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An Imbiber’s Guide to the Willamette Valley

 

Nestled between the Coast and Cascade ranges, Oregon's Willamette Valley wine appellation stretches over 5,000 square miles, making it the state’s largest wine-growing region. And getting there is simple. From Portland, head south on I-5, exit at Highway 99W and follow the road as suburban stripmalls give way to hillside vineyards. From there, you can stop at numerous tasting rooms along the main drag, or veer onto the back roads to meander across the region’s various AVAs where different microclimates, soil types and viticultural practices are on drinkable display. With more than 300 wineries, there’s no shortage of stops—below are a few of our favorite spots. And for an interactive map of the region, click here.

 

WINERIES TO VISIT:

 

Argyle
Kick off your Willamette Valley wine adventure with bubbly from Argyle. Beloved for its high-acid, tongue-tingling sparkling wines, the tasting room is right on the main drag just south of Newberg in the town of Dundee.
691 Hwy 99W, argylewinery.com

Adelsheim
About 10 minutes off highway 99W from downtown Newberg, Adelsheim is a great spot to continue your wine-fueled tour of the Willamette Valley. Sip single-vineyard Pinot Noirs on the estate’s sunny terrace, or book a vineyard and winery tour for the full estate experience.
16800 NE Calkins Ln., Newberg, adelsheim.com

Penner-Ash (pictured)
With its sweeping view of the Willamette Valley, and easy access from most directions, Penner-Ash is an idyllic place to park it and relax. The warm-wooded tasting room sits atop an estate vineyard and opens to a patio perfect for picnicking, and the wine flights always include a lovely mix of whites and reserve reds.  
15771 Ribbon Ridge Rd., Newberg, pennerash.com

Trisaetum
Just up Ribbon Ridge Road from Penner-Ash, secluded Trisaetum offers some of the most expressive dry Riesling produced on this side of the Atlantic, as well as a tasting room that doubles as a gallery for the owner’s artwork.
18401 Ribbon Ridge Rd., Newberg, trisaetum.com

Domaine Drouhin
Producing Oregon Pinot Noir with a little French flair (the family also owns an estate in Burgundy), Domaine Drouhin’s 200+ acres offers inspired wines met by an eagle-eye view of the surrounding Dundee Hills.
6750 Breyman Orchards Rd., Dayton, domainedrouhin.com

Montinore
On the northern side of the Willamette Valley wine region, Montinore offers a taste of biodynamic winemaking at its best. And with seven different varietals grown on-site, you can bet there’s a wine for all tastes.  
3663 Dilley Rd., Forest Grove, montinore.com

Cana’s Feast Winery
In the cozy town of Carlton, Cana’s Feast offers the palate a welcome respite from Pinot with Italian- and Bordeaux-inspired bottles and a killer chinato—just plan enough time for a few rounds on the bocce courts before heading out.
750 W. Lincoln St., Carlton, 503-852-0002, canasfeastwinery.com

You’ll need to pre-request an appointment at:


Beaux Freres
Perched on close to 100 acres atop the desirable Ribbon Ridge, Beaux Freres produces world-class wines without any fuss. Tastings are by appointment only, but well worth planning ahead for.
15155 NE North Valley Rd., beauxfreres.com

Big Table Farm
For the rustic, working farm experience, book a visit at Big Table Farm. Once you’ve tasting through the estate’s cultish Pinot Noirs, ask co-owner Clare Carver to take you on an up-close and personal visit with the pigs, draft horse and cows.
26851 NW Williams Canyon Rd., Gaston, bigtablefarm.com

 

WHERE TO EAT:


The Joel Palmer House Restaurant
A must for mushroom-lovers, the Joel Palmer House gives fine-dining a fungus focus with a tasting menu ripe with locally foraged ‘shrooms.
600 Ferry St., Dayton, joelpalmerhouse.com

Pastorcillos
Portland’s food cart culture extends into the Willamette Valley at this permanently parked taqueria truck that churns out some of the best burritos, tacos and homemade hot sauces we’ve ever tasted. Expect to rub elbows with a winemaker or vineyard worker or two—it’s a local favorite.
100 Main St., Newberg

 

The Horse Radish
This darling café in downtown Carlton is a great lunch stop in between winery visits. Fresh foccacia sandwiches, local charcuterie and a killer cheese counter all help line the belly for afternoon tastings.
211 W. Main St., Carlton, thehorseradish.com

 

Community Plate
Craving some brunchy bites? Head to this local hang for farm-focused plates of heritage pork hash, buttermilk pancakes (topped with a local fruit compote, of course) and a cheddar-capped burger sandwiched between a house-made bun.
315 NE Third St., McMinnville, communityplate.com


WHERE TO SLEEP:


The Allison Inn and Spa
Looking for some super-luxe sleeping arrangements? The Allison, just west of downtown Newberg, is the perfect plush spot to tuck yourself in for a weekend wine country retreat. A full spa, salon and even optional garden yoga classes hit the reset button just right.
2525 Allison Ln, Newberg, theallison.com

Le Puy—A Wine Valley Inn
Wine country bed-and-breakfasts dot the region, but the well-appointed, eight-room Le Puy is a favorite for its modern furnishings and local farm-fresh breakfasts. Curious to shop other Willamette Valley b&bs? Click here.
20300 NE Hwy 240, Newberg, lepuy-inn.com

McMenamins Hotel Oregon
The McMenamins’ mini-empire of quirky hotels extends into McMinnville (the largest town in the area). Accommodations are offbeat, but comfy, and some of the most affordable in the region. Both a rooftop and a basement bar offer a spirited spot to cap off the night.
310 NE Evans St., 503-472-8427, mcmenamins.com

 

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