- Courtney Stanley
Oregon has built an international reputation in the wine industry for the complex, tasty Pinot noirs created in its Willamette Valley. The state is a world-class wine producer with 18 approved winegrowing regions and more than 900 vineyards. Come taste for yourself at one of these ten breathtaking wineries.
Bella Vida, Spanish for ‘beautiful life,’ is a striking winery located in a great spot to admire the Dundee Hills and surrounding vineyards of the Willamette Valley. Taste fruity and flavorful wines while taking in the views from the tasting deck (view a 360 degree photograph of the tasting deck here). The Bella Vida vineyard is set on a steep slope of rich volcanic soil where prime growing conditions exist for Pinot noir grapes. Bella Vida also grows for Pinot gris, Riesling, and other varieties. The vineyard’s four winemakers are always cooking up new techniques to make their vibrant wines even more flavorful.
Bella Vida, 9380 NE Worden Hill Rd, Dundee, OR, USA +1 503 538 9821
Archery Summit Winery
Nestled in the hills of the Willamette Valley, the climate and topography around Archery Summit offer ideal conditions for the temperamental Pinot noir grape. Pinot noir has been made on Archery Summit’s estate for two decades through hand-farming and harvesting techniques. The winery has risen above other vineyards in the area through its technological innovations and personal knowledge of the Pinot noir grapes. As pioneers of gravity-flow winemaking, winemakers at Archery Summit have a deep understanding of the growing process of their grapes from the vineyard to bottling.
Archery Summit Winery, 18599 NE Archery Summit Rd, Dayton, OR, USA +1 503 864 4300
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Jim Bernau, the founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards, says the mission of his vineyard is to create classic Oregon wines using sustainable practices. From Bernau self-watering every vine to today’s smooth-running production of internationally recognized Pinot noir, Bernau’s dream of a world class winery has taken shape. Wine Enthusiast Magazine has called Willamette Valley Vineyards one of America’s great Pinot noir producers. The Estate tasting room and winery tours are perfect ways to make an ordinary evening elegant. Spend all day taking in the sweeping vineyard view from the winery’s large outdoor patio.
Willamette Valley Vineyards, 8800 Enchanted Way SE, Turner, OR, USA +1 503 588 9463
Silky Pinot noir, barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and methode champenoise sparkling wine are Argyle Winery’s specialties. With three vineyards over 400 acres, Argyle has vines in high elevation blocks and on the sloping Eola Hills to vary growing conditions. Argyle is an environmentally conscious winery and promotes sustainable farming practices. The old tasting house is in a quaint, historic building, and the new tasting house is in a vibrant, modern setting. Argyle also has a beautiful outdoor covered patio for sunny days.
Argyle Winery, 691 Highway 99W, Dundee, OR, USA +1 503 538 8520
King Estate winery is located at the top of the Willamette Valley hills. Specializing in world-class wines, King Estate uses responsible sourcing, farming, and production methods in its facilities. A leader in the nation’s Pinot gris production, King Estate has 314 acres dedicated to Pino gris grapes. The winery has 143 acres to grow Pinot noir grapes. The idyllic estate is one of the largest organic vineyards in the world; alongside wine, its farms produce fruits, vegetables, and honey to supply the estate’s gourmet restaurant.
King Estate, 80854 Territorial Hwy, Eugene, OR, USA +1 541 942 9874
The Drouhin family’s winemaking roots in Burgundy, France, more than a century ago set the Domaine Drouhin winery’s creation in progress. Located in the Dundee Hills, between 400 feet to 800 feet in elevation, the estate winery specializes in fine Pinot noir and Chardonnay wines. The estate was established in the late 1980s when the family chose Oregon over California, because they believed the soil and climate could create complex wines similar to the vineyards of Burgundy. Domain Drouhin owns 124 acres of hillside vineyards, most of which are Pinot noir grapes.
Domaine Drouhin, 6750 NE Breyman Orchards Rd, Dayton, OR, USA +1 503 864 2700
Youngberg Hill Vineyard
The small family estate Youngberg Hill grows and produces fine Pinot noir and Pinot gris on its organic and largely biodynamic farm. The growers at Youngberg Hill (founded in 1989) watch their vineyard attentively to bring out the grapes’ tastiest potential. The tasting room has an open, roomy deck that looks out over the sprawling Willamette Valley with the Cascade Mountains on the horizon. Guests are encouraged to take a walk along the site while tasting the wines with access to the winemaker, grape grower, and owner.
Youngberg Hill Vineyard, 10660 SW Youngberg Hill Rd, McMinnville, OR, USA +1 503 472 2727
De Ponte Cellars
De Ponte Cellars is one of the oldest vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Situated in the scenic Dundee Hills, the vineyard was acquired by its current owners in 1999. De Ponte is known for its Pinot noir and its Melon, a grape rarely grown in the U.S. Identical to a wine produced in France’s Loire Valley, the Melon grape produces a delicious white wine, now a beloved specialty at De Ponte. Take a virtual tour of the winery to get a feel for the comfortable atmosphere.
De Ponte Cellars, 17545 Archery Summit Rd, Dayton, OR, USA +1 503 864 3698
Known for its flavorful Pinot noir, the Rex Hill estate has 17 acres of Pinot noir grapes, but Chardonnay and a small amount of Muscat are also grown. The beautiful vineyard, a former turkey farm, has rare dynamic soil on the 33-acre lot formed of both volcanic soil and sedimentary soil, with some areas made up of extremely rocky earth. In 2007, the original owners retired and sold Rex Hill to A to Z Wineworks. Today, Rex Hill has the same commitment to excellent wines, biodynamic farming, and sustainable agriculture that it started with in 1982.
Rex Hill, 30835 North Hwy 99W, Newberg, OR, USA +1 503 538 0666
Bergström Wines began as a simple 13-acre vineyard of gently sloping land in the Dundee Hills. Now the family business has five estate vineyards with a total 84 acres across the Willamette Valley. The family farms without harsh chemicals or fertilizers and produces around 10,000 cases of fine wines every year. Bergström Wines produces two Chardonnays and nine Pinot noirs. The beautiful Dundee Hills provide a great setting for wine tasting. Look out on the hillside to see the famous red clay, wild orange poppies, violets, and chamomile that grow on the same land that produces such vibrant, flavorful wines.
Bergström Wines, 18215 NE Calkins Ln, Newberg, OR, USA +1 503 554 0468
By Courtney Stanley