Bordered in the West by the Coastal Mountains and in the East by the Cascades, the fertile Willamette Valley runs approximately 173 miles from South to North. It begins in the mountains near Eugene, Oregon and flows into the Columbia River just North of Portland. The Willamette Valley is Oregon’s leading wine region, containing two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards. Its more than 300 wineries are spread across six sub-appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton. The long, gentle growing season and mild maritime climate provides the best conditions possible for growing the cool-climate grape variety for which Oregon is best known: Pinot noir. The conditions are so perfect in fact, that the Willamtte Valley is now recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing areas in the world! Wineries also produce Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Melon, Gewürztraminer, sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc and some Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot among other lesser-known varieties.
With wineries open year-round and a multitude of attractions to choose from, Willamette Valley has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Helicopter tours and hot air balloon tours are fun options for the more adventurous traveler, and Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is home to the famous Spruce Goose – a must see for any airplane enthusiast. Biking and zip-line tours are also available most of the year. If you are looking to spend a few days in the Valley, accommodations vary from luxury destination resorts and high-end inns to delightful bed & breakfasts, often located right on a vineyard. The valley also offers a long list of fine dining restaurants. An additional advantage for the wine tourist is the proximity of the wineries to Portland. From Portland, tourists can visit the Willamette Valley winery of their choice in anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. Let us help you design the perfect Willamette Valley experience!