What sets the Willamette Valley apart from the many
other wine-producing regions of the world?
other wine-producing regions of the world?
Locals still outnumber tourists. A thriving sense of community is tangible and nourished. Rolling hills and a lush, year-round green landscape is dotted, not covered, with picturesque vineyards. "Farm to Table" is not a trendy fad here; it's a way of life. A small town charm prevails here that has not been exploited by tourism. And did we mention the wine? The Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Riesling and other wonderful varietals being produced right here, right now rival those of the most historic, long-standing producers. Pioneering Oregon winemakers like David and Diana Lett, Bill and Susan Sokol-Blosser, Dick Erath, and David Adelsheim set the bar high when they tossed caution to the wind and planted vines here in the early 1970s (against the advice of their experienced mentors!). Come discover why they chose to settle and grow here - you just might find yourself being called to do the same!
Wine production & tourism is currently the leading industry here and the most popular excuse to escape to Yamhill County - just an hour's drive from the unique metropolis of Portland. With 250+ wineries within 20 miles of each other, it's easy to discover your new favorite label while reveling in the pastoral, scenic countryside. The team at Lifestyle Properties pride themselves in being area experts - we have immersed ourselves in the local culture, as to take the guess work out of the equation for guests coming to visit and play.
Ready to start planning your Willamette Valley getaway? Whether you've booked your accomodations with us or are still deciding on the right home, we're here to assist with personalized recommendations and advice for establishing your perfect itinerary. Looking for some variety in your experiences? The valley offers much, much more than wine tasting! Below are some of our favorite activities that perfectly compliment a day of winery visits.
- Dine at a world-class restaurant. Everyone knows that food and wine go hand-in-hand. With that being said, it should come as no surprise that Oregon Wine Country is home to countless restaurants that rival the most elusive hot spots of a big city. Nationally recognized, award-winng spots are around every corner and there's an eatery to match every occasion and outing. From casual markets to multi-course establishments, the options continually grow for quality food crafted from locally-produced ingredients. http://willamettewines.com/plan-your-visit/where-to-eat/
- Hire a driver so you can relax and enjoy wine tasting to the fullest. Most people would prefer to not have to drive when visiting the various wineries, and thankfully there is an excellent solution to that. Wine Country Car Service provides luxurious transportation for wine tours and even airport transporation, with extremely friendly and knowledgeable drivers. Sit back, relax, and let them use their expertise to guide you along the winding wine country roads. http://www.pinotcar.com/
- Spend a day experiencing Historic Downtown McMinnville. The recently-awarded "Best Mainstreet in Western America" is incredibly charming and has so much to offer - thirteen tasting rooms, three craft breweries, six fine dining options, numerous cafes and coffee shops, two chocolatiers, an organic grocery, and a bevy of fabulous boutiques. Seasonal events like the Thursday Farmers Market or the Saturday Art & Wine Walk make it easy to experience life as a local. http://www.downtownmcminnville.com/
- Take a horseback vineyard tour. Locally-operated Equestrian Wine Tours takes you on a two-hour tour through vineyards of the renowned Dundee Hills. Taste wine, enjoy a picnic lunch and experience sustainable agriculture up close and firsthand. Leave your car behind and venture on an equine adventure! http://www.equestrianwinetours.com/
- Learn about and taste olive oil. Located at the beautiful Dundee Hills destination of Red Ridge Farms and Durant Vineyards, the Oregon Olive Mill is the only Olioteca in the Pacific Northwest. Awarded as one of the top producers in America, visitors can sample a variety of oils and vinegars produced there, as well as stroll through 17 acres of olive trees and lavender fields. http://redridgefarms.com/
- Float above wine country in a hot air balloon. Vista Balloon Adventures has years of experience giving guests a bird’s eye view of the valley. Offering sunrise balloon rides, participants can relax and enjoy breathtaking views, followed by a delicious champagne breakfast. http://vistaballoon.com/
- Stand beneath the wings of the world’s largest airplane. The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is a world-class museum located in McMinnville. Home to Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, an aircraft collection second only to the Smithsonian, a growing aerospace collection, an IMAX Theater, AND an indoor waterpark, visitors young and old are sure to be impressed by this expansive museum. http://evergreenmuseum.org/
- Enjoy an ever-expanding collection of craft breweries. When you're all wined-out and ready for some variety, go beer tasting! Oregon is home to literally hundreds of small breweries, many of them located right here in wine country. Fire Mountain, Heater Allen, Golden Valley, and Deception Brewing are some local favorites and a great place to start. http://oregoncraftbeer.org/breweries/willamettevalley/
- Go art gallery hopping. With such a scenic landscape as inspiration, the Willamette Valley is home to a thriving artist scene. Many talented painters, sculptors and photographers have their creations displayed at one of the several art galleries here in the area. Art Elements in Newberg and The Lawrence Gallery in McMinnville offer two impressive collections. You can even combine wine tasting and art at Trisaetum Winery - the only tasting room in the valley offering a beautiful collection of art made by their winemaker James Frey. http://traveloregon.com/see-do/attractions/art-galleries/
- Venture to the breathtaking Oregon Coast. A trip to Oregon is not complete without seeing the Pacific Ocean firsthand! The entire western border of the state is gorgeous shoreline, and from wine country it takes just over an hour to drive there and see it for yourself. Wide beaches, soaring cliffsides, ancient solidified lava flows, intriguing tidal pools... there is no place in the world like the Oregon Coast. http://visittheoregoncoast.com/
Charming small towns to explore, hundreds of vineyards to admire, scenic drives to embark on, and an incredible bounty to expereince. Come see for yourself why the locals beam with pride when declaring they're from the Willamette Valley.