When it comes to tasting wine in the Willamette Valley, and particularly Pinot Noir, there are a couple of words of advice we can give.
How Many Wineries to visit in a day?
Three to four is plenty. You want to have time to kick back and enjoy and not be in such a rush. Plus, any more and your tongue will need to be shaved. Also, be sure to map out the wineries you plan to visit so you are maximizing your time. Know that Highway 99 does get backed up on weekends going in and out of wine county. If you are staying in Portland plan on an hour drive in decent traffic. Leave early even though tasting rooms don't open until 11:00 AM. You can stop at plenty of places to grab a bite.
Big vs Small Wineries?
That is like asking which kid is our favorite! But if we must chose we first love small wineries. They are what made us fall in love with this area. Being able to sit in a winemaker's kitchen or barn to taste their wine is an awesome experience! Of course there are some incredible larger wineries to visit throughout the valley which shouldn't be missed. Explore, find your own path and discoveries...then come on back and do it again!
Are there other wines besides Pinot Noir to taste in the Willamette Valley?
Is wine made from grapes? YES! Don't just get wrapped up in Pinot Noir, there are a wide variety of wines from this region which are excellent. There are approximately 52 different varietals of grapes grown in the Willamette Valley. Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Riesling, Pinot Gris, are just to name a few. Also, make sure you try Rose' and Sparkling from the region-You won't be disappointed!