Governor Kate Brown has announced updated restrictions based on a new framework ranking counties from Lower to Extreme Risk. Beginning December 3, in all Willamette Valley counties, outdoor on-site consumption are allowed at a reduced capacity (maximum 50 people total, 6 in a group, and up to 2 households represented). No indoor tasting is allowed in Extreme Risk counties. Note: Benton County has been downgraded to High Risk, which allows for indoor tastings with some restrictions. However, at this time no wineries in Benton County have told us they’re offering tastings. Stay tuned.
Watch this page for updates as they become available. Please note:
Continue to call ahead to confirm your plans before visiting any winery or wine country business
Not all wineries will be offering outdoor tastings
Order pickup and retail wine sales will continue (see our guide below)
Tents will be limited to one side only, and no pods or enclosed structures will be allowed
The listed wineries have told us they are open for outdoor, on-site consumption beginning December 3 in accordance with Oregon public health guidelines. Each winery links to its individual details. Always call ahead to confirm your plans with your destination. Scroll down for a county map.
Wineries open for wine to-go only, not for tastings or bottle service, are listed in the spreadsheet below. Note that winery policies can change so check back if you don't see your favorite winery listed. Always call ahead to confirm your plans with your destination.
Governor Kate Brown has ordered a two-week statewide freeze including the shutdown of restaurants, tasting rooms and bars for all on-premise indoor and outdoor consumption beginning November 18 and lasting through at least December 2. Read the full guidelines here and please note that all tasting rooms listed on this site will be restricted to to-go/pickup for off-premise consumption only until the shutdown is lifted. Watch this space for updates.
Be sure to check out The Giving Season, our holiday campaign that combines Willamette Cares Food Share and Wine Country Thanksgiving with a series of special offers, all redeemable online or via pickup order, from our wineries and wine country businesses.
Travel Oregon has an excellent travel alerts page with more general information and answers to frequently asked questions for travelers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that the state of Oregon is advising against non-essential travel during the freeze. If you’re arriving to Oregon from out of state, or you’re an Oregonian returning home, a 14-day self-quarantine advisory is in place. Face coverings are required statewide, in all public settings indoors and outdoors.
STATEMENT ON OREGON FIRES
Since the origins of the Willamette Valley AVA, the community has relied on each other to impart knowledge, share resources and offer a support system to those in need. Willamette Valley winemakers have successfully mitigated wildfire smoke in years’ past, including the highly lauded 2018 vintage, and we will continue to do so this year. It's the kindness of community that consistently fuels resilience and strength.
As we draw on that strength to move forward together, we thank our Willamette Valley wine lovers around the world for their support. Many of you have asked how we're doing and what all this means for the 2020 vintage.
We must first remember that the Willamette Valley is vast and diverse. Every winemaker is approaching this situation individually and has a variety of factors to consider.
As always, there will be beautiful wines coming from our region. There may be less Pinot noir compared to previous years, because winemakers are committed to making sure every bottle that is made meets the region’s high quality standards.
We also need to remember that this region is more than Pinot noir. There will be outstanding white wines, rosés and sparkling wines that come out of the 2020 vintage.
With that, we are happy to announce that the Willamette Valley has reopened (as before, in accordance with the Governor's COVID-19 guidelines by county; see below). We've listed resources we trust below.
From Travel Oregon: While Portland’s nightly demonstrations are largely peaceful, violent confrontations have occurred. We are advising visitors to exercise caution in the area within three blocks of the federal courthouse on SW Third Ave. between Salmon and Madison, especially late at night. Flights in and out of Portland International Airport and transportation in and around the city have not been affected.
Recipe Pairings Featuring Biodynamic Wines of the Willamette Valley (#WinePW)
Willamette Valley Biodynamic Wines Featured by Wine Bloggers
Thank you to Twitter’s active wine blogger community for featuring the Willamette Valley’s Biodynamic wineries this past weekend. Those who followed along with the hashtag #winepw were treated to some fabulous recipes paired with wines from our Biodynamic wineries. The recipes are listed below, along with the wine pairings.
Chef Henry Kibit's Lamb Meatballs with Harissa Sauce
Ingredients - Lamb Meatballs
½yellow onionsmall dice
1tablespoonvinegarsherry or red wine
3tablespoonsExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1cupGuajillos chiletoasted and seeded
½cupcarrotsmedium dice, cooked
½cupbeetsmedium dice, cooked
2tablespoonsExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
Preheat oven to 300°. In a small pot saute the onion, carrot and garlic over medium-low heat about 6 minutes until tender. Cool completely.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the lamb and remaining ingredients with your hands until the mixture starts to become a little sticky.
Take a small amount of the meatball mixture and saute on medium heat until cooked. About 2-3 minutes. This is just to taste for seasoning. Adjust salt/pepper/vinegar as necessary.
Portion into 16 equal sized balls. Over medium heat in a large saute pan, brown the balls evenly in two batches. Be gentle, the balls will be fragile, but will firm up after cooking.
Place the balls and all of the sauce in an oven proof pan (approximately 8"x10") and cover with foil.
Cook for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with black rice or in a pita as a sandwich. Makes four servings.
December Events Preview
FEATURED DECEMBER EVENTS IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Willamette Valley wine country serves up an idyllic remedy for winter’s persistent chill. Wineries welcome guests with the warmest brand of hospitality, in the form of thawing fireplaces, convivial service and an exceptionally intimate atmosphere only the winter months can provide. Read full article
December Events Preview
December Events Preview
Willamette Valley wine country serves up an idyllic remedy for winter’s persistent chill. Wineries welcome guests with the warmest brand of hospitality, in the form of thawing fireplaces, convivial service and an exceptionally intimate atmosphere only the winter months can provide.
Far away from the tour buses and highway gridlock of the busy summer season, December in wine country spells cozy winemaker’s dinners, uncluttered tasting rooms and a certain peacefulness—one brought on not only by having the most recent vintage put to barrel, but by the company of snow-dusted foothills that bookend the Valley.
With the holiday stretch in full swing, it’s is also the perfect time to stock the cellar in preparation for memorable meals and end-of-the-year soirees. If you’ve yet to make it out to Wine Enthusiast’s reigning Wine Region of the Year, December offers an unparalleled accessibility to both the Valley’s world renowned wines and the colorful characters who produce them.
The transition to winter means hearty fare in restaurants throughout the Valley. Enjoy an earthy, lasting meal at Joel Palmer House or head to the Back Room at Nick’s for outstanding from-scratch pasta and a game of pool. Regional options like La Rambla in McMinnville counter chilly days with spicy, herbaceous offerings and pure comfort food from the likes of Gem Creole Saloon and Valley Commissary are all the more delectable during December.
Those hungry for genuine northwest cuisine will find no shortage of options during this spell, especially fans of seasonal seafood like shellfish and world-class pacific northwest salmon. The ever-growing Willamette Valley culinary scene continues to raise the epicurean bar and define what it means to experience every sense of wine country.
Extend the cozy nature of your Willamette Valley adventure with a night or two at any number of the region’s charming B&Bs or inviting hotels. Hole up in a historic property like Hotel Oregon, exploring its bars and restaurants in between strolls along McMinnville’s fetching Third Street.
Call a vintage Airstream trailer home for a long weekend, set within striking distance of countless wineries and tasting rooms. Or, head for the hills and live like a grapegrower among the vines in bucolic working estates like Youngberg Hill and the Black Walnut Inn. Unwind in the ultra-unhurried environment that is December in wine country. With winter rates in full swing, do yourself a favor and add another day to your fulfilling stay.
Central Valley winery Eola Hills embraces the holiday spirit with a Monday night movie series. Hibernate the wine country way with a relaxing film and a glass of estate wine in hand. Tonight’s screening is The Grinch. Details…
Rollin Soles is synonymous with Willamette Valley sparkling wine. The longtime Argyle winemaker has a relatively new label to boot in Roco and nothing toasts the holiday season quite like well made bubbly. Discover how appetizers can enhance Soles’ award-winning RMS Sparkling Wine and depart with a recipe. Details…
Esteemed Amity label Brooks Winery hosts a gathering devoted to the sometimes intimidating concept of wine pairing. Winery chef Abbey McManigle leads an approachable introductory course on the subject, one you get to eat and drink. It’s time to take your holiday food menus to the next level. Details…
Pinot Noir is one of the most expressive wines on the planet and a great way to experience that is via vertical tastings. Micro-producer Fullerton Wines walks guests through four vintages spanning 2012-2015, showcasing the uniqueness of each and how each distinctive growing season shaped the resulting wines. Details…
Throughout the last two months of the year, participating WVWA wineries and tasting rooms will partner with the Oregon Food Bank network to combat hunger. Select labels and venues will accept donations with the aim of granting 75,000 meals to those in need. Make your day in wine country all the more rewarding by helping the very community that helps make it possible. Details…
About the Artist: John Fisher
THANKSGIVING 2017 – NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Local artist, John Fisher, has created iconic posters and imagery for many Wine Country Thanksgivings. Get to know the artist, his story, and his inspirations.. Read full article
About The Artist: John Fisher
About The Artist: John Fisher
The Art that Captures the Essence of the Seasons in Wine Country
From the vivid energy of harvest and the collective pause for breath at Thanksgiving to spring’s picnic baskets and flowers in bloom, each season in wine country brings festive Willamette Valley traditions for winemakers and wine enthusiasts alike. John Fisher, who has partnered with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association over many projects and vintages, is the man behind the artwork that has become an iconic reflection of our Valley’s natural beauty.
Fisher operates in both fine art and graphic design. His latter work for the association is clean and seemingly timeless, offering the crispness of a photograph yet animated by way of playful, often primary colors. There’s slick layering to much of his work, as though it was a handful of separate cutouts to begin with, stacked nearly atop one another.
Many have witnessed his art, even if they couldn’t tie a name to it. Fisher’s visual accompaniments to the wildly successful Pinot In The City campaign neatly encapsulate every journey of that ongoing roadshow. There’s the Seattle poster, with a dripping Orca’s tail in the foreground the the Emerald City skyline in the distance. The Los Angeles poster depicts a black-and-white maze of buildings and off-ramps cloaked in the golden hue of southern California sun. This is to say nothing of his local subject matter, which overwhelmed him upfront.
“The Oregon landscape was challenging at first,” Fisher admits. “I felt a little claustrophobic with all the hills, as opposed to the midwest landscape where you can see the horizon for miles.”
Fisher visited his Portland-based sister while in high school frequently. The terrain blew him away and soon he packed up and headed west. Soon, he found himself getting lost on winding Willamette Valley roads, meandering in and out of the many vineyards, farmhouses and forested hills that would inform his work.
“Most of the artwork is seasonal, so it needs to capture a sense of place and time,” Fisher says. The greatest example of such seasonality also happens to be his favorite piece, a simple but evocative illustration for Wine Country Thanksgiving 2003. In it, a golden leaf droops over ripe ready-to-pick Pinot Noir clusters. A hushed and stoic background of brushy foothills and Mt. Hood’s silhouette completes an eye-catching and economical piece.
Fisher continues to pen illustrations for the association, in between painting stirring Oregon country landscapes and offering graphic design services for a host of clients including wine labels like Alloro Vineyards and Evesham wood via he and his wife’s firm Fisher Carlson Co.
Like any good artist, Fisher is willing to offer up inspirational colleagues. For his Pinot In The City pieces, he mentions David Lance Goines, whose symbolism, layering and tight presentation is not at all unlike Fisher’s. Both artists have taken on expansive content and both have excelled in capturing it with a certain precision.
The Willamette Valley may be home to hundreds of wineries and many more vineyards, but Fisher can somehow distill that into a single iconic image.
by Mark A. Stock | markastock.com Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon who spent a healthy stretch in the Dundee Hills making, selling and drinking wine. He’s written for Willamette Week, Oregon Wine Press, Travel Oregon, Sip Northwest, SevenFifty and more. Fly-fishing, Icelandic soccer and The Simpsons are among his favorite distractions.
Tools of the Cellar Trade
#WVHARVEST2017 – NOVEMBER 13, 2017
It takes more than great grapes to make great wine. From must plungers to tri-clamps, we break down the tools of the trade.. Read full article