Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Jul 21, 2008 03:31 PM

(Northern) Willamette Valley 1-day itinerary

I noted the other recent post on here about the Willamette Valley; however, it sounds like the OP is actually staying in the Willamette Valley and is a bit further south than where I will be.

I am spending three days in the Portland area, with one full day to do wine tasting in the northern Willamette Valley. I don't drink or buy much Oregon wine and am more interested in a survey of what is out there than focusing solely on PN or Riesling or Syrah (though I realize those three will likely be part of the equation in a lot of places). A variety of price points is also fine.

I recognize a few names like Penner-Ash and Argyle, which both look like possibilities distance-wise, but otherwise I would really appreciate suggestions, as even though I can look at a map, I don't have a good idea of how long it actually takes to get to any of the places.

Thanks for your help, and apologies for the semi-duplicative post.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. not familiar with the precise geography but I'd recommend a visit to Brickhouse and/or Thomas if they take visitors and they are in the area that you will be visiting.

    1. I did a 1-day visit of Willamette Valley wineries 2 years ago, and
      I was based in Hillsboro. In my book, the must see wineries
      a) Archery Summit (absolute top pinots in the area)
      b) Domain Serene (I agree with the corporate atmoshere comment
      on the other thread below, but from a pure wine perspective, they
      make great wines)
      c) Domaine Drouhin (more friendly than Domain Serene, and also
      great wines)

      I also visited Argyle. They have a friendly staff, but their Pinots
      does not measure up to the top 3 listed above.

      I missed Penner-Ash and Adelsheim, and these 2 would be at
      the top of an expanded list (in fact based on past consumption,
      I am reasonably certain their pinots are well above Argyle's).

      2 Replies
      1. re: bclevy

        Greetings from a Portlander who knows the geography and has visited there dozens of times.

        Seeing as you are not focusing on PN and don't seem to have much of a preconceived agenda, I suggest the Carlton-Dundee-McMinnville area, as it has the highest density of our best wineries. This will deliver you the following top choices: Cana's Feast, Argyle for sparkling, Domaine Drouhin, Erath, Ken Wright, Carlton Winemakers' Studio, and Torii Mor.

        Have fun. Please report back.

        1. re: Leonardo

          Great list from Leomardo.

          The one thing I'd offer, though,.... if you taste at Argyle don't miss their Nuthouse, Spirithouse and Cowhouse bottlings. These are Pinot and Chard and some of the best I've ever had........ in fairness, the Pinots are a bit more full-bodied that the typical Wilamette Pinot - but that's why I love them. Also make sure you try their Black Brut if you can.......... this is a Sparkling Pinot that is really something unique and special.

      2. We did a wine trip there a couple years ago, though we stayed in Willamette Valley it is not difficult to access from Portland as a day trip. The triangle shape sort of formed by Newberg to the east, Yamhill to the west, and Dayton (or McMinnville) to the south contains lots of great wineries, all reasonably close to each other.

        We spent a few days, but we did one northern loop that included Bergstorm, Elk Cove, Penner Ash and WillaKenzie; and another Dundee/Dayton loop that included Argyle, Domaine Serene, Domaine Drouhin, Archery Summit.

        Here's the google map I made for our visit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Frodnesor

          Thank you (and the other posters) very much! These recs are extremely helpful. I'll be sure to report back.