Here's an itinerary for serious oenophiles. If the sleeper hit movie Sideways got you curious about pinot noir, then you definitely need to spend a week in wine country. Because there are so many wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley, a week of wine tasting here can easily lead to a fabulous cellar full of Oregon wines.
Day 1: Portland
Start your wine tour in Portland. Here you should spend some time at Oregon Wines on Broadway, a combination wine bar and wine shop specializing in Oregon wines. On any given day, you can sample 30 different Oregon pinot noirs and get an idea of which wineries you might want to visit.
Day 2: Dundee & the Red Hills
From Portland it is less than 45 minutes to the start of wine country. Rex Hill Vineyards, just east of Newberg, is the first winery you'll come to. A few miles farther on Ore. 99W, you'll come to Dundee, which is the heart of the wine country. The Red Hills north of town are covered with vineyards, and numerous wineries lie within a few miles of town. Dobbes Family Estate/Wine by Joe, Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards and Torii Mor are a few of my favorite area wineries. Have dinner at one of Dundee's great restaurants or at Jory, the restaurant at the luxurious Allison Inn in Newberg.
Day 3: West of Dundee
Today explore the hills west of Dundee, where you'll find some of the most highly regarded pinot noir producers in the state. Archery Summit, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and Domaine Serene should not be missed. In this area, you'll also find Sokol Blosser Winery. Don't pass up the opportunity to stop at some of the area's fruit stands. In the morning you might want to do some antiques shopping in Lafayette, stroll around downtown McMinnville, or visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum, which is home to Howard Hughes's "Spruce Goose."
Days 4 & 5: Carlton
The little town of Carlton is home to some of Oregon's best wineries and deserves a couple of days of wine tasting. You won't want to miss the Carlton Winemakers Studio, Cana's Feast Winery, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Soléna, Tyrus Evan, and WillaKenzie Estate. Plan to have dinner at Cuvée, Carlton's delightful little French restaurant; the next night, head to McMinnville for dinner.
Days 6 & 7: The Eola Hills & the West Valley
South of McMinnville lie the Eola Hills and lots of good wineries. Be sure to visit Amity Vineyards, one of the state's oldest wineries. Other wineries worth searching out include Bethel Heights Vineyards, St. Innocent Winery, Cristom Vineyards, Mystic, Stangeland Vineyards, and Witness Tree Vineyard. One morning, visit the interesting little Jensen Arctic Museum or drive in to Salem to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. If you like chocolate, be sure to visit the Brigittine Monastery to buy some fudge.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.