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Are there hiking trails between wineries in the Willamette Valley?

There are several wineries south of Eugene that border each other — King Estate and Iris Vineyards are backdoor neighbors, and Chateau Lorane is also very close. I have heard anecdotally that you can walk from King Estate to Iris, and last year there was a 5K/10K trail run in the area that took the racers to all three wineries. However, I do not believe that it is an officially designated or marked trail. My suggestion would be to stop in at Iris or King Estate and ask the tasting room staff.

If you’re not looking for a hiking trail, per se, but just a beautiful route, you should definitely check out some of the routes in the Eugene area and South Willamette Valley. You can find maps and directions to guide you on scenic drives or bike rides that go from winery to winery. You could also walk these routes if you choose, but they are on roads, not hiking trails.

If you are really interested in the wine-hiking (aka “wiking!”) experience, here are a few vineyards in the Willamette Valley with hiking trails:

  • Sokol Blosser, just outside Dundee: they have a guided vineyard hike you can sign up for.
  • Winter’s Hill Vineyard, Dundee Hills: They’re an official stop on the Willamette Valley Birding Trail, and they have a native oak savannah you can hike through.
  • Left Coast Cellars, Eola-Amity Hills, just west of Salem: They invented the term “wiking” and have a great map of trails through their property.
  • Eola Hills Legacy Estate vineyard: this is just a few minutes from Left Coast and in a very pretty location.
  • Tyee Wine Cellars, Corvallis: This small vineyard is on land that’s been owned by the same family for more than 100 years. Their hiking trail takes you through native wetlands, farmland, and hazelnut orchards all on their family property.

Where do you recommend a short wine tasting cycling trip in the Willamette Valley?

My top pick would be the Eugene area for cycling to wineries. You’ll find a higher concentration of wineries in the Dundee/Newberg area, but the roads are more highly trafficked with very minimal shoulders, and not as good for cyclists. In the Eugene area there are a couple of different routes that will take you to several wineries within 15-20 miles.

The Territorial Wine Trail is the name for the main Eugene-area wine tasting route. You could do either the north section or the south, but the whole thing might be pretty ambitious on bikes.

North section:

If you look at the map for the north section, you’ll see it lists five different wineries. If you’re looking for only 15-20 miles, I’d suggest leaving off Domaine Meriwether and Novelle, and instead starting off with Pfeiffer Vineyard. Then head to Brigadoon and Benton-Lane. Another nearby winery you could add in that’s not shown on that map is High Pass Winery, just a couple miles from Pfeiffer. (High Pass is small, and only open on weekends, so you’d have to leave it off if you’re planning a weekday ride). All of these wineries are smallish, family-owned, and in a very pretty area.

South section:

The south section takes you to some beautiful wineries as well. As with the northern route, I’d suggest paring down the wineries a little bit to make it easier for cycling. I’d say start at Sweet Cheeks Winery, then head to Sarver (right across the street!). From there, a pretty 6-mile ride south to Iris Vineyards. After Iris, it’s about 2 miles further south to King Estate. This route offers more of a contrast of different types of wineries–King Estate is larger, while the others offer a smaller, more intimate experience. They’re all lovely, and King Estate also has an amazing restaurant on-site. The perfect place to reward yourself after a ride!

Another option: book a winery ride with The Bike Concierge, a bike tourism service based in the northern Willamette Valley. They offer a guided winery ride that includes several wineries, including Villa Catalana Cellars, one of the most beautiful wineries I’ve ever visited! They will also help you do a cycle route in any area you have in mind–they can drop you and your bikes off at one end and pick  you up at the other, so you don’t have to plan for your return route. I’ve ridden with them before and they’re extremely nice people with tons of cycling expertise. They’ll give you as much or as little support as you need.

Happy cycling!


What are the best wineries, restaurants and hotels in the Willamette Valley?

Picking the best hotels, wineries and restaurants in the Willamette Valley is a little bit like picking a favorite child…they’re all so great it’s hard to pick just one. But I’ll do my best!


  • For the fanciest hotel near wineries, I’d have to say The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, Oregon. It’s a beautiful place to stay, the food is amazing, and they have some great wine touring amenities (personalized concierge service, personal recommendations from staff, Lexuses that guests can borrow for driving around wine country). It’s been named one of the top five luxury hotels in the US, and one of the top 500 hotels in the world. Definitely worth checking out!
  • If you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate inn, The Black Walnut Inn in Dundee and Youngberg Hill in McMinnville are both also very lovely and upscale.
  • If you’d like a hotel in a small city, where you can walk from the hotel to great restaurants and urban wineries and breweries, I’d suggest Inn at the Fifth in Eugene. I’ve stayed there more than once and had a great experience each time.


  • Here are seven wineries that are known for having gorgeous views.
  • There were four Willamette Valley wineries that made Wine Spectator’s top 100 list in 2016: Evening Land, Big Table Farm, Bergstrom, and Solena Estate
  • A few others that are personal favorites of mine: Brooks Winery in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley–great wines, beautiful views, and a gorgeous but relaxed tasting room that makes you want to linger there all day; Brick House Vineyards, a small producer that’s open by appointment only. When you get an appointment, it’s a private tasting around the “tasting table” in their winery, which is a beautiful old converted horse barn right next to the vineyard.


  • Sybaris Bistro, Albany– amazing and creative food, inspired by the seasons, the terroir of the Willamette Valley, and the chef’s creative urges. Top-notch service and wine list as well.
  • JORY at The Allison Inn, Newberg–chef Sunny Jin is one of the top-rated chefs in Oregon for good reason. You won’t be disappointed.
  • The Joel Palmer House, Dayton–delicious food with a focus on wild-foraged ingredients, especially Oregon’s wild mushrooms. Also a legendary wine cellar with the most extensive Oregon list in the state, and in a beautiful historic building.
  • Party Downtown, Eugene — just ate here for the first time last night and had a great meal! I highly recommend the Kitchen’s Choice menu. Let the chefs in the kitchen serve you up a series of their best bites–we tasted close to a dozen different dishes, and each was delightful.
  • For more casual stops between wine tasting–Red Hills Market in Dundee, a bistro/market with a cozy neighborhood pub feel and delicious food; or The Horse Radish in Carlton–great sandwiches, great soups, house-made desserts and a mouthwatering cheese plate.

You won’t go wrong with any of these choices. I hope you enjoy your trip!


Can you recommend affordable hotels near wineries in the Willamette Valley?

For the most concentrated wine tasting area, stay either in the Yamhill Valley (Newberg, Dundee and McMinnville area, where the majority of the Willamette Valley’s wineries can be found) or in Salem (easy access to the Eola-Amity Hills AVA).

My go-to fun, budget-priced hotels in Yamhill Valley:

  • McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon, a beautiful historic hotel in downtown McMinnville. However, many of the rooms have a shared bathroom down the hall. They have private bathrooms as well, so if that’s important to you, pay attention when you’re booking.
  • Third Street Flats has gorgeous, fully-furnished apartments you can rent in downtown McMinnville. These apartments are only accessible via stairs, so if some in your party have physical limitations, keep that in mind.
  • Chehalem Ridge B&B and Wine Country Farm are family-owned bed and breakfasts that are well-located for wine tasting.
  • At The Vintages Trailer Resort you can rent a retro Airstream trailer in wine country. These trailers are cute and fully equipped with electricity, heat, air conditioning and other nice amenities.

McMinnville and Newberg also have some good standard chain hotels:

Near Salem, closer to the Eola-Amity Hills AVA:

  • The Grand Hotel, Salem, in Salem’s historic downtown, is walking distance to parks and nice restaurants. The Salem area is also close to some of my very favorite wineries, such as Brooks Wines, Left Coast Cellars, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Ankeny Vineyards and Arcane Cellars.

Where can we hike somewhere close to McMinnville or Dundee?

Dundee and McMinnville are beautiful areas! Most of the countryside directly surrounding Dundee and McMinnville is covered in vineyards, and some vineyards actually have hiking or walking trails. Here are a few to check out:

  • Sokol Blosser, just outside Dundee: they have a guided vineyard hike you can sign up for.
  • Winter’s Hill Vineyard, Dundee Hills: They’re an official stop on the Willamette Valley Birding Trail, and they have a native oak savannah you can hike through.
  • A little further south, Left Coast Cellars and Eola Hills Legacy Estate vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, and Tyee Wine Cellars in Corvalls all have hiking trails onsite.
  • Champoeg State Heritage Area is a low-key, easy hike through a state park with a lot of interesting history.
  • Erratic Rock State Natural Site has a trail leads you to a hillside with amazing views over the valley and into the Coast Range, and at the top is a 90-ton boulder that was deposited there by Ice Age floods thousands of years ago.

Should we visit Willamette Valley wineries in April or May?

Both April and May are great times to visit wineries in the Willamette Valley, but if I had to pick I’d lean toward May because it’s Oregon Wine Month and many wineries are offering special events and tastings that they don’t offer at other times of the year.

Depending on your preferences, you may or may not want to come on Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day is traditionally the kick-off to the summer season in Oregon Wine Country, and you’ll find lots and lots of special events and fun things going on at almost every vineyard and tasting room in the state.

That said, it may be more crowded that weekend that on other weekends this spring, so it just depends on if you want a fun, vibrant, busy atmosphere, or if you’d rather get a little more personal attention from the wineries you visit. The same holds true a weekday vs. weekend visit. Some of the small boutique wineries in the valley are only open on the weekends, but bigger places are open most days of the week — you’ll want to check websites or call ahead to check on their tasting room hours. On a weekend (especially if it’s sunny) it will be busier at the wineries. If you go on a weekday afternoon, there’s a chance you might be the only guests and will be able to have plenty of time to chat with the winery staff!

Another fun tip: if you’re traveling to Oregon via Alaska Airlines, there is a special program that allows Alaska Airlines passengers to ship Oregon Wine home for free!


When is harvest at the wineries?

If I could predict when harvest would be, I’d be a rich man ;-)

In all seriousness though, harvest typically happens sometime between September and October every year. The weather in spring and summer will have a huge impact on how the grapes ripen. Harvest time can also be one of the best times of year to visit — if the rains hold off, you’ll have some amazing vineyard views, and sweeping landscapes … and you might catch some wineries in the middle of production, getting an opportunity to see things that don’t happen year round. Also, keep in mind that Labor Day is a fairly high traffic wine tasting holiday, so that weekend can be busy.

Answered by Ryan Reichert on July 31st, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Which Oregon wineries have restaurants that are open daily?

King Estate and Left Coast Cellars are on the list. You should also check with Willamette Valley Vineyards as I believe they serve lunch regularly if not dinner as well.

In Dundee you’ll find both Red Hills Market (just upstairs is Domaine Trouvere) which is a definite favorite. Also in Dundee is the Dundee Bistro, which is connected to the Ponzi Wine Bar.

Also, there are many wineries that are more than happy to allow you to enjoy a picnic lunch (which you can get at Red Hills Market or other convenient places) with their sweeping views. Those that readily come to mind include Johan (in the same vicinity as Left Coast, actually!), Trisaetum Winery, Stoller Vineyards, Lenné Estate, WillaKenzie, A Blooming Hill, Apolloni Vineyards, and Sokol Blosser. Apparently I eat at more wineries than I realized!

I hope this helps with your planning.

Happy tasting!

Answered by Ryan Reichert on May 29th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Is there a short bike ride my girlfriends and I can do to a few wineries as a day trip from Portland?

Here are a couple of companies in Portland to check out:
Pedal Bike Tours
Portland Bicycle Tours

Each of them offer tours of the Willamette Valley via bike, and seem competitively priced.

Also, if you’re interesting in planning your own bike ride, here’s a good article I found that gives some tips. The first tour is a great loop in an area I know pretty well — and very reasonable for time/distance. You’ll also not be far from some other great wineries: Trisaetum, Colene Clemens, Ayres, and Utopia (though they may be harder to access with dirt roads).

Finally, keep in mind that there is a budding cluster of urban wineries in Portland proper, and you could have a fun day tasting wine right in town. Check out the website for this group of in-the-city producers:
Hope you have a great trip.

Answered by Ryan Reichert on September 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We love sightseeing, wineries and hiking and will be arriving in Portland. Which are the best wineries to visit for a day?

There are many places I would recommend to you, though given your tight schedule, to explore one region in the valley might be your best bet.

I would highly recommend checking out wineries in the Dundee Hills AVA, located near Dundee, OR (right on 99-W). My top picks would be:

• White Rose – ask for Gavin; beautiful, elegant wines.
Winderlea – Reid is a good guy; love their wines.
• Alexana – a newer estate, see if Christie is available; really tasty wines.
• Lange Estate – a family that’s been in the industry since its early days; great wines.

That should be a full day – typically I recommend no more than 3-4 wineries in a day.

Answered by Ryan Reichert on August 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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