Pinot Noir grapes at Oregon's Willamette Valley wineries

Great Willamette Valley Wineries to Visit This Fall

Select Registry - August 17, 2021

Sip & Swirl Oregon Pinot Noir!

A stunning sunrise over Willamette Valley wineries in Oregon

Earlier this month, we focused on the many great Washington wineries found in the Walla Walla Valley.  Now, we’re going to turn our attention to their south, to Oregon’s premier wine-growing region of Willamette Valley.  Willamette Valley wineries are known to produce some of the finest pinot noirs in the world.

Oregon’s Willamette Valley was named the 2016 wine-growing region of the year by Wine Enthusiast, which only worked to solidify this area as a world-class wine destination. The Willamette Valley extends from the Portland area in the north, south, to the city of Eugene. 

In total, there are nearly 650 Willamette Valley wineries calling the area home, with more joining all the time. Nearly 70% of the wine grapes grown here are of the Pinot Noir variety, with Pinot Gris being the second most common. If you haven’t yet made your way to this sensational wine-growing region, the upcoming harvest season is an excellent time to wade into this incredible wine-lovers destination. 

As with most wine destinations around the country, Willamette Valley is about so much more than wine. It’s a cozy and intimate area known for its hip cities, exquisite farm-to-table dining, rich culture and arts, and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy while you’re visiting. 

When it comes time to relax and unwind, no one does it better than Select Registry member properties in the beautiful Willamette Valley. Here, you’ll find a luxurious bed and breakfast surrounded by vineyards and offering the very best this region has to offer. This fall, enjoy a taste of luxury while visiting the best Willamette Valley wineries. You won’t regret it!

Enjoy a delicious glass of Pinot Noir

10 Amazing Willamette Valley Wineries

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: 

  1. Alloro Vineyard is one of the Willamette Valley wineries producing 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir, and they use sustainable, organic, and LIVE certified farming practices. Their annual farm-to-table dinner in September is not to be missed, either, as it utilized ingredients primarily grown on their farm.
  2. At Adelsheim Vineyard, expect to taste the depth and breadth of Willamette Valley in a glass. They were one of the first Willamette Valley wineries to be established in the area, which shows in their exquisite small-batch wines. 
  3. Domaine Drouhin in Willamette Valley is the US outpost of Burgundy’s Maison Joseph Drouhin. Their wines are incredible and stand up well to the reputation that proceeds them.
  4. Head to Bells Up Winery, where you can not only taste their exquisite estate-grown Pinot Noir, but you can sample Seyval Blanc. It’s a white wine made from a French hybrid grape, and this is the only place to grow it in the valley. 
  5. Brooks Wine is one of the finest Willamette Valley wineries. They were ranked in the top 100 wineries in the world in 2019. Not only are they known for their incredible Rieslings and Pinot Noirs, but they are also a leader in sustainable, biodynamic farming practices. 
  6. Test out your wine tasting knowledge at Lenné Estate. They offer a blind-tasting class, which is truly a wonderful way to experience these world-class wines. 
  7. Youngberg Hill, which also happens to be our Select Registry lodging partner, excels in organic and biodynamic farming to produce a truly exceptional range of wines. 
  8. Willamette Valley wineries produce more than Pinot Noirs. Take Argyle Winery, for example, which is well-known for its sparkling wines. They are also consistently rated by Wine Spectator as a producer of the Top 100 Wines of the World for red, white, and sparkling wines. It’s the only Willamette Valley winery to be able to claim that. 
  9. Biodynamic practices are a growing trend at Willamette Valley wineries. That includes those made by Bergström Wines, which are highly regarded as some of the best. 
  10. Archery Summit has earned itself a stellar reputation over the years, and for a good reason. They offer a delicious range of Pinot, Chardonnay, and other wines.
Silver Falls State Park

Things to do near McMinnville

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:

  1. Browsing the streets of downtown is one of our favorite things to do in McMinnville.  You’ll find a wonderful range of local shops, art galleries, and studios to browse.
  2. Willamette Valley wineries aren’t the only ones growing amazing things!  Several local farms and artisans are producing great foods, which means the dining scene in McMinnville is second-to-none.  At many of the local McMinnville restaurants, locally grown ingredients are the star.
  3. Wine isn’t the only great thing to taste in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It’s also home to a thriving craft beer scene. McMinnville is also home to Oregon’s top breweries, like The Bitter MonkBierly BrewingGolden Valley Brewery, and more.
  4. The rural country roads around McMinnville are also great for cycling. You can even cycle your way from one winery to the next. Here are a few of the most popular cycling routes in the McMinnville area.
  5. Get outside for some restorative time in nature. One of our favorite places to go is Silver Falls, State Park. It also happens to be one of the most popular Oregon State Parks and is easily one of the most popular things to do near McMinnville.  

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!

Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfast

Youngberg Hill

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.

exterior inn

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