This winter offers a surprisingly great opportunity to sip and swirl your way through some of the top-rated wine regions in the US. One of our favorites involves the Willamette Valley, where you'll find the best Oregon wineries, not to mention an exquisite Select Registry Bed and Breakfast.
Though wine grapes are grown all over the state, Oregon's Willamette Valley is the premiere wine-growing region and home to the top Oregon wineries. These Oregon wineries are renowned worldwide for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir wines. In fact, in 2016, it was named the wine-growing region of the year by Wine Enthusiast.
Since then, the wines have just gotten better. Much like Cabernet Season at the top Napa Valley wineries, winter in the Willamette Valley is known as Cellar Season; the perfect time of year to relax, unwind and appreciate the fantastic wine produced by the top Oregon wineries.
Oregon's Willamette Valley extends from the Portland area in the north to Eugene in the south. There are more than 500 Oregon wineries (700+ vineyards) in this narrow stretch of the state, and nearly 70% of the wine grapes grown here are of the Pinot Noir variety. Visiting the Willamette Valley is truly a sensational opportunity to visit.
While you're sipping and swirling your way through the top Oregon wineries, don't miss your chance to explore the rest of wine country, too. As with most wine-growing regions around the country, the Willamette Valley is home to several small towns that offer exquisite dining, plenty of shopping, and a wide variety of artistic and cultural attractions.
With far fewer crowds in town this winter, Cellar Season offers an exceptional time to explore this wine-lovers destination. To elevate your stay and take it to the next level, partner with Select Registry to stay at one of the top-rated Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfasts, which offers the best this region has to offer.
The growing conditions afforded to Willamette Valley wineries are unique. It's a narrow valley that stretches for 100 miles along the Willamette River and is buffered by mountain ranges on both sides. The unique combination of soils and growing conditions just so happen to be perfect for cool-climate-loving Pinot Noir grapes.
The valley is protected from the cold winds coming off the Pacific Ocean, and both mountain ranges protect it from excessive rain and excessively dry heat. The weather is best described as gentle, actually - and it's what allows the relatively finicky Pinot Noir grape to thrive and for the regional differences of the Willamette Valley wineries to shine through in every glass.
Pinot Noir is a bold, full-bodied, fruity red wine known for its ability to express its own sense of place. For this reason, fans of Pinot Noir - especially Oregon Pinot Noir - are dedicated. If you're looking for the best glass of this sensational wine, here are some of the best and most interesting Willamette Valley wineries to consider visiting:
Though visiting any of these (and other) Willamette Valley wineries is a wonderful way to spend your time in Oregon, there's a lot more to do. One of the most popular towns in the Willamette Valley is McMinnville, which is home to a thriving food scene and centrally located to enjoy the best of the valley.
Not too far away from McMinnville is our Select Registry member property, too, which makes it a great city from which to base your wine-tasting adventures. When it's time to turn your attention elsewhere, here are some of the top things to do in McMinnville waiting for you:
Of course, it goes without saying that one of our favorite things to do in McMinnville is to relax, soaking up the natural beauty of the area. There are breathtaking views everywhere - perhaps none more beautiful than the view enjoyed at our Select Registry lodging partner, Youngberg Hill.
Read more about the luxurious accommodations found there below, and then start planning your adventure to these Willamette Valley wineries today!
Youngberg Hill is set on a 50-acre hilltop surrounded by exquisite vineyards and views. We are one of Wine Spectator’s favorite locations. Our inn has an amazing 30-year old vineyard that is farmed organically and is known for producing award-winning wines.
Our bed & breakfast offers the perfect retreat for your Oregon wine country getaway. The inn features nine lovely guest rooms with luxuriously appointed amenities and stunning views. In addition to our own vineyard and tasting room, we are conveniently located to over 100 different wineries and tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley.
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