Many IPNC Guests enjoy touring local wineries in the days before or after IPNC. To help familiarize yourself with the area and decide where to go wine tasting, we’ve compiled some of the online resources available.
Wine Country Resources
The WVWA offers comprehensive information on the wide variety of wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Willamette Valley. In addition to information about specific wineries, their website provides a regional map that is mobile-optimized and includes a location feature. This map is updated annually and is the best way to avoid overlooking those tasting rooms that have only recently opened their doors.
WineryHunt is an online resource providing wine tasting itineraries and insider recommendations for wine regions in Oregon, Washington and beyond. Newcomers to Oregon wine country will find this website helpful in deciding which wineries to visit. Users can also immediately book a wine tasting driver, access tasting deals and download driving directions.
The Oregon Wine Press aims to provide the “who,what,when,where of wine in Oregon”. It provides a monthly publication that is distributed throughout wine country and consistently updates its website with the most recent Oregon wine news. This is an excellent resource for those interested in following developments in wine country.
While not catering specifically to the Oregon wine industry, Travel Oregon provides an extremely comprehensive look at the many things to see and do in Oregon. There is, of course, a page dedicated to the Willamette Valley wine scene, with information pertaining to the best places to wine, dine, and simply relax.
¡Salud! is an annual event that marks the world premier of Oregon’s finest Pinot noir. Winemakers from the state’s foremost wineries will debut the 2010 vintage at this two-day Pinot fête. This event is the only opportunity to acquire unique cuvées made exclusively for ¡Salud! – the very best of the latest vintage of Oregon Pinot noir. Join the IPNC in supporting this critical effort to provide healthcare for Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families.
The United States is divided into American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s), which are designated wine grape-growing regions that are distinguishable by geographic features (i.e. soil types, general location). The Willamette Valley itself is an AVA, but within the Willamette Valley there are six sub-AVA’s. Many tourists often spend the entire day within one AVA since the wineries are all located near one another. Each AVA has a website to promote the numerous wineries within each area- these websites serve as excellent resources in discovering many hidden gems throughout the valley. If you are familiar with only those Pinots from one AVA, visit another viticultural area to discover how Pinot noir is influenced by varying soil types and vineyard conditions.
From Parrett Mountain to the south, and running northwest across Bald Peak and Ribbon Ridge, the Chehalem Mountains were formed by uplifted sedimentary seabeds, lava flows, and wind-blown silt to create the highest elevations and most diverse soils in wine country. These distinctions make this winegrowing region famous for rich, elegant, and complex wines including benchmark Pinot noir.
The Dundee Hills appellation is situated within an irregular circle of about 6,490 acres in total, of which more than 1,264 acres of vineyards are planted. This region is unique for its higher elevation, warmer nighttime temperatures, less low-elevation fog and frost, and lava-based Jory soil series of reddish silt, clay, and loam soils. The red hills showcase some of the most spectacular views of the northern Willamette Valley and beyond. In Dundee, Pinot noir is king. Wines are made with terroir in mind, showcasing equivalent pedigree as the finest in Burgundy. With a wonderful diversity of wineries ranging from the rustic and state-of-the-art to grand Domaines, the Dundee Hills offers some of the most extraordinary, elegant, and sought-after Pinot noir in the world.
The Eola-Amity Hills AVA is a scenic wine-growing region nestled in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The area is an easy 45-minute drive from Portland, just south on I-5. The Eola-Amity Hills are home to some of the most celebrated winemakers and acclaimed vineyards in Oregon. Wineries encourage you to come visit the gorgeous slopes and taste the spectacular wines that capture the unique “terroir” of this region. Many consider this AVA to be a hidden jewel in the Willamette Valley.
Due west of historic downtown McMinnville, home to top-notch restaurants, charming boutiques, and urban wine tasting rooms, lies the highly regarded McMinnville AVA. Located in the Coast Range Foothills of Yamhill County, it is here where the influences of a remarkable geological history and an ideal climate have combined to set the stage for the winemakers to produce consistently world-class wines. The McMinnville AVA currently has over 600 acres of wine grapes planted and continues to grow in size.
North of McMinnville, in the Northern Willamette Valley, the land slowly rises to the hamlets of Carlton and Yamhill. The neatly combed benchlands and hillsides of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, an AVA established in 2004, are home to some of the finest Pinot noir vineyards in the world. Historically nourished by forestry and farming, this area is rapidly emerging as a global center of Pinot noir production. This pastoral corner of Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley was the final destination for many of the early Oregon Trail pioneers. It is now being revitalized by a new wave of pioneers: committed, passionate winegrowers drawn to the area’s unique set of growing conditions. The Coast Range to the west soars to nearly 3500 feet (1200m), establishing a rain ‘shadow’ over the entire district. Additional protection is afforded by Chehalem Mountain to the north and the Dundee Hills to the east.