Best wineries to visit in the Willamette Valley


You might be aware that Oregon wines are world renowned. However, you might not know that the Willamette Valley appellation is home to about two-thirds of all wineries in the state, totaling more than 700. This allows for plenty of options for tasting rooms to visit, whether your parents are coming to town or you’re just looking for a fun time with friends.

The Willamette Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is most famous for its Pinot Noir, but you will find some other great varietals here as well. The Willamette Valley is also home to exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. Below is a collection of wineries that the Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) staff highlighted as their favorite places to visit:

  1. Sokol Blosser

Taylor Adams, a senior finance major at Linfield, recommends trying Sokol Blosser. “They have really good Pinot and the tasting-room associates are always really friendly,” said Adams, who works at WVV. Sokol Blosser is a family-owned winery in the Dundee Hills. They were founded in 1971, making them one of the original vineyards in the valley. They currently have over 89 planted acres and produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé, and Riesling. This location offers a very modern and vibrant tasting room giving you phenomenal views of the vineyard. The standard tasting price at this vineyard is $30 per person.

  1. Domaine Drouhin

Monique Robbins, another tasting-room associate at WVV, said Domain Drouhin is one of her favorite places to taste. “They have great wine and the experience is always very pleasant,” she said. Family-owned Domaine Drouhin has a tasting room in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley AVA. The Drouhin family is not new to winemaking as the family has been making wine in Burgundy, France, for five generations. In 1987 they started a Willamette Valley vineyard where they produce award-winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. This location offers a beautiful, modern tasting room with exceptional views of the surrounding vineyards. The standard tasting price at Domaine Drouhin is $30 per person.

  1. Argyle

“Argyle is one of my favorite places to go when it comes to sparkling wine,” said Sam Anderson, an assistant manager at WVV. Argyle was founded in 1987 in the Dundee Hills. While Argyle produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé and Riesling, they are most known for their award-winning sparkling wines. They offer a large variety of sparkling wines and their staff is very knowledgeable– this is arguably the best place to go if you are a fan of bubbles. Argyle offers a beautiful tasting-room experience with a lot of outdoor seating making it a perfect option for a nice sunny day. The standard tasting fee is $30 per person.

  1. Soter Vineyards

Soter Vineyards was started by world-renowned wine consultant, Tony Stoller and his wife, Michelle Stoller. This biodynamic-certified vineyard is dedicated to sustainability and biodiversity in its farming practices. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating with a great view of the valley. This estate offers exceptional Pinot Noir, sparkling wines, and Chardonnay. They also offer seasonal food and wine pairing combinations catered directly from their farm. The standard tasting price at Soter Vineyards is $20.

  1. Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV)

Planted in 1983, the main estate of WVV is in Turner, Ore., just south of Salem. WVV also has a tasting room in the Dundee Hills under the name Domaine Willamette, as well as one located on Third Street in McMinnville– the perfect option if you want to try great Willamette Valley wine without traveling more than a few minutes from campus. While WVV specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Rosé, they offer a wide variety of other wines, including specialty reds that are typically uncommon in the Willamette Valley AVA. The two most common options in their tasting rooms is $15 for the daily tasting (a mix of red and whites) or $20 for a reserve tasting (specialty reds).