Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines are world-famous and the pride of Oregon Wine Country. Visitors from far and wide come to Yamhill County to sample this celebrated wine. There are three major factors that make Willamette Valley Pinot Noir so amazing: the climate, the soil and the dedicated winemakers.
The Willamette Valley became an official AVA (American Viticultural Area) in 1983, right after Oregon Pinot Noir first burst onto the world wine stage in the late 1970s. However, the story of excellent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir began over 10,000 years ago when ancient floods left behind the rich soil that grows the grapes today. The Willamette Valley AVA also has the climate ideal for Pinot Noir grapes. The abundant rainfall during the winter months coupled with the warm, dry summers with cool evenings creates the perfect conditions.
Today the Willamette Valley is known as one of the best wine-producing areas in the world. The winemaking community has grown to more than 700 wineries and 1,000 vineyards, and over half the wine made here is the superb Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
The landscape of the Willamette Valley echoes the beauty and elegance of a perfectly balanced Pinot Noir. A whole vacation to Oregon Wine Country can be built around sampling the best Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines. Wherever your wine quest takes you, the Bed and Breakfasts of Yamhill County has the perfect accommodations for your getaway. With over 20 member inns and bed and breakfasts they offer a wonderful choice of locations and amenities.
5 Excellent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Wineries
With hundreds of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Wineries it’s impossible to list all the wines to sample. This is just a small taste, or flight, of the excellent Pinot Noirs to enjoy during your Oregon Wine Country vacation:
- The Eyrie Vineyards – This is where it all began, 50 years ago when the Lett family planted their Pinot grapes in the Oregon soil. It was their 1975 South Block Reserve Pinot Noir that won a top spot in the 1979 Wine Olympics held in Paris. The family has continued the winemaking tradition in the same location and you can sample them at the historic Eyrie winery, near downtown McMinnville. Their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is medium-bodied, and pairs excellently with food.
- Bergström Wines – This beautiful winery, in the Red Hills of Dundee, offers a 2 hour tour and wine tasting experience, paired with a chef-curated menu. Their amazing 21-acre location has a unique sandy soil that is blessed with copious sunshine. This combination creates elegant Pinot Noirs that are ruby red with hints of fruits, spices, and herbs. They also have produced ripe, round and velvety Pinot Noirs but all are very approachable wines with long cellar lives.
- Domaine Serene Winery – This picturesque vineyards at their Winery Hill Estate includes a clubhouse and tasting room. Choose between a casual, drop-in tasting or exclusive, private tasting in one of their caves. Here you’ll experience the wonderful art of blending the intense flavors found in a complex Pinot Noir. The wine is firm, supple and loaded with layers of herb, earth, blueberry, black cherry and brown spice notes.
- Apolloni – This winery’s location, in the Northern Willamette Valley, creates the ideal climate for elegant and subtle Pinot Noir. The vibrant wines have notes of blackberry and dark fruit and a balance of rose petals, raspberries and cocoa powder.
- Archery Summit – Enjoy a very special tasting and tour that includes the underground barrel caves carved into volcanic rock. Their Dundee Hills estate, with picturesque vineyards, also has awe-inspiring Willamette Valley views. However their focus is on producing very high-end Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Exploring and tasting all the excellent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir makes a great winter getaway. Treat yourself and your loved one with some time together this holiday season. Find your ideal, romantic bed and breakfast or boutique inn at the Bed and Breakfasts of Yamhill County.