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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.