The Beaver State is synonymous with excellent Pinot Noir, thanks to its maritime climate. However, there are plenty of other grapes that fare well in the wetness of Willamette Valley, which is why it’s referred to as the Oregon wine country.
With a total of 700 wineries in Willamette Valley, experiencing a wine tasting is kind of like a rite of passage for locals and tourists alike. Of course, not all the wineries in the Willamette region were created equally — and the last thing you want to do is waste your time on a winery that doesn’t live up to your expectations.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the seven best Willamette Valley wineries to get you started on your journey to discovering the state’s most exceptional wines.
Let’s jump in!
1. The Eyrie Vineyards
The Eyrie Vineyards in downtown McMinnville is a place that puts an emphasis on what’s inside of the glass. You could say that the “Willamette Valley wine era” truly started when the Lett family planted Pinot Noir grapes and several other varieties back in 1965, and the winery itself speaks to the region’s wine ethos and history.
The history of the Eyrie Vineyards alone is what makes this winery an excellent starting point — and you’ll experience that history through a full liquid library in the tasting room.
Phone: (503) 472-6315
Address: 935 NE 10th Ave, McMinnville, OR 97128
Reservations: By appointment only
2. Brigadoon Wine Co.
If you like wine tasting while surrounded by deep forest scenery, you’ll want to make some time to venture out to the Brigadoon Wine Company just outside of Junction City. The entire setting is essentially made of old timber, and the family-owned winery may produce some fantastic Pinot Noirs and Pinot Blancs, they’re well known for producing some of the best Riesling within the entire state.
While the winery is a “no frills” type of place, the tasting room features some incredible valley views and homemade parmesan crackers that’ll make you think otherwise.
Phone: (541) 998-2600
Address: 25167 Ferguson Rd, Junction City, OR 97448
Reservations: Walk-ins welcome
3. Beckham Estate Vineyard
Nestled in the Chehalem Mountains, the Beckham Estate Vineyard is truly a work of art — as it should be since the winemaker and owner is an artist! The Beckham Estate winery is well known for being the first commercial producer of terra cotta amphorae (a type of wine jug used in Ancient Greece and Rome) for winemaking in North America.
The Beckham Estate tasting room has an other-worldly and ancient feel to it, making it both elegant and rustic at the same time. The wine is just as complex as its surroundings, and you’ll get to do a wine tasting of everything from Pinot Noir aged in French oak to Trosseaus aged in the amphorae made by Beckham himself.
Phone: (971) 645-3466
Address: 30790 SW Heater Rd, Sherwood, OR 97140
Reservations: Appointments are required for tastings and tours of the winery, estate, and ceramics studio
4. David Hill Winery
In the Hills of Forest Grove — the place where commercial winemaking dates all the way back to the 1800s — you’ll find the David Hill Winery. In 1965, a man by the name of Charles Coury stakes his claim by planting his grapes on David Hill, becoming the pioneer of Willamette Valley winemaking.
This is one of the view vineyards in Willamette that has a direct lineage to the region’s wine culture. Today, the winery offers everything from Pinot Noir to Sylvaner wines, and many of those grapes’ genetics come from Coury’s original grapes. History aside, this place is what wine country is all about, as you can sit back in an Adirondack chair and take in the infinite view of the valley.
Phone: (503) 992-8545
Address: 46350 NW David Hill Rd, Forest Grove, OR 97116
Reservations: By appointment only
5. Domaine Willamette
If you’re a fan of sparkling wine, you won’t want to miss out on Domaine Willamette. The Domaine Willamette is Oregon’s first-ever sparkling wine facility and is completely dedicated to only producing méthode traditional sparkling wines via an underground aging cellar.
Here you’ll get to sip on a refreshing glass of brut rosé in a tasting room that mimics that of a Swiss ski resort or while you stroll the beautiful gardens of the estate. You’ll also get to experience some of the best hospitality and service Oregon’s Willamette Valley has to offer.
Phone: (971) 545-4200
Address: 19255 OR-99W, Dayton, OR 97114
Reservations: Walk-ins welcome, reservations are also an option for large groups
6. Remy Wines
For wines that defy the traditional aspects of the traditional Pinot Noirs of Willamette Valley vineyards, Remy Wines should be at the top of your list of wine tours. Remy Drabkin is a winemaker who specializes in growing varieties such as Lagrein, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, and Sangiovese — and she’s very, very good at it.
Here you’ll find wines like no other, including Drabkin’s sparkling Blanc de Noir, also known as “Black Heart.” Her entire winery was constructed from carbon-neutral concrete, and beneath the grove trees is where you can enjoy a full flight of wine tastings that won’t disappoint.
Phone: (503) 864-8777
Address: 17485 NE McDougall Rd, Dayton, OR 97114
Reservations: Walk-ins are welcome; however, reservations are strongly encouraged!
7. Day Wines
Day Wines in downtown Dundee is owned and run by Brianne Day. Day Wines doesn’t just use grapes to produce its wines but fruit from all of the wine-growing regions within the states. The local favorite is Day’s “lemonade rosé,” which is just one of the many innovative sparkling wine blends you can enjoy on the stylish patio that is the tasting room of the winery.
You’ll get more than wine here, too, as Day and her team host a variety of fun events to complement the time spent sipping the fruit-based wine that is sourced from the establishment’s organic and biodynamic vineyards.
Phone: (971) 832-8196
Address: 2116 OR-99W, Dundee, OR 97115
Reservations: Walk-ins are more than welcome
Sipping on delicious wines is a great way to pass the time while the team at Boss Exteriors gets to work on your roof or other exterior renovation projects. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our exterior services!