Willamette Valley wineries
Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range in Oregon you will find the Willamette Valley, which is where the heart of wine country beats loud and proud. The area is over 100 miles long, and consists of close to 3.5 million acres. It is also home to 647 vineyards and 440 wineries, with Pinot Noir being the varietal that the region is most famous for. This is some of the most spectacular looking wine country in the United States, and is one that you really need to pay a visit to if you want to learn more about the history of winemaking in the US.
This is one region that is almost impossible to see in just a single visit, which is why some wine lovers tackle the huge number of wineries in the area by choosing a city as their starting point. If you prefer big city life, you might do the majority of your Willamette Valley wine tasting in and around Portland. If, on the other hand, you prefer things to be a little slower paced, you might be more at home in McMinville or one of the other smaller towns that play host to countless wine travelers passing through on their way to the wineries in Willamette Valley.
The rich history of Willamette Valley wineries began back in 1965, which was when David Lett planted the first grapes that would deliver Pinot Noir and other cool climate varietals. Other winemakers soon followed suit, and by the late 70’s, the major wine players in the area saw how tourism could help their business. Those winemakers put together the first brochure, named “Discover Oregon Wines,” which they used to inform wine lovers of what was going on in their wineries. The people stated to come, and the area began to grow, with each new grower adding to the selection and quality of wines in the area.
Willamette Valley has always been a great location for wine lovers, but 2015 promises to be something extra special, as it is the 50th anniversary of the first plantings in the region. There are always plenty of exciting wine related events going on throughout the year, but you can expect wineries to have special tasting and other big events to help celebrate the landmark year. It is for this reason that you really should think about planning ahead of 2015 is when you are choosing to make your Oregon wine trip.
With so many wineries in Willamette Valley to choose from, you will never be short of a place to visit, or a Pinot to sample. We recommend that you get a map of the area that shows where all the wineries are located. This will give you the best opportunity to plan your trip so that you can get to all of the wineries that are on your wish list. There are a number of touring companies that operate in the region, each of whom will be more than happy to help you plan the perfect trip through Willamette Valley wine country.