A to Z Wineworks
Established in 2002 by four Oregon wine industry veterans, A to Z Wineworks quickly gained recognition with an award fromFood & Winemagazine for Best American Pinot Noir under $20. Since then, it’s managed to stay true to its mission of producing high quality wines for the best value. The A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir, known for its spicy, berry-laden flavour, has twice been named among Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the year and its unoaked Chardonnay became the best-selling Oregon wine, filled with melon, citrus, and quince.
Earl and Hilda Jones planted the first vines back in 1995 after trading secure careers as scientists for winemaking, with zero experience. They wanted to find out if Tempranillo wine could be grown in the Umpqua Valley, starting what became the first winery to commercially grow and produce wine from the Noble Tempranillo grape in the Pacific Northwest. Today the couple and their dedicated team are committed stewards of the grapes and the land, with numerous successes resulting from the efforts, including a 2015 “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by the Oregon Wine Board.
Adelsheim is a leader in the Oregon wine industry’s growth and development. The first vines were planted in 1972 by Ginny and David Adelsheim who dreamed of creating world-class Chardonnay and Pinot noir in the Chehalem Mountains, an undiscovered wine region. It was an astounding success, with their winery playing a key role in just about every aspect of the state’s wine story. Often found on Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery list, Adelsheim is also a LIVE certified sustainable winery and hosts daily tours of the facility, barrel caves, and vineyard.
Amity is a small, family-run operation spread across 15 acres in the charming rural town of Amity, about an hour’s drive from the coast. It has a production capacity of around 34,000 gallons a year and a philosophy that wine should be shared with family and friends. There are whimsical touches throughout, like a trailer affectionately called the mobile chateau that underscores the laid-back feel here, while the tasting room offers the chance to sip Pinot noir, pinot blanc, and more. Visitors can also purchase products like chocolates made with Pinot noir.
Producing rare bottlings from the Willamette Valley and Santa Barbara, Antica Terra is based in Dundee. Owner and winemaker Maggie Harrison taps into the aesthetic merits of the valley using a process unlike any other. Grab a bottle and a glass to understand what that means or book a tasting on-site, sampling Antica Terra, Lillian, and wines from across the globe. Visitors can also enjoy lunch or dinner along with immersive experiences like how to blend wine or make pasta. Simply walking through the vines and oak savannah is enjoyable too.
This winery has roots dating back to 1959, but its first Pinot noir grapes were planted in 1970, making Arterberry-Maresh Oregon’s fifth oldest vineyard. Tucked in the Red Hills of Dundee, the owners have a long history of farming and winemaking. With 48 hours’ notice, one can visit the Red Barn Tasting Room at the top of the hill to sample the results and even meet three generations of the Maresh family, Jim Sr., his daughter Martha and her husband Steve, and their son Jim, also a winemaker.
Beaux Freres has helped to set the standard for the state’s modern Pinot noir ever since the plot of land was purchased by Michael Etzel and his wine critic brother-in-law Robert Parker in 1986. It’s since grown to include two vineyards, the original 30-acre Beaux Freres vineyard and adjacent 10-acre Upper Terrace Vineyard, nestled in the Ribbon Ridge viticultural area. Today it's led by Michael’s middle son, Mike D. Etzel who continues to follow a philosophy of producing world-class Pinot noirs from small, well-balanced yields using organic and biodynamic practices.
This meticulously farmed vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains is small and family-owned, with a mission to produce exceptional Pinot noirs that express both the individuality of the vintage and the beauty of the site. The 14-acre property was acquired in 2004, with the first vintage bottled in 2009. and it continues to be farmed by Andrew and Annedria Beckham, with Andrew the one behind the winemaking. Most of the eight certified organic acres are of the Pinot noir varietal, but there is also an acre of Jurassic and Riesling varietals.
Bergstrom is a family business made up of five estate vineyards totalling 84 acres spread across some of the Willamette Valley’s best appellations, all of which are farmed without the use of fertilisers or harsh chemicals. It traces its roots to Sweden-bornJohn Bergström’s love for the Pacific Northwest. He travelled all the way to Oregon to follow his dream of creating a better life and had a successful medical practice as a surgeon before returning to his agricultural roots, ultimately founding Bergström Winery which focuses on small lots of handcrafted wines.
Twin brothers Ted and Terry Casteel, their wives Marilyn Webb and Pat Dudley, and Pat’s sister Barbara Dudley, founded Bethel Heights in 1977 and it’s still owned and operated by the same family today. Tucked into the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, visitors can enjoy spectacular views and warm hospitality while sipping wines in the tasting room on a bluff overlooking the surrounding valley and estate vineyards. From its original vines, which include Pinot noir and Chardonnay, a series of small-production lock-designated Pinot noirs can be enjoyed, most of which are only available right here.
Big Table Farm
One of the highlights among the many Willamette Valley wineries, Big Table Farm is the collaborative effort of Brian Marcy and Clare Carver, winemaker and artist. They worked with well-known wineries like Neyers and Marcassan before purchasing their property and making the first 150 cases in 2006. They craft some of Oregon’s most compelling wines, producing what they love to drink, including Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Chardonnay. Big Table Farm Atelier, housed in a historic feed store in downtown Carlton, is where you can experience their wine, art, and creative process.
Bow & Arrow
Started in 2010 by Scott Frank after spending years in various roles within the wine and restaurant industries, he aimed to make wine from often overlooked grapes that had long been grown in Oregon, including many Loire Valley varieties that were overshowed by the focus on Pinot noir. The urban winery sources fruit from farmers who are willing to take a risk grafting or planting varieties that Frank needed while farming them in a way that was aligned with his beliefs. Located in northeast Portland, private tastings are available.
Established in 1990, the vines at Brick House Vineyards are surrounded by hazelnut and fruit orchards that overlook the Chehalem Valley. Dedicated to “Old World wisdom” using a grape-growing method that’s been proven for at least a thousand years, all of the fruit is estate grown and certified organic. The grapes are grown on its own 40-acre farm, with three traditional Burgundy varieties planted, including Pinot noir, Gamay noir, and Chardonnay. Its Pinot noirs have been highly lauded, including the premium “Les Diojonnaise” sourced from Dijon clones planted in 1998.
Since 1984, Cameron Winery has produced organically and dry-farmed Pinot noir, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay. Its roots date back to the mid-70s when owner and winemaker John Paul decided to go to work for a California vineyard rather than make use of his PhD in Marine Biology. He worked his way to assistant winemaker at Carneros Creek in Napa Valley and then purchased his Dundee Hills vineyard in the Willamette Valley. Today his wines are a reflection of the terroir and Paul’s personality, all crafted with monastic patience and an ecological approach.
Christopher Michael Wines
Brothers Eric Christopher and Ryan Michael Harms started Christopher Michael Wines in 2009, using their home base in the Willamette Valley. With values based on what Oregon is all about, including artisans and explorers who craft quality authentic products they can be proud of, they say it’s their passion for the state and its spirit that truly makes the wine. Their 2019 Pinot noir is a favourite, its deep complexity the result of a long growing season, one of Oregon’s longest on record, with juicy acidity showing red cherries, currents, and raspberries.
A partnership between the three sons of Michael G. Etzel, the founding partner of Beaux Freres Vine, Nathan, Michael, Jr., and Jared prove that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Coattails is devoted to the memory of their mother, with wines demonstrating a commitment to craftsmanship and the vineyard, and an artful approach to what’s in the bottle. The name is a playful tribute to their ability to ride the wake of an Oregon wine pioneer, giving credit where credit is do while revealing their high expectations for every glass.
Colene Clemens sits on a 122-acre property where the Chehalem Mountains meet with Ribbon Ridge. Founded by Joe and Victoria Stark in 2005 with the goal to produce exceptional Pinot noir, the estate contains both volcanic and sedimentary soils, with 62 acres planted to chardonnay and Pinot noir. It has an elevation that climbs from 350 to 650 feet and from its lofty spot the winery offers sweeping views of the valley and coast range. Visitors will not only discover inspiring views but genuine warm hospitality, and unforgettable wines.
This family-owned and operated vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills wine region is a top producer of Pinot noir and Chardonnay. In 1992, the abandoned Pellier Winery site was purchased by Paul and Eileen Gerrie who established their vineyard here with the first vintage bottled in 1994. Divided into five single vineyards that are named after matriarchs in the family, Christom may best e known for its Pinot noirs and Chardonnay, but it also produces Pinot noir blends as well as a Syrah-based red wine and other whites, Pinot gris, and Viognier.
Established in 2005, Crowley Wines focuses on transparent, terroir-driven winemaking, favouring classic Pommard Pinot noir and Wadenswil clones, working with family-owned vineyards, particularly higher elevation, cooler sites. They place a priority on creating the most direct evidence of place and vintage while making exciting, elegant wines with no extraction enzyme, minimal acid additions and native yeasts. Expression is preferred over stylised wines, with the believe that nature cannot be improved upon. Wines are made in the tradition of Burgundy and early Oregon winemakers with maximum attention to detail and limited intervention.
Division Wine Co
Thomas Monroe and partner Kate Norris were inspired to create their urban winery after tasting Willamette Valley Pinot noirs. While studying and working in France they discovered growing and winemaking techniques that resonated most with them, along with wines made with varieties lesser-known back home. Their desire to add to the composition of Oregon’s winemaking industry was birthed, with Division Winemaking founded in 2010 on Division in Portland. Today they not only make their own soulful wines but serve as a place for others to do so while hosting a wine bar too.
Domaine Drouhin Oregon
Founded in 1987 by the Drouhin family of Burgundy, winemaker Veronique Boss-Drouhin is a fourth-generation winemaker known for making wines true to the family’s origins, referred to as ‘wines made with French soul from the Oregon soil.’ They’ve earned an international reputation for excellence that includes the highly acclaimed Laurène Pinot Noir Cuvée, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay Arthur. Visitors can enjoy them by appointment with tastings hosted in an outdoor terrace that’s covered but semi-open, providing spectacular views of the 235-acre estate, blankets and heaters provided.
Founded in 2012 by Jared Etzel andMarc-André Roy, following their fathers' footsteps who partnered more than 20 years earlier to start Beaux Freres Winery, Domaine Roy focuses on wine from two estate vineyards in Carlton and the Dundee Hills. Wines are produced under the Domaine Roy et Fils label as well as from non-estate fruit labelled Maison Roy et Fils. Continuing the tradition of making high-quality wines through nearly obsessive, meticulous work, they welcome guests to sample them with visits by appointment available at the Dundee estate vineyard and winery.
With adeep appreciation for the wines of Burgundy and a dream of growing and producing world-class Pinot noir, KenW and Grace Evenstad moved from Minnesota to the Willamette Valley in 1989. Investing in a 42-acre hilltop estate in the picturesque Dundee Hills, their first vintage was produced in 1990 while their current five-level gravity flow winery was completed in 2001. They’ve produced many award-winners since and today visitors can enjoy cellar tours and samples at the elegant Mediterranean-style winery that boasts a tasting room with beautiful vineyard views.
Founded in an abandoned fruit orchard in 1974 by Joe and Pat Campbell, named for the elk herd that inhabits the hills nearby, Elk Cove was the Yamhill-Carlton AVA’s very first vineyard and winery. Today, second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell is producing crisp and aromatic Pinot gris, outstanding Pinot noirs, Pinot blanc, and Riesling, emphasizing estate-grown fruit. Having grown up among the vines, Adam developed immense respect for the land, noting that his time spent on the nearly 400-acre property helps to make the best viticulture decisions while informing winemaking decisions too.
With a name inspired by the lure of Homer’s ideal garden, the final chapter of Homer’s Odyssey, Evening Land was birthed in 2005 by former producer/director/attorney Mark Tarlov and his partners, including the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton, former James Beard Foundation CEO and founder/CEO of the International Culinary Center. Its Seven Springs Vineyard produces wines from the Eola-Amity Hills, California’s Sonoma Coast, andCôte d’Or in Burgundy, with a focus on Pinot noir. Since Evening Land began farming here in 2007, it’s been LIVE certified, fully converted to organic and biodynamic farming practices.
This family-run winery in the Dundee Hills is made up of five different vineyards spread across 60 acres. One of Oregon’s original wine estates and one of the most historic in the country, it was founded in 1966 by David and Diana Lett who named it after red-tailed hawks who inhabit the fir trees near their original vineyard plantings. Their first vintage bottled was in 1970 and in 1975, Eyrie produced America’s first Pinot noir to successfully compete with Burgundy’s renowned Pinots. In 2005, son Jason took over, continuing his family’s pioneering legacy.
Established in 1992, Firesteed wines have been recognised as a benchmark for Oregon’s Pinot noirs, Pinot gris, and Rieslings. It was founded on a dream of producing distinctive, elegant wines that express the singular terroir of the Willamette Valley with its icon a horse, connoting fire, courage, grace, and beauty. Nestled in the Eola Hills region, Firesteed wines represent the quintessential expression of varietals that are well-suited to the Willamette Valley. Visitors can enjoy picnics on the winery’s patio while enjoying the views that overlook picturesque Baskett Slough NWR.
Four Graces was founded in 2003 by the Black family, named for the four daughters who purchased an existing Dundee Hills vineyard. It quickly became one of Oregon’s most successful, primarily offering Pinot noir, along with small amounts of Pinot blanc and Pinot gris, which come from two estate vineyards, the former Black Family Estate, now the Foley Family Estate, and Doe Ridge. Using only sustainable farming techniques combined with modern technology, it produces rich and complex wines handcrafted in small lots with its Pinot noir often ranked among the most popular Pinots.
Golden Cluster wines are reflective of the exceptional terroir in the northern Willamette Valley, with the majority of grapes sourced from David Hill Vineyard, formerly the infamous Charles Coury Vineyard. Planted in 1965 and 1966, it represents a line-up of incredibly rare Oregon grapes. The winery has made it their mission to explore and showcase them independently, producing Sauvignon Rose, the first-ever varietal wine made in the U.S. Thanks largely to veteran winemaker and long-time Portland resident Jeff Vejr, one can taste the layers of history, viticulture, and stories in every sip.
Goodfellow Family Cellars
Located in McMinnville, Goodfellow Family Cellars was launched in 2014 by Marcus Goodfellow, the same winemaker that created Matello Wine. He began making wine in 2002, with Steve Doerner of Cristom one of his biggest influences, aiming to produce wines with vineyard expression rather than personal influence. With his winery evolving he created this new label showcasing traditional winemaking methods and specific vineyards with a philosophy that involves dry farming, old vines, and simple techniques. All are crafted with fruit from sustainably farmed, non-irrigated vineyards, using an individual hands-on process.
Focusing on the classic Burgundy varieties that Oregon is so renowned for, Pinot noir and Chardonnay, Gran Moraine takes its name from the glacier movements of the last ice age, with the Missoula Floods depositing glacial sediment known as moraines in the northern Willamette Valley. Tucked into the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, the 190-acre estate vineyard is managed by Shane Moore, Eugenia Keegan and Ken Kupperman who’ve spent years in wine regions across the globe. Visitors are invited to enjoy its distinct culture and extraordinary wines with seated tastings by appointment.
Hope Well Wine
Mimi Casteel grew up among Willamette Valley vineyards which is likely what helped shape her passion for wine and the earth. The younger daughter of the co-founders of Bethel Heights, she left the family business in 2015 and started Hope Well on a picturesque ridge in Salem, part of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. It thrives being farmed using all biodynamic, organic methods, with Mimi’s goal to emphasize that every harvest represents a different story with each vintage reflecting the place, time, and circumstances that intersected to create it.
Hundred Suns Wine
A small family owned and operated winery in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Grant Counlter and Renee Saint-Amour tare husband-and-wife team behind Hundred Suns, doing everything by hand, with all wines biodynamically farmed and unfiltered. They live on the vineyard with their kids and their daughter’s art can even be found on some of the labels, while Grant provides the rest. He was the head winemaker at Beaux Freres for nearly a decade before starting his own project by sourcing fruit from friends who farmed some of the region’s top vineyards.
A Chinook word that means soil, earth, or place, Illahe is made up of 80 acres of vines in the Mount Pisgah region. Striving to do everything as naturally as possible from the soil the grapes are grown in, to the bottle, Illahe has an old school approach when it comes to techniques and materials in the vineyards and the cellars, with the vines tended by hand. Percheron draft horses even transport the grapes to the winery, with much of the wines, which include no enzymes or additives, made without modern mechanization or electricity.
Nestled in northern Willamette Valley’s Chehalem Mountains AVA, J. Christopher winery is owned by renowned German winemaker Ernst “Erni” Loosen. A small winery, it focuses on Pinot noir produced using the traditional Old-World methods of Burgundy. It’s also one of the few in the state to make Sauvignon Blanc, modelled after Sancerre wines. All are hand-crafted in small lots, with the goal to emphasize balance, length, and focus that have a fine balance of texture, acidity, and fruit. They believe patience is key to their high-quality, letting the wines develop naturally.
Owner and winemaker Jim Prosser is the man behind J.K. Carriere, who calls Pinot noir “a tuning fork for the soul,” aiming to produce classically structured wines that are very ageable, with smooth tannins and high acidity. It all began in 1999, in a century-old barn before growing into its Parrett Mountain location. The winery’s name combines his grandfathers’ names, honouring their integrity. A small family of distinctive wines can be sampled in the tasting room, and you’ll also find J.K. Carriere wines in fine dining establishments, wine shops, and specialty markets.
Native NorwegianDag Johan Sundby is a descendant of a long line of soil tillers who arrived toNorth America in 2004, seeking to plant roots in the Willamette Valley after becoming inspired by Burgundy’s legendary vineyards. Anchored in Old World values, his aim was to make his mark on the Pinot noir grape, producing premium wines that stand the test of time. You’ll find Johan Vineyards Estate in the mid-Willamette Valley, benefiting from the afternoon sea breezes. Integrating natural farming techniques with advanced viticultural research, it produces high-quality, elegant, savoury wines.
With extensive winemaking experience that includes stints at Eyrie and Scott Paul where she was a winemaker for a decade, Kelley Fox launched her own winery in 2007. Today she’s known for her wines with impressive complexity and finesse, producing pure, mineral-driven Pinots from two of the most highly acclaimed vineyards in Willamette Valley, Momtazi and Maresh. Known for their exceptional value for the quality, they’re said to capture the nature of the vineyards the grapes are sourced from while embodying thespiritual connection Fox has with her grapes, vines, and winemaking.
Ken Wright Cellars
Ken Wright sold his first winery, Panther Creek, starting his namesake winery in 1995, becoming a pioneer of single vineyard Pinot noirs early on. His knowledge of the state’s geography was instrumental in co-establishing six landmark sub-AVAs in the northern Willamette Valley a decade later. The Ken Wright Cellars tasting room sits within the historic 1920s train depot in downtown Carlton, allowing visitors to sample a selection of its single vineyard Pinot noir and frequently other small production wines for an ‘in-depth geological tour’ of Oregon’s most well-known wine country.
An artisan producer of single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot noir wines from mature vineyards nestled in the Willamette Valley, Lavinea was co-founded by former president and CEO of Evening Land Vineyards Greg Ralston and winemaker Isabelle Meunier who was part oof the same venture. Known for producing wines crafted to the ‘highest expression and purest voice of site-specific terroir,’ its debut vintage was in 2014, released in 2016. Visitors can taste Lavinea wines in the Carlton Winemakers Studio downtown while learning about the unique stories behind every label.
Eric Lemelson started out in politics but after purchasing a farm near Newberg, he discovered the exceptional quality of its Pinot noirs and decided to learn more about viticulture. Finding the volcanic soil and southeast slopes were ideal for growing wine grapes, in 1995 he planted two acres of Pinot noir and Pinot gris. While it started out as a hobby, he enjoyed it so much he planted 17 more acres, establishing Lemelson Vineyards. Today, it includes 160 acres at seven sites, all of which have been farmed organically from the start.
A family-owned estate established in 2002 by Steve and Karen Lutz, Lenne is focused on producing premium Pinot noir and Chardonnay from a vineyard near Yamhill and Carlton in the northern Willamette Valley. Steve’s passion is infused in every bottle, combined with the mix oflow vigour sedimentary and volcanic soilsthat lead to small batches of very robust, full flavoured Pinot noirs. The tasting room sits in the heart of its picturesque hillside vineyard offering wines by flight or glass along with cheeses and charcuterie boards ideal for a picnic on-site.
In 2015, Master Sommelier Larry Stone, who previously managed Evening Land Vineyard and worked as a sommelier in the restaurant business for many years, released his first Willamette Valley wines from the 2013 vintage under the “Lingua Franca” label which translates to ‘honest tongue.” His vineyard is nestled in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA and is primarily planted with Pinot noir along with some Chardonnay. Situated among famous neighbours like Lone Star and Seven Springs Vineyards on a hillside,it produces classic elegant Oregon wines full of pure fruit with notes of earth and spice.
Tucked into the southwest corner of the Yamhill-Carlton District on a unique high-elevation site, Luminous Hills is a vineyard with Jory volcanic and sedimentary soil. It produces carefully crafted Pinot noirs that perfectly capture the ‘place,’ beautiful balanced, complex, and characteristic of this special wine growing region. Owner Brian Dooley’s passion for wine began while attending Oregon State University and grew on international trips with his wife Dana, aimed to further their knowledge ofEuropean winemaking techniques. After a stint in Napa Valley, their inaugural Luminous Hills vintage came in 2008.
Martin Woods Winery
Hidden in the wooded foothills of the Coast Range in the McMinnville AVA, Martin Woods has been referred to as one of the most authentic small wineries in Oregon. Helmed by winemaker Evan Martin, it partners with cool-climate vineyards, producing exceptional terroir-driven, artisan wines, including Pinot noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, and Gamay, with a commitment to sustainable farming. Made to complement cuisine with classic depth, textural complexity, lifted aromas, and elegance, it can be purchased directly, in boutique wine shops, and from upscale restaurant wine lists.
Sometimes referred to as the state’s most avant-garde winemaker, Chad Stock eschews winemaking convention. With a passionate belief that Oregon is the greatest state in the country for making fine wine, he seeks to make his own meaning using experimental rules. There is no style and as it’s a non-repeating experiment with assorted varieties, all individually numbered, it will never happen again. They aren’t submitted to wine writers, and he doesn’t seek to have them scored as he believes that creates preconceptions that can cloud the wine tasting experience.
Morgen Long has a single focus on site-driven Willamette Valley Chardonnay. Working in the restaurant industry from a young age, in 2009 and 2010 after gaining certification as a sommelier, he travelled the globe, working with influential winemakers in New Zealand, France, California, and the Willamette Valley. After a stint with Domaine de Montille in Burgundy, he returned to Oregon, establishing Morgen Long Wine in 2014. His winemaking approach has a view that attention to detail in the winery and ethical decisions in the vineyard result in authentic and delicious wines.
Nicolas & Jay
A collaborative project between two friends, music industry veteran Jay Boberg and Jean-Nicolas,proprietor of a leading Burgundy domaine, the pair had a passion for wine and wanted to do something together, with Oregon the ideal place. The result was Oregon wines that have altered the perception of Pino noir in the state. Grapes are sourced across the Willamette Valley for critically acclaimed Chardonnays and a series of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, with the first release from the 2014 vintage. Its central winery base is a 53-acre site in the Dundee Hills AVA.
Founded in 2011 by husband-and-wife team John and Ksenija Kostic House, Ovum produces numerous labels, sourcing grapes from vineyards around the state. It offers a unique perspective on Oregon’s diversity, primarily working with sites in the more southern appellations of Applegate and Rogue Valley. The wines are generally vinified in cask, neutral oak, cement egg, and acacia barrels, undergoing native ferment. Thepair have worked with Riesling, muscat, gewürztraminer, and more recently Pinot noir, celebrating the state’s vibrant terroir while pushing past the limits of what U.S. white wines were thought to be.
Patricia Green Cellars
Located in Yamhill County’s Ribbon Ridge district on a 52-acre state purchased by Jim Anderson and Patricia ‘Patty’ Green in 2000, Patricia Green Cellars produces a wide selection of Pinot noirs that show distinction of the sites it works with. That includes far flung vineyards that represent top sites in the Eola Hills, Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, and Ribbon Ridge growing regions. While Patty passed in 2017, the special nature of the wines lives on, ensuring that every ‘bottling represents that best possible wine from each vineyard the winery works with.
In 1998, Lynn started Penner-Ash Wine Cellars with husband Ron, carefully crafting small amounts of Pinot Noir and Syrah, while she was still at Rex Hill. Their early success with the label caused them to dream of what they could create and in 2001 Lynn focused full time on building Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. In 2005, Lynn and Ron designed and built their sustainable, gravity-flow estate winery surrounded by estate vineyards, a building that seems to spring from the land itself and is a reflection of the values, spirit and winemaking philosophy of Lynn and Ron.
While Precept’s headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington, it produces wines showcasing Oregon, with its Pinot noir and Pinot gris sourced from some of state’s finest vineyards which including 600 acres of its own. Established in 2003, it’s the Northwest’s largest privately owned wine company running its own wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms. It has a unique portfolio, also representing wine in Washington, Idaho, New Mexico, and even Australia. Precept is known for producing some of the most affordable for the quality in the country with plenty of critical acclaim to back that up.
Maison Louis Jadot’s first wine project outside of Burgundy since its founding over 150 years ago, Resonance is led by famous Jadot winemaker Jacques Lardière who brought more than 40 years of Burgundy winemaking experience to the Willamette Valley. The vineyard was originally farmed by Kevin and Carla Chambers who sold their grapes to other wineries until producing their own Pinot noir starting with the 2006 vintage. Today one can expect to enjoy its wines that provide an authentic representation of Oregon’s famous wine country combined with the crunchy complexity of Burgundy.
Producing Pinot noirs for more than 30 years, Rex Hill sits at the edge of the state’s renowned wine country in Newberg. One of the original LIVE certified wineries and vineyards farmed with biodynamic principles, it celebrates the finest single vineyards to continue a legacy of both Pinot noirs and Chardonnays that reflect their origin. That sense of place is critical to the way its wines are made and how the land is farmed. Consistently offering authentic balanced, rich, complex wines, it was named a 2017 Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery in the Americas.
Rose & Arrow
The unmistakable finesse and elegance of Rose & Arrow wines are the result of the efforts of consulting winemaker Comte Louis Michael Liger-Belfair and acclaimed vineyard manager Pedro Para, with Felipe Ramirez the Oregon-based winemaker. The man behind Evening Lands, Mark Tarlov started the project in 2012 along with Liger-Belfair who invited Parra to join them. Today they own or farm more than 60 hectares of land spread across five of the seven AVAs. Their aim is to allow Burgundian thinking to shape the way the finest wines from Willamette Valley are produced.
Sequitur, a name that means “it follows,” was chosen for what followed in terms of personal and professional passages as well as the wine made each year, following the influence of each element of the growing season. It all started in December 2010 when retired schoolteacher Frank Drummer purchased a 60-acre Douglas fir tree farm. A 12-acre Pinot noir vineyard was planted adjacent to the Upper Terrace of Beaux Frere where primarily Pinot noir and some Chardonnay is produced. It can be tasted and purchased in the Beaux Freres tasting room.
Seven of Hearts
Located in downtown Carlton, Seven of Hearts is the sister label of Luminous Hills. The label you’ll see on the bottle is neoclassical, symbolising the owners’ passion for traditional style Pinot noir. It explores different appellations, varietals, and vineyards in the Willamette Valley and neighbouring regions. In addition to Pinot noir, it produces wine from a wide range of grapes grown in the Pacific Northwest, from Bordeaux blends to Roussanne and Riesling. Visitors can enjoy it in the Carlton tasting room paired with a chocolate from Honest Chocolates, which it shares a space with.
Established by Dick and Dierdre Shea in 1996, Shea Cellars produces world-class Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Located in the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA, the vineyard is spread over 200 hillside acres, with the majority planted to Pinot noir. The growing conditions are ideal, located in the rain shadow of the Coast Range. Dick says that the secret to his success was getting advice from knowledgeable people like viticulturist Javier Marin who managed the vineyard from the start. Shea’s Pinot noirs soon became a cult-classic collectible, highly sought-after by fans on the winery’s mailing list.
Located in what’s now the Dundee Hills AVA, Sokol Blosser is one of the state’s pioneering wineries, founded in 1971 by Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser. Family owned and operated by second generation siblings, it’s become the sixth largest wine producer in Oregon, producing Pinot noir, Pinot gris, proprietary blends of Evolution Red and Evolution White, and small quantities of several other wines. Certified organic since 2005, its vineyards were the first to be certified Salmon-Safe in 1996. The underground barrel cellar was the country’s first winery to receive LEED Certification.
Founded in 1977 by Tony and Michelle Soter, both native Oregonians, Soter Vineyards was the follow up to Tony’s long career as a consulting winemaker in the Napa Valley and the owner of Etude winery where he focused on both Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir with an artisan focus. Located in Mineral Springs Ranch just east of Carlton, the biodynamic farm and vineyard offers sweeping views of the surrounding Yamhill-Carlton District. The hospitality buildings and production facilities are all located there on the 240-acre property, providing total control of all operations.
Owned and operated by Meredith Bell and Luke Wylde, the pair were able to establish Statera Cellars thanks to a 2015 Kickstarter campaign. Unlike many Oregon wineries, it focuses solely on Chardonnay, with the goal to show the expression of the grape in its own way. Statera is the first in the Willamette Valley to focus singularly on the Chardonnay grape. As its wines are made without additives while using Old-World winemaking techniques, the life and character of every bottle is shaped by the way the vineyard is farmed.
Located in the heart of McMinnville, Suzor Wines is a family affair, owned by husband-and-wife Greg and Melissa, honouring its French heritage, born from memories of enjoying family meals in the Loire Valley of France. Greg grew up in Northern California with a Francophile father and French mother, while Melissa became enamoured in food and wine growing up in Montreal. Their wines embrace Old-World charm with the desire to produce food-friendly, elegant wines that can be enjoyed at intimate gatherings with thoughtful conversations as well as simple evenings at home alone.
A very small producer of Pinot noir in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley, Thomas Winery is owned by John Thomas. A cult wine, it’s been called “the least known and most sought-after” Pinot from Oregon, with his first vintage released in 1992. There isn’t a website with bottles available for purchase, there is no website or email address at all. An appointment requires the old-fashioned method of writing a letter and mailing it in. Thomas has been farmer his four acres since 1984, doing all the winemaking other than the harvest himself.
Trathen Hall Wines
Trathen Hall Wines is a tiny producer owned by husband-and-wife team Blair Trathen and Arabella Hall who have more than 20 years of winemaking experience behind them. Founded in 2009, it specialises in single vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot noirs, all made from organically or biodynamically grown fruit. Where they’re all very limited in production, Trathen makes a diverse array of wines, including Pinot noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, produced with little to no new oak and gentle handling with the focus on varietal purity and vineyard expression.
Established in 2003, Trisaetum was named after the children of founders Andrea and James Frey, Tristen and Tatum. Set on an old cattle ranch in the foothills of the Coast Range, 22 acres of Pinot noir and Riesling were initially planted, with another 17 acres planted on Ribbon Ridge, and in 2011, an 8-acre vineyard in the Dundee Hills was added. The Freys have a tasting room at their winery just outside Newberg which includes dramatically lit underground wine caves and a 1,500-square-foot art gallery, displaying winemaker James’ works.
Located in West Linn, just across the river from Portland, Twill Cellars was founded by Molly and Darrel Roby. The started out by planting a 2.7-acre vineyard in 2000 and today they’re known for producing highly acclaimed varietals that include Pinot noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, andRosé. The winery’s 2014 Oregon Syrah made Wine & Spirits magazine’s list of the ‘Year’s Best Syrah’ and its 2014 Willamette Valley Chardonnay was lauded with 91 points from Wine Advocate. A small winery, the wines are known to showcase the craft, weather, and the land.
Union Wine Company
Union Wine was founded by Ryan Arms in 2005 named to bring together and honour the spirt, character, and diversity of Oregon. Underwood is its most popular wine, now sold in nearly every state. One of the most widely available canned wines in the country, they were first released in a limited edition at the 2013 Feast Portland event as part of a campaign to share the belief that what’s in the glass is more important than the glass itself. The Kings Ridge and Alchemist brands are produced by Union Wine too.
Vincent Wine Company
Founded in 2009 by owner/winemaker Vincent Fritsche, Vincent Wine Company was launched years after his apprenticeship at a variety of west coast wineries. Aiming to pursue his passion independently, he works with multiple sustainably farmed vineyard across the Willamette Valley, producing small amounts of simple, handcrafted wines. His Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay, and Gamay come from some of the region’s finest vineyards. Join its mailing list if you’d like a tasting, available by appointment at the Grochau Cellars winery in the Eola Hils near McMinnville.
Launched in 2008 bypartners Ken Pahlow and Erica Landon, Walter Scott Wines is located in the Eola-Amity Hills overlooking the Cascade Mountains and surrounded by some of the most historic vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Sold through fine wine retailers in Oregon and a mailing list, its Pinot noir and Chardonnay are produced from popular growers like Hostein, La Combe Verte, and Bishop Creek, including both single-vineyard bottlings and blends. A small winery, its focus is to make pure, elegant wines that convey the character of the vintage and transparency of the site.
Founded by native Burgundian Bernard Lacroute in 1992, WillaKenzie Estate was named after the sedimentary soil on which the vines were planted. One of the most critical aspects of its winemaking practices is the preservation of the local ecosystem, while clonal diversity across the vineyard results in Pinot gris, Chardonnays, and Pinot noirs that showcase the elegance of the Willamette Valley’s terroir. Lacroute says the clones of the body of the wine while the soil is the soul and the people behind it are the ‘conductors of the orchestra.’
Located in Dundee, Winderlea is a boutique winery that specialises in the limited production of Chardonnay and Pinot noir, run by husband-and-wife team Bill Sweat and Donna Morris. They purchased the former Dundee Hills Vineyard (with the earliest plantings dating back to 1974), naming it for the combination of wind and lea, which means meadow or field. In 2008 they began farming organically and earned Demeter Biodynamic Certification in 2015. The focus is on wines that are well-balanced, restrained, elegant, and speak to the characteristics of the place.