Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a scenic, verdant land with around 150 wineries, some of which are open for tastings year-round. Some excellent half- and full-day tours aim to visit as many of them as possible.
Often overshadowed by the larger grape producing regions of California, Oregon isn’t usually associated with wine. The Willamette Valley, however, is an underrated expanse of lovely vineyards growing a wide variety of grapes, including Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Chardonnay. The valley stretches from the south of Portland as far as Eugene, with many wineries opening their doors to tour groups for tastings and even fine dining. Here are some of the best wine tasting tours running from Portland.
Five-Hour Willamette Valley Wine Tour with Tastings
One of the best Willamette Valley wine tours from Portland allows a generous six hours for the exploration of the region and the visiting of three separate sites, such as Elk Cove, Erath, or Blizzard wineries. The region is perhaps best known for its Pinot noir wines, so you’ll be sure to sample at least one of these in the tasting rooms. Along with the wines, you’ll also be able to taste some cheese, crackers and chocolates. Tasting fees are included. From $139 per person.
Willamette Valley Character Wineries Tour
As you may know, the wine countries of the American East Coast are often about so much more than what’s in the bottle. There are plenty of stories of local history and the interesting individuals who have dedicated their lives to perfecting their wines. This tour is all about exploring these characters, as well as the features of the valley that make the wines so unique. And of course, there’s no truer education than the lived experience, so tastings of locally-made Pinot noir at three or four different tasting rooms will be the main event. From $145 per person.
Oregon Famous Wine Country Tasting Adventure
Head from Portland out to Yamhill County in Willamette wine country with your tour guide for this excellent value, five-hour wine tasting adventure. You’ll visit some top sights along the way, before stopping at one of the many wineries that thrive in this region. Lunch is provided as well as bottled water, if for no other reason than to help clean your palate. This tour runs on Saturday and Sunday only. Please note that tasting fees are not included in the price of this tour. From $95 per person.
From Portland: Willamette Valley Wine Tasting Tour
This tour makes a point of exploring the gamut of Willamette wines, beyond the revered Pinot noir. Pass through the rural lands of the Willamette Valley, through orchards and past row upon row of grapes on the vine. This tour is designed to be both educational and experiential, with plenty of information given about the region’s wine history and the local viticultural practices used. At the tastings, you’ll get to try the region’s oaky Chardonnay and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. These tours usually run daily and all tasting fees are included in the price. From $159 per person.
Willamette Wine Tour from Portland with Lunch
This full-day tour of the wine country around Portland stops by at least three, but potentially five wineries. Your guides in the know tend to help select the best wineries from the scores of options available based on the general preferences of your group. From there you’ll get to learn all about the regional wine-making process and sample Rieslings, Chardonnays and Pinot noirs. As with the previous tour, lunch is included in the price of this full-day experience. Please note that tasting fees are not included in the price of this tour. From $175 per person.