In the last few decades, Oregon wine county has really taken off. Today, just within the Willamette Valley alone, there are over 500 wineries! So you may be asking yourself, Oregon and wine? I thought Oregon was just know for its beer? I know, I had the exact same question when I first moved here. Well, the answer is in the soil. The soil in the Willamette Valley makes for some great Pinot Noir.
So, with over 500 wineries to visit, how does one choose? I always go with (W.W.V.- Wine List, Weather and View). First, I always check the wine list to see what styles of wine are offered, because if I don’t like the wine list, why bother spend $10-$20 to drink something I won’t like. Then, I check the weather because chances are it will be raining and/or cold and so sitting outside won’t be an option (welcome to Oregon). If I won’t be able to sit outside that day, I like to make sure that there is amble seating inside because I hate standing at the bar while I drink wine. It just makes me feel rushed and therefore I can’t enjoy the experience. And lastly, I compare the view because as a personal preference, I like a nice view when sipping on some vino. If it’s going to be sunny, view isn’t much of a problem, since you can probably walk around the property. But if you’re stuck inside, having big windows and a view and while you sit inside is a must for me.
And while I know there are many more wineries that have the W.W.V., here are some of my favorite wineries that do and are perfect for a typical an Oregon afternoon.
1 .Stoller Family Estate– This is probably one of my favorite wineries ever. I love the big windows that overlook the vineyard, which is perfect if you have to sit inside because its too cold to sit on the patio. There is also an awesome tire swing on the property that you can use and feel like a kid again.
2. Sokol Blosser Winery– Sokol Blosser has been all about sustainability before it was considered cool. In fact, they were the first LEED certified winery in the U.S.! But my favorite thing about Sokol Blosser is its amazing architecture. My favorite thing to do is grab a glass of wine, walk around the property, and admire some of the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen.
3. Argyle Winery– The rustic decor of the property and the Pinot Noir flights are astonishing and make for a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But if Pinot Noir isn’t your thing, have no fear, they also have an amazing selection of sparking wines!
4. Dobbes Family Estate-Another winery with adorable rustic decor and a great selection of wines. The garden out in front or the back patios make for some great places to enjoy a glass or two of wine.
5. Domaine Drouhin– Domaine Drouhin is probably one of the most badass wineries in Oregon. The Drouhin Family, a famous family of winemakers from Burgundy France, played a major part in putting Oregon on the international wine scene. After discovering that Oregon soil was perfect to grow Pinot Noirs, they opened a tasting room in Dayton and have been making wine ever since. I recommend sitting outside on the back patio, which overlooks some of the vineyard. And although I have said Oregon is famous for its Pinot Noirs, I recommend trying their Chardonnay Arthur-it’s been served at the White House twice!
Tips for Visiting Oregon Wine Country
1. Check the weather! From about October – June, it rains just about everyday in Oregon and the winters can also be pretty cold. Make sure to dress accordingly.
2. Bring your own charcuterie board. Many wineries will allow you to bring food into their tasting rooms, especially if they don’t sell food on the premise. I recommend bringing your own charcuterie board. It’s so much cheaper than buying whatever is sold at a winery.
3. Have lunch at Dundee Bistro. Seriously, the food is amazing.