EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTER
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.
Emergency Relief Donation Opportunities
Oregon Red Cross
Northwest Red Cross (serves Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Gilliam, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington and Yamhill counties)
Southwest Red Cross (serves Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lake and Linn counties)
Oregon Food Bank Network
AN UPDATE FROM WINE COUNTRY ON COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS
We hope you’re staying safe and well during this time of uncertainty and quickly changing information regarding the COVID-19 virus. As of June 19th all Oregon counties have been able to reopen for in-person tastings on a limited basis.
See the Phase One and Phase Two information below for details and a list of reopened wineries by county.
Please be aware that our community has the health of our guests at heart, and our wineries and hospitality partners are taking a variety of measures in accordance with the Governor’s guidelines and our own agreed-upon best practices. Not every winery in a given county will reopen at the same time and in the same way. Check before planning a visit to confirm your specific destination’s policies.
For our friends farther away: if you find yourself getting stir-crazy in the house, remember that your favorite winery likely ships to your state and may even have a case shipping deal right now to brighten this dark time for wine lovers like you. Our #WVCommunity hub has offers and deals as well as recipes, playlists and more from Willamette Valley wine country. Check with the wineries you love, consider an online order, and know that your business is deeply appreciated as we weather this storm together.
From all of us in wine country, thank you for being a supporter of Willamette Valley wine. Each and every one of us looks forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can.
Welcome Back to Wine Country
Phases One and two
Beginning May 15th, depending on their county location, wineries and tasting rooms have begun to resume on-site tastings. Read more.
Beginning June 5th, many of the first counties to enter Phase One have been approved to enter Phase Two. Click here to review and read the latest Oregon Health Authority Update with more details here.
As of June 19th all Oregon counties have reopened for Phase One at minimum (Phase Two counties noted below).
The State of Oregon has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 related health data since March 18th and has rolled out a multi-phase plan to reopen various business sectors in Oregon. Read more about the State of Oregon COVID-19 response and reopening.
Members of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association are committed to slow and safe reopenings of their tasting rooms and appreciate your understanding and support.
This industry-led effort supports and encourages businesses to make specific commitments that showcase a true Valley-wide message of unity, care and excellence.
To date, more than 130 businesses have pledged to make these Willamette Valley Responsible Reopening commitments. See their commitments and learn more.
Updated travel advisories can be found here:
Travel Oregon (statewide)
Travel Portland (Portland Metro)
Willamette Valley Visitors Association (Willamette Valley not including Portland)
Travel Lane County (Eugene area)
Washington County Visitors Association (Tualatin Valley)
How do I know what wineries and tasting rooms are open?
Wineries and tasting rooms are slowly reopening by county. We are posting reopenings below as soon as winery announcements come in.
Should I make appointments?
During Phase One and Phase Two, many tasting rooms will be appointment-only. Because of the fluidity with this reopening phase, you will need to call or visit the websites of the tasting rooms you want to visit in advance to obtain current visitor information.
Do I need to wear a mask?
As of Wednesday, July 1, face coverings are required for employees and visitors/customers in all public indoor spaces in Oregon per the Governor’s order. Learn more here. Many tasting rooms can provide disposables. Always call to confirm.
How will social distancing be implemented?
Social distancing protocols at tastings rooms will be in place both inside and outside. You won’t see tasting bar seating, but do expect to see more tables separated by a minimum of six feet throughout tasting rooms, and more use of outdoor space.
Can I bring a group?
Associated groups for social distancing will be limited to 10 people. An associated group doesn’t have to be from the same household. You can create an associated group with friends or other people you are traveling with. Please note that many wineries will be limiting group size to fewer than 10 people so you need to confirm group limits with each winery.
How will service be different?
You can expect more pre-poured wine flights, limited wine bar service, and more seated tastings. What will not be different is the genuine hospitality that wine lovers have come to associate with the Willamette Valley.
What about restaurants?
Restaurants, by county, have been allowed to offer in-person dining since May 15th. Not all restaurants are opening at the same time, so again, call to confirm.
Can tasting rooms still serve food?
Please check with each tasting room ahead of visiting.
Will wineries accept cash?
Many wineries will be moving toward touch-less payment options. If you want to pay with cash we suggest you confirm ahead of time with the tasting rooms you plan to visit.
What are the requirements to run a tour on a tour bus?
Tour operators must follow Specific Guidelines for Transit Agencies and Phase 2 Guidance for Indoor and Outdoor Entertainment Facilities. At least three (3) feet must be maintained consistently between passengers. Six (6) feet must be maintained between the driver and passengers, except during boarding and when assisting those with mobility devices. Tour attendees in the same party may sit fewer than three (3) feet apart. Tour operators must clean the bus every four hours and in between tour groups, with an emphasis on frequently touched surfaces. Drivers and riders must wear face coverings in accordance with Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering guidance. Tour operators must limit non-essential travel in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders.
The Operators of Indoor and Outdoor Entertainment Facilities FAQ can be found here:
TO OUR VISITORS, on Behalf of our Tasting Rooms
We sincerely thank you for your support of our wines and our wine region.
We ask that you extend this support to our wineries who have chosen to delay their reopening, and trust that they can’t wait to welcome you—as soon as they can do so in a way that keeps their customers, employees and families safe.
We ask for understanding that in this time of ever-changing information and uncertainty, managing a hospitality business requires difficult decisions that might seem to err on the side of overcaution—because we have so much at stake.
To our valued customers who are based in counties that have not yet entered Phase One, we ask that you respect the OHA’s conclusion that your community is still at high risk—and that you stay home for now, to avoid bringing this elevated risk to our less affected counties.
To our valued guests who hope to travel to the Willamette Valley from other states, we ask that you wait until non-essential travel is declared safe throughout all Oregon counties—trusting that we look forward to welcoming you when responsible tourism is once again possible.
We ask for patience for our tasting room employees as they navigate an unprecedented learning curve. We ask for cooperation from you, and your understanding that every business is different and rules may vary depending on layout and environment. We promise to set expectations as clearly as possible—and we hope you will do the same by reaching out to us in advance of your visit to go over your plans.
We know there’s no wine country without our visitors, and we want to keep you safe. Empathy is the greatest support we can ask for right now. We are so grateful for yours.
Wherever you are, cheers from all of us.
Wineries Reopening By County
The listed wineries have told us they are open for on-site consumption according to their county’s reopening phase. Each winery links to its individual details. Note: This list pertains to COVID-related reopenings only. Because air quality issues, power outages and highway closures may be present due to the wildfires beginning the week of September 8 in certain parts of the region, always call ahead when attempting to visit any winery in the Willamette Valley to confirm your plans.
Open For Phase One
Terra Vina Wines – Wilsonville Vineyard
Coria Estates Winery
Lady Hill Winery
St. Innocent Winery
Willamette Valley Vineyards – Estate Tasting Room
Division Winemaking Co.
Bryn Mawr Vineyards
Cherry Hill Winery
Eola Hills Wine Cellars
Left Coast Estate
Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Plum Hill Vineyards
Raptor Ridge Winery
Willamette Valley Vineyards – Tualatin Estate Tasting Room
Open For Phase two
Five Fourteen Vineyards
Sweet Cheeks Winery
Linn County (No wineries have submitted reopening details)
Abbey Road Farm
Anam Cara Cellars
Anne Amie Vineyards
Artisanal Wine Cellars
Beacon Hill Winery
Bella Vida Vineyard
Bells Up Winery
Carlton Winemakers Studio
Chris James Cellars
Coeur de Terre Vineyard
Colene Clemens Vineyards
Craft Wine Co.
De Lancellotti Family Vineyards
De Ponte Cellars
Dobbes Family Estate
Domaine de Broglie
Domaine Drouhin Oregon
Domaine Roy & fils
Dominio IV Wines
Dukes Family Vineyards
Dundee Wine Library
EIEIO & Co.
Elizabeth Chambers Cellar
Elk Cove Vineyards
Et Fille Wines
Fox Farm Vineyards
Gran Moraine Winery
Great Oregon Wine Company / Duck Pond Cellars
J. Christopher Wines
Kelley Fox Wines
Ken Wright Cellars
Mad Violets Wine Co.
Natalie’s Estate Winery
Patricia Green Cellars
Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
Pike Road Wines
The Potter’s Vineyard & Clay Art Gallery
Purple Hands Winery
Rain Dance Vineyards
Saffron Fields Vineyard
Sokol Blosser (open for club members; July 2 for the general public)
Soter Vineyards (open for club members; June 30 for the general public)
Stoller Family Estate
Tendril Wine Cellars
Terra Vina Wines – McMinnville Tasting Room
White Rose Estate
Willamette Valley Vineyards – McMinnville Tasting Room
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery
Winter’s Hill Estate
Yamhill Valley Vineyards
Tasting Room Protocol Document
View Tasting Room Guidelines
County Boundaries Map
(From the Office of the Oregon Secretary of State)
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.
View All Events
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.
Eola Hills Christmas Movie Series
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…
Holiday Bites & Bubbles at Roco
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…
Pairing Food & Wine 101
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…
Fullerton Wine Course: Vintage Variation
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…
Willamette Cares Food Share
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
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.