the wines, not events, specialized tours are available by reservation. They include an estate tour via ATV, extravagant charcuterie on top of the hill, and a Pinot only tasting to provide a perspective of this special place.
21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane, Amity
What Guests Like About It: Excellent views, onsite restaurant, extensive wine list, produce grown onsite
Founded by the late Jimi Brooks, and now run by Janie Brooks, his sister, Brooks Wine invites visitors to sit back, relax, and sip world class wines produced onsite from their nearly 50-year-old vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The wines reflect the influence of the volcanic soils and Van Duzer Corridor winds on the grapes. The menu includes 17 Pinot Noirs, 15 Rieslings, 5 library wines, and 11 other wines including a white blend, Pinot Gris, and Syrah. Winemaker Chris William, in his 23rd vintage, says, “If you can’t find something on this menu, then you don’t really like wine.”
Tastings cost $20 for a flight of six wines. Guests can reserve their favorite table for parties of 1 to 8 with a $40 deposit. The $40 deposit is refunded with the purchase of tastings, wine, or food. Open daily from 11 am – 5 pm, reservations required.
The onsite restaurant serves lunch from their seasonal menu sourced, in part, from their well-maintained and prolific garden. Guests enjoy seated tastings and food either in the cozy tasting lounge or outdoors on the large deck while taking in the expansive four-mountain view and valley of vineyards below. On a clear day, guests can see Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson from the outside deck.
Unique Wine Experiences
Archery Summit Winery
18599 NE Archery Summit Road, Dayton
What Guests Like About It: Wine tasting in the cave, stunning vineyard views, friendly staff
Guests who come for wine tasting in the heat of summer are in for a very cool and unique treat at this elevated winery in the Dundee Hills AVA. Archery Summit Winery tastings take place underground in the coolness of a Burgundian-inspired barrel cave. Dug 45 feet underneath the vineyard above, the cave stretches for a quarter mile in what was formerly the wine production facility. Now it provides a wine tasting room where guests are seated at comfortable tables along the dramatic, black gunite coated walls. The cave temperature is so naturally well controlled that air conditioning is not required and guarantees a constant, pleasant coolness for wine tasters.
The vineyard above features conditions uniquely suited for Pinot Noir with its south facing slopes, well-drained soil, and high elevation. From five estate vineyards and 50 different blocks spread across more than 80 acres in predominantly volcanic soils, winemaker Ian Burch crafts rare and remarkable wines that vividly express their distinct places of origin. He says, “My philosophy is trying to let the fruit speak for itself.”
Red Hills Vineyard is one of the most popular wines at Archery Summit. But Ian considers the Arcus Vineyard Pinot Noir, sourced from one of the winery’s five vineyards in Dundee Hills, to be its flagship wine. Signature tastings run $50 per person for a flight of one single-vineyard Chardonnay, three single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, and one cellar selection. Open daily, tasting is available by appointment, from 10 am – 4 pm.
Ian says the best thing about the tasting experience is the knowledgeable, well-trained staff that serve each guest.
Left Coast Estate
4225 N Pacific Highway, Rickreal
What Guests Like About It: Oak savannah, onsite restaurant with woodfired pizza, friendly staff
Within 30 minutes northwest of downtown Salem, Left Coast Estate offers a unique opportunity for guests to enjoy a glass of wine under 400-year-old, majestic oak trees on their 500-acre vineyard, winery, and working farm.
Left Coast Estate was founded by Robert Pfaff and Suzanne Larson, but the ownership has been with the children from the start. Now in its 2nd generation, Left Coast is located in the Van Duzer Corridor AVA. Since 2003, the family has expanded the original 35-acre planted plot to 160 acres for growing both white and red varieties. The winery produces about 23,000 cases annually. Their vineyards and winery are certified sustainable through LIVE and each bottle is crafted predominantly to represent the sedimentary and loess terroir in which the grapes are grown.
In addition to their wines, Sarah Horner, Marketing and Communication Director, says, “Left Coast Estate is working to preserve its oak savannahs using goats and sheep to mitigate the growth of invasive species of plants.” For the past seven years the estate has sponsored a unique event named “Run for the Oaks,” in which 10K and 5K runs on a course designed around the property raises money to rehabilitate the oaks.
The wine tasting experience begins the moment guests arrive as Queen Bee Bubbly, a méthode champenoise produced sparkling wine is served to each visitor. Beekeeping and honey production are part of the Left Coast Estates practices.
Knowledgeable servers provide the wine tasting experience by pouring each wine one at a time. The tasting costs $25, refunded with a two-bottle purchase. Tastes include a flight of two whites and two reds. The tasting room is open daily from 12 – 5 pm. Tours of the estate vineyard can be arranged as well.
All wines are estate grown and can be coupled with delicious culinary pairings from the tasting room’s kitchen. Especially popular with locals, the charming on-site farmhouse café features woodfired pizza.
Joe Wright, the winemaker, has been with Left Coast for 15 vintages. Left Coast’ flagship wine that best reflects the nature of the vineyards is also the most popular with guests, the White Pinot Noir.
Well-Established Willamette Wineries
Sokol Blosser Winery
5000 NE Sokol Blosser Lane, Dayton
What Guests Like Best About It: Pretty views, onsite restaurant, history and philosophy of sustainability
Fifty-one years ago, back when Oregon was better known for timber and turkeys than for wine, founders and current owners Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser began growing grapes in the red volcanic hills of what is now Dundee Hills AVA. Well before there even was an Oregon wine industry, these two visionary Willamette Valley pioneers started a winery that today continues to express the region’s terroir through the brilliance of its fruit from the 128-acre organic certified estate.
Sokol Blosser’s dramatic tasting room overlooks estate vineyards below the winery and on the hills above it. The onsite kitchen offers small bites and a generous butcher board overflowing with curated meats, specialty cheeses, marinated vegetables, berry and fig jams, and spicy hazelnuts.
But the wine is the real star here. From the 2021 Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc, reminiscent of the New Zealand style found in Marlborough, to the 2021 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, a bright, delicate wine, to the 2018 Peach Tree Block Pinot Noir, an earthy wine with a complex mouthfeel, all showcase the distinctive quality of Sokol Blosser wines.
The 2020 Bluebird Cuvée Brut Sparkling, an excellent blend of five wines, is a nod to Susan Sokol’s dedication to the Prescott Western Bluebird Recovery Project. The winery property is home to 11 bluebird boxes. Each year the boxes fill with nests and soon become home to a new generation of Bluebirds. The birds in turn eat their weight in bugs which helps with integrated pest management in the vineyard.
Wine tasting flights cost $35 per person, waived with a minimum $109 wine purchase. A flight includes four wines, one Sauvignon Blanc, and four Pinot Noirs. Open daily from 10 am – 4 pm by reservation.
Elk Cove Vineyards
27751 NW Olson Road, Gaston
What Guests Like About It: Historic winery, educational tasting, stunning tasting room
Originally planted in 1974 by Pat and Joe Campbell on an old plum farm, Elk Cove remains one of Willamette Valley’s historic family-owned wineries. Today, three hundred acres of planted vineyards are tucked into the foothills of the Coast Range Mountains in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. The newly repurposed event room turned tasting room offers spectacular views of some of the surrounding vineyards and occasional glimpses of the native Roosevelt Elk herd that roams nearby.
Elk Cove has been growing estate Pinot Noir for four decades and it shows. It produces 45,000 cases annually from steep slopes of six different vineyards with three different soil types in three different Willamette Valley AVAs. At 750-to-800-foot elevation, all vineyards are sustainably farmed and Salmon Safe Certified. Second generation winemaker Adam Campbell says, “Good winemaking is a mixture of art and science. But at the end of the day, I need great vineyard sites and impeccable farming to make phenomenal wines.”
Wine tasting at Elk Cove is wine education 101. Enhanced by a spacious, well-lit room with two wood paneled service bars at one end and generously sized wooden tables throughout the area, wine tasting is a seated affair, by reservation, served one wine at a time by Wine Educator, Shane. The atmosphere that he creates is friendly, welcoming, and personalized as he guides guests through monthly rotated, featured flights, a mixture of red, whites, and sparkling. All wines are 100% estate grown and bottled.
The Estate Flight of four wines costs $30. The Reserve Flight of five wines costs $45, and a Sparkling Trio can be added to either flight for an additional $15. Elk Cove is open 10 am to 5 pm daily, by reservation.
The most popular wine is the La Boheme Pinot Noir, accompanied by a romantic story about the founder’s favorite opera. Because the goal is to create cool-climate wine by growing the best fruit possible, wine tasting at Elk Cove lets guests experience the finest qualities of balanced, fruit-focused Willamette Valley wines.
691 Oregon 99W, Dundee
What Guests Like About It: Sparkling wine, urban location, events, stunning tasting room
The site of Argyle Winery was originally a drying plant for hazelnuts or filberts, as the locals say. The filberts gave way to wine grapes in 1987 when winery founder Rollin Soles began making Oregon’s first sparkling wine in the Dundee Hills AVA. Currently celebrating 35 years, Argyle Winery is the largest producer of sparkling wine in Willamette Valley. Its grapes come from an estate that has grown to more than 400 acres. In addition to sparkling wines, Argyle Winery’s Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Rieslings have earned acclaim for their elegance, vineyard-driven character and uncommon age-ability. The sustainable and regenerative viticulture practices of Jeff Hall and the creative talents of winemaker Nate Klustermann combined result in the wine’s quality.
Argyle Winery, conveniently located in the town of Dundee, often serves as the first or last stop for winetasting in the Willamette Valley. The spacious and dramatic tasting room is built from wood repurposed from the original nut drying plant. Seating is available inside or outside on a shaded patio surrounded by lush greenery. For small bites, charcuterie boxes from Sprig and Spread are available for purchase. But the winery also hosts “after hours” events that draw locals and food trucks.
The Pop Flight costs $30 per person and includes four sparkling wines that are only sold in the tasting room. The Variety Flight also costs $30 per person and includes one sparkling and three still wines. The Vintage Brut is the winery’s foundational wine, but the Brut Rosé is also a fan favorite.
Tasting is available by reservation Monday through Thursday, 11 am – 5 pm, and Friday through Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm.
322 Main Street, Springfield
What Guests Like About It: Urban wine bar, open late, sparkling wine, friendly staff
While many of the Willamette Valley wineries are in the Northern Willamette Valley in AVAs like Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton, and Eola-Amity Hills, that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of exceptional wineries in the mid to southern parts of Willamette Valley. Iris Vineyards is one of those.
One of Willamette Valley’s foremost, family-owned wineries, Iris planted its Chalice Vineyard in 1996. The Iris Vineyards wine brand began in 2001. With deep roots in the Lorane Valley just south of Eugene and a history of innovation, Iris has been the face of southern Willamette Valley AVA for more than a quarter century. And as it has grown, so has its collection of remarkable wines, especially sparkling Pinot Noir.
Iris Vineyards owners, husband and wife Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye approach the winemaking world with three certainties. The first is that the wine is an expression of the cool southern territory in which it is grown, a high elevation equal to that of Burgundy, France. The second is that the hand of the winemaker, Aaron Lieberman, a 17-vintage veteran, continues to be central in the vineyard and the cellar. Along the way he added a sparkling program to what developed into a 14,000-case brand. And thirdly, consistently pursuing the Greek concept of Arete’, an idealist notion of ever improving towards excellence, Iris’ wines reflect the passion, craftmanship, and elegance embraced in this noble approach to winemaking.
To discover just how unique Iris Vineyards wine are, guests can book a tasting at Iris’ newly opened wine bar in Springfield. The wine bar is housed in a historic building built in the 1860s. It joins a community of local restaurants, a craft brewery, a distillery, and other shops that make Springfield’s Main Street a vibrant place to visit.
Its wine bar, which just opened in June 2022, provides a casual, comfortable venue for guests to sample Iris Vineyard’s still and sparkling wines. Music plays on weekends on the comfortable back patio of the wine bar. For a cost of $12 per person guests can choose any three wines on the menu, sparkling, whites, and reds, plus a complimentary tasting of the 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2019 Quinta do Calice Port-style, or the 2019 Sweet Amalia. The tasting fee is waived with a $60 purchase. Open Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 am – 8 pm, reservations required.
The House Call Blend is one of the most popular, but the Willamette Valley Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are also favorites.
Specialty cheese and charcuterie boards are also available for purchase, perfect for sipping on a warm and lovely afternoon. Best of all, because the wine bar maintains later than usual operating hours, Iris Vineyards wine bar makes the perfect stop before or after dinner.
Where to Stay
1410 Oregon 99W, Dundee
The Dundee Hotel in the town of Dundee offers 22 modern upscale rooms featuring bold colors inspired by the Willamette Valley. With a stylish vibe, spacious rooms, friendly staff, and an onsite restaurant, the Dundee Hotel provides some of the best accommodations in a central location.
Not only is the hotel surrounded by five Willamette Valleys AVAs, but there are also five luxury tasting rooms on site. Evening Land, Angela Estate, Le Cadeau Vineyard, Cougar Crest, and Tertulia Cellars all maintain tasting rooms within the same building as the Dundee Hotel. There are 20 more tasting rooms within 10 blocks of the hotel, and 40 more in the Dundee Hills.
Each guestroom and suite features luxurious showers, stylish bedding, and bathrobes. Local art decorates the walls of each room and furnishings are created by artisans from reclaimed, wine-infused oak. For dog lovers, the hotel is dog-friendly.
McMenamins Hotel Oregon
310 N. Evans Street, McMinnville
If McMinnville is set in the “heart of the Willamette Valley wine country,” then McMenamins Hotel Oregon on Main Street is the heartbeat. This four-story hotel, built in 1905, is decorated throughout with artwork, historic photographs and inspirational thoughts. The vibrant first floor pub spills out to the sidewalk with outdoor seating. The Rooftop Bar offers a 360-degree view of this nostalgic town and surrounding region. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time when you stay in one of the hotel’s 42 guestrooms. Be sure to specify that you want a room with a private bathroom. Like many refurbished hotels of yesteryear, a few rooms share a bathroom down the hallway.
Where to Eat
Field and Stream
1410 Oregon 99W, Dundee
Located in the same building as the Dundee Hotel, this bar and restaurant makes full use of the region’s bounty of wild game, fish, and farm fresh foods in a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Also open for breakfast.
Red Hills Market
155 SW 7th Street, Dunee
Locally owned and operated, this country-style market offers gourmet sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas with craft beer and wine. Dine in or take out. Good source for picnic supplies.
100 A SW 7th Street
Popular with local vintners and tourists, this warm, inviting restaurant offers sophisticated culinary options and a wide selection of Pinot Noirs.
Nick’s Italian Café
521 NE 3rd Street
A classic in McMinnville, Nick’s Italian Café has a strong wine country history. Originally started by Nick Peirano, now run by his daughter, it was a home base for wine industry pioneers in the 70’s-80’s.
Nick’s features authentic Italian fare and an extensive wine list of local and Italian wines, including more than 50 Oregon Pinot Noirs. Its “back bar,” popular with locals and wine industry professionals, provides a lively atmosphere.
238 NE 3rd Street, McMinnville
This award-winning restaurant blends fresh ingredients from the Pacific Northwest with Spain’s exciting cuisine. Paella, tapas, pinchos, and charcuterie plates are ideal for sharing. The restaurant’s two-bedroom, two-bathroom luxury loft is another great choice for lodging in McMinnville.
If You Go
Visit Willamette Valley Visitors’ Association for more information on wine regions, things to do, and accommodations. And of course if you have more questions or require deeper insight from our team of travel experts who constantly visit Willamette Valley, please use the comment section below and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
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