A Backstage Pass for Memorial Weekend
Among the many reasons to visit Willamette Valley wine country over Memorial Weekend—fabulous events, new releases, the beauty of bud break, and more—one of the most exciting is the opportunity to experience wines and wineries not normally open to the public.
Many of our region’s smallest producers and independent projects are appointment-only or do not have a tasting room. For these, the holiday weekend is a chance to host an “open house,” often in collaboration with other small producers, that offers a glimpse of their hard-to-find wines and a chance to meet the folks behind them.
“Memorial Day Weekend is such a great time to come to Willamette Valley wine country,” says Meg Murray, co-owner of PROJECT M, which is hosting a “small producer speakeasy” in the back courtyard of Pike Road Wines on Saturday, May 26 with fellow small producers Antiquum Farm, Helioterra Wines, Matzinger Davies and Rocky Point Cellars.
“There are wineries opening their cellars to the public that aren’t regularly open. This is a great chance for wine lovers to taste wines poured by the winemakers, hear their stories and support some of these smaller, often family-run, businesses,” she says. “It’s a great time to connect with the people behind the wine, learn what drives them to create and see firsthand the passion for their craft.”
Murray adds that each winery will be pouring limited and new releases not typically available for tasting, adding, “This is a great opportunity to see what some of the small producers are doing in the Willamette Valley in one place.”
There’s no shortage of interesting things to taste among the small producers opening their doors for the holiday weekend. Wineries such as Anderson Family, iOta Cellars, and Westrey will be serving up library gems; delicious snacks and pairings are on the menu at Domaine Roy et fils, Dukes Family, Lingua Franca, and Soter; and August Cellars, Grochau Cellars and Beaux Frères will host special guest wineries.
With exciting verticals and library tastings, great hors d’oeuvres, and winemakers on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge, Memorial Weekend is chock full of rare chances to glimpse the Willamette Valley behind the scenes.
The following wineries have a rare open house this Memorial Weekend or are hosting neighboring producers not normally open to the public. View the full list of Memorial Day events here.