Rows of grape vines on a hillside in Oregon's Willamette Valley

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Best Small Wineries Worth Visiting In Willamette Valley

If you’re a wine lover, you should definitely check out the Willamette Valley vineyards in the Pacific Northwest. This region of Oregon is renowned for its wine production, boasting over 500 wineries – big and small. The Willamette Valley is best known for its exceptional Pinot Noir, but you can also find other varieties such as Chardonnay, Rosé, Sparkling, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine-tasting experience in this region is exceptional, and you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the stunning scenery and unmatched hospitality while sampling some of the region’s finest wines. Here, you will find a list of the best small wineries in Willamette valley. It is a great place to spend a special occasion or just a casual weekend getaway.

If you’re interested in wine tasting, the Willamette Valley is an excellent destination with exceptional options. This guide will assist you in discovering the best small wineries in Willamette Valley, including some hidden gems.

Pine trees and chairs on the tasting lawn at Stoller Winery as sun sets
Sunset At Stoller Family Winery
Why Is The Willamette Valley A Great Region For Wine

Before we continue, let me explain why this region is ideal for producing Oregon Pinot Noir. This grape variety is very sensitive to climate and site differences and requires a cool climate to thrive. This often results in wines with distinct characters. The Willamette Valley is perfect for growing cool-climate grapes due to the protection provided by the Cascade mountain range to the east and the coastal mountain ranges to the west, with the Willamette River running down the middle. Oregon’s Willamette Valley also benefits from the cool air of the Pacific Ocean.

The valley’s hills are home to six distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. These regions offer diverse conditions contributing to the distinct character of the best Pinot Noirs produced in each. As you explore the region and sample the wines, you will notice unique differences between each AVA. It is a true testament to the quality and complexity of the Pinot Noir produced in this region. That is why you want to explore the best small wineries in Willamette valley found on this list.

View of tree and vineyards at Stoller Winery
Iconic Tree On Stoller Estate
Planning Your Tastings

Almost all wineries now require advance reservations, including all the ones mentioned in this list of the best small wineries in Willamette Valley. And the days of free tastings are a thing of the past. So plan ahead and make your reservations to be sure you can enjoy the wineries you want to visit. If you want a complimentary tasting or extra perks, consider joining select wine clubs before visiting, or you can even join while you are there. Joining the wine clubs will often waive the tasting fee, and if you are already a member, upgrade your experience. If you like the wines tasted, joining the club is also a way to remember your visit once you’re back home. One thing to keep in mind is that most wineries do not welcome outside food.

If you are looking for more information on a trip to Oregon, and things to do outside of wine country, check out my other posts on Oregon travel:

The Best Small Wineries In Willamette Valley Worth A Visit

#1 Stoller Family Estates

Located on the original turkey farm purchased by the Stoller family in 1943, the Stoller Family Estate is now the largest contiguous vineyard in Oregon’s Dundee Hills AVA. The Stoller Family Estate vineyards cover 400 acres, with over 200 acres dedicated to vines. The vineyards are home to over ten varieties, including white wines such as Chardonnay and Riesling and red wines such as Syrah and Tempranillo. But the vast majority of the land is dedicated to Pinot Noir.

Wine tasting on patio with cheese board

Stoller offers a variety of different tasting options to choose from, depending on your preferences. One of the most popular choices is the Classic Tasting, which offers a great introduction to the winery. For a fee of $25, you can sample five expertly curated wines chosen specifically to showcase the best of what Stoller has to offer. This tasting typically lasts around 1.5 hours and can be enjoyed in the indoor tasting room or on the picturesque patio, which boasts stunning views of the beautiful Dundee Hills.

The high-end Legacy Tasting is the perfect option for those looking for something a bit more luxurious. This experience costs $45 per person and lasts approximately 2 hours. The Legacy Tasting takes place in the original legacy tasting room and offers a selection of Stoller’s finest wines. A truly exceptional experience, The Legacy Tasting will leave a lasting impression on all who partake. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just someone who appreciates the finer things in life, the Stoller tasting room is an absolute must-visit destination.

Wine lovers looking for a more relaxed atmosphere during the summer and fall, should head over to the Stoller Lawn. You can enjoy the convenience of the walk-up lawn bar for service. Adirondack chairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations for picnic tables can be made in advance. The vibe is casual and enjoyable, making it an ideal choice if you don’t have a tasting reservation.

Tastings and the lawn are open daily from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm. Visit stollerfamilyestate.com to plan your visit.

#2 Bergström Wines

One of several family-owned wineries in Dundee, Bergström aims to produce exceptional estate wines, including Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Syrahs. They have 70 acres spread across 3 AVAs and practice natural and responsible farming methods. It takes them three years to oversee the production of each bottle, from farming to fermenting, aging, and finishing. Their handcrafted products come from a natural, more straightforward winemaking process rather than large industrial manufacturing.

Private tastings are offered at Ekollon, perched at the Bergström Vineyard’s crest with a panoramic view of the valley. Available Thursday through Tuesday from 10 am – 3 pm, tastings typically last 75 minutes and cost $80 per person. This private tasting is a much more personal experience, offering excellent wine you will surely enjoy.

Arrange your visit at berstromwines.com.

Hand holding a glass of red wine against the cloudy sky
#3 Domaine Drouhin

Located in the Willamette Valley, this 235-acre estate winery is renowned for its world-class wines. With 130 acres dedicated to Pinot Noir and 13 acres to Chardonnay, the vineyard boasts a climate and latitude similar to the esteemed vineyards of Burgundy. The Drouhin family has been producing wine in Burgundy since the 1880s, and their expertise is evident in the quality of the wine produced here. A visit to this winery promises an unforgettable tasting experience.

Domaine Drouhin offers you two exceptional tasting experiences that will delight you. The first is the Comparative Tasting, which allows you to sample six exquisite wines from two distinct sub-appellations: Dundee and Eola-Amity Hills. During this exceptional experience, a knowledgeable Drouhin wine expert will guide you through each wine’s nuances, helping you appreciate its unique flavor profile and characteristics.

For those looking for a truly unique experience, the 1880 Connection is the answer. This experience allows you to compare wines produced from the same grapes grown 7,500 miles apart. You’ll have the opportunity to sample both Oregon and Burgundy wines from the same family, giving you a rare chance to explore the intricacies of each wine’s terroir and wine-making process.

Both of these exceptional tasting experiences come at an affordable price. The Comparative Tasting is available for just $40 per person, which is an excellent value considering the quality of the wines. The 1880 Connection is available for $50 per person and is also an excellent value for the quality of wines and the unique experience. Make your plans domainedrouhin.com.

#4 Solena Estate

Solena Estate is a winery launched in 2000 on an 80-acre property. Its name combines Spanish and French words, Solana and Soleil, which celebrate the sun, the moon, and the cycles of life. Today, Solena produces a variety of high-quality wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine tasting on patio with umbrellas and man holding wine glass
Solena Tasting

Located in picturesque Yamhill, the Solena vineyard is an excellent destination for wine enthusiasts. Visitors can choose from two tasting experiences – the Estate Tasting and the Reserve Cellar Experience. The Estate Tasting lasts for 75 minutes and is a casual experience that offers five of Solena’s finest wines for $30. If you are fortunate, you can enjoy your tasting on the deck. The Reserve Cellar Experience is a more immersive experience that lasts for approximately two hours. It features library and reserve wines and a charcuterie board for $85 per person. Of all my tastings, this was my favorite of the best small wineries in Willamette valley on this list.

Arrange your visit at solenaestate.com.

#5 Trisaetum Winery

If you are looking for a quaint, family-owned winery that you can visit, you should definitely check out James and Andrea Frey’s vineyard. They have named their winery after their two children, Tristen and Tatum, and they have made a conscious decision to remain a small-scale winery with a hands-on approach, despite the industry’s tendency to prioritize growth. They produce approximately 6,000 cases of each varietal annually, focusing on crafting exceptional single vineyard-designated Pinot Noir and Riesling wines.

You can enjoy three flights of five different wines each during the tasting experience. The fee for the tasting is $40 per person, which is waived with the purchase of $100 or more per taster. They also have a cheese and charcuterie plate available, including meats, artisan cheeses, olives, figs, hazelnuts from Oregon, and crackers.

The tasting room provides a comfortable and charming atmosphere, with both indoor and outdoor seating available. One unique aspect of this particular tasting room is the art gallery featuring the breathtaking paintings of James Frey, who just so happens to be the owner and winemaker of Trisaetum. The addition of the gallery creates an even more special and memorable experience for visitors, truly setting it apart from other tasting rooms.

Arrange your visit at trisaetum.com.

Drone view of Willamette Valley at sun set
Photo by Dan Meyers from Unsplash
#6 Youngberg Hill

If you’re seeking a unique wine-tasting experience with breathtaking views of the mountains, Youngberg Hill’s tasting room near the Oregon Coast, just a short drive from McMinnville, is the perfect destination. This is one of the few places where no reservation is required for a walk-in tasting, and at only $30 per person, it’s a great value. You’ll be able to sample various wines, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosé, Sparkling, and Chardonnay.

If you want a more private experience, you can reserve a private tasting for $70 per person. Alternatively, you can indulge in the Reserve Label Private Tasting Experience featuring Bailey Family wines for $90 per person. For a truly immersive experience, The Vineyard Tour & Tasting is available. This tour of the vineyards delves into all aspects of viticulture, terroir, and wine-making, providing a comprehensive understanding of the wine-making process.

Whatever your preference, Youngberg Hill’s tasting room offers a range of options to meet your needs. And with stunning mountain views as the backdrop, you will have an unforgettable experience.

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience in Oregon’s wine country, Youngberg Hill might be the perfect place for you to stay. This beautiful Bed & Breakfast is situated atop a hill on a sprawling 50-acre estate and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be swept away by the charm and tranquility of this idyllic location.

Arrange your visit at youngberghill.com.

Honorable Mention – Stave & Stone Winery

Are you looking for a unique wine-tasting experience? Stave & Stone Winery, located near the Willamette Valley AVAs, offers just that. Nestled in the Hood River valley, the winery is set against the stunning backdrop of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Plus, it’s adjacent to a lavender farm, making for an unbeatable setting. The tasting room, covered patio, and outdoor Wine Garden provide breathtaking views in all four seasons.

If you’re planning a visit, I recommend stopping by during the summer or fall and grabbing a seat in the Wine Garden. It’s first-come, first-served seating, so arrive early for a relaxing afternoon with a glass of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, or Syrah. The focus here is on the atmosphere and enjoying a carefree afternoon.

Grape vines against the back drop of Mt Hood

Best Places To Stay While Visiting The Best Small Wineries In Willamette Valley

Luxury Option
Allison Inn & Spa

Located in Newberg, the Allison Inn & Spa is one of the top luxury options in the Willamette Valley. Situated on 35 acres, with sweeping views of wine country and farmland, this hotel offers 85 rooms. JORY is the signature restaurant at the inn, offering farm-to-table dining in Oregon wine country. The onsite spa is one of the best parts of this inn. Rooms start at $555 a night, depending on the time of year and day of the week

Atticus Hotel

This 35-room hotel is located in a historic building in the heart of downtown McMinnville. With a number of room types to choose from, the hotel features local artists and embodies Oregon wine country. Cypress is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant onsite. Rooms start at $355 a night.

Bed & Breakfast Option
A’ Tuscan Estate Bed and Breakfast

Located just five blocks from McMinnville’s historic downtown, this bed and breakfast is the perfect base for exploring the Willamette Valley’s wineries. You will find all the rooms and suites are tastefully decorated. Nightly rates start at around $300 a night.

Fun & Quirky
The Vintages Trailer Resort

The Vintages is for the more adventurous travelers. The Vintages is a collection of 35 vintage RVs that have all been updated for guests. Located in Dayton, just outside McMinnville, each trailer has an outdoor area, cruiser bikes, and a grill. The resort also has a pool and firepit area for relaxing at the end of the day. Rates start as low as $129 a night.

Vintages Trailer Resort wine glass with fire pit in background
Below are links and resources to help you plan The perfect trip

Travel Resources

  • HOTELS
    Booking.com and Expedia.com are great resources for accommodations around the world. Book almost any hotel directly from these links.
  • TOURS
    The best places to book tours and activities are Viator or Get Your Guide . From great food tours to guided hiking adventures to local walking tours, you will find great experiences to add to your travels here.
  • FOOD EXPERIENCES
    EatWith is a great resource for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. Connecting travelers with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues.
  • TRAINS
    Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app. They work with over 210 rail and coach companies to help their customers travel to thousands of destinations across 45 countries. 

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