Many people head to Napa Valley in California for a weekend of wine tasting, but there’s no need when Oregon’s Willamette Valley boasts over 500 wineries. You could be here for a month without tasting all of the wine! The region is most famous for their Pinot Noir, so I set out exploring Willamette Valley wine country to taste it for myself. While there’s many to choose from, these are ones you’ll want to pay a visit to next time you’re in the area.
Ghosthill Cellars was the first vineyard I visited and I instantly fell in love with. The tasting room was made from an old miner’s shed, and they have stained glass from the Trappist Abbey down the road.
There’s hardly any other houses around it and you can just see acres and acres of vineyards. The owners, Mike and Drenda, are extremely friendly and will tell you all about the tale of Ghosthill. They also have an adorable dog!
I loved the different Pinot Noirs they had, including the Pinot Noir Blanc and the Spirit of Pinot Noir Rosé.
If you’re looking for somewhere to call your base while in Willamette Valley, look no further. Youngberg Hill is a beautiful winery and inn set up on a hill overlooking the valley, so you’ll want to stay here. It’s a family-owned winery, and even the three daughters have their own wines named after them.
This was the view from my room when I woke up in the morning. Even though I knew there was a delicious warm breakfast waiting for me downstairs, I did not want to leave my balcony!
I loved how you can taste their wine while walking around the giant wraparound deck. They get that you don’t always want to stay in a small tasting room, so they’ll come out to you to bring you your next tasting! Now that’s good customer service.
The first thing you’ll notice when you get to Lenné Estate is how close you are to the vineyards. They’re right in front of your car, so make sure to check them out up close.
They have a tasting room inside, but also a deck outside that’s covered so you can enjoy wine on it no matter what the weather is. It seems like a great place to come with friends to relax on the weekend.
As is the theme with Willamette Valley wineries, the view from here is stunning. I don’t think I’d get tired of this if I worked here!
I was excited to get to Vidon Vineyard and see they were starting their harvesting! If you want to see this in action, I recommend going late summer/early fall (it varies each year). Based on their vineyards, they had plenty of grapes to pick from.
One of the owners, a very pleasant gentleman named Don, was kind enough to sit down with me for lunch and tell me all about his vineyard. He combined his childhood experience of being raised on a farm in North Dakota with his love for wine when he studied overseas in France.
I enjoyed all of their wine, but my favorite was the Viognier. I also loved the wine cork tables inside the tasting room!
Last but not least, Alloro Vineyard will have you feeling like you’re in Tuscany instead of Oregon. The owner made the buildings and decorations have a European feel to it, which he got from his many family trips to Italy.
Alloro is Italian for “laurel,” which is fitting since the winery is on Laurel Ridge in the Chehalem Mountains.
They even went so far as to have traditional underground cellars in their winery. There’s nothing better than tasting wine surrounded by barrels of wine!
Which winery would you want to go to?
Special thanks to all the wineries for hosting me and letting me taste some amazing wine!
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