The Yamhill Valley culinary experience encompasses the fertile lands beyond the tasting and dining rooms.
Long before anybody thought of planting grapevines, the Yamhill Valley was a spectacularly fertile area, and it still sends its bounty all over the world–hazelnuts, olives and lavender, along with an abundance of berries.
Atop the Dundee Hills in Dayton, surrounded by select wineries, Oregon Olive Mills grows olives and produces extra virgin olive oil, offering elaborate tastings which reveal a range of flavor subtleties in olive oils. One of the first commercial olive mills in the Northwest, the company cultivates more than seventeen acres of trees. The ability here to pick olives earlier than olive growers in some other climates enhances flavor and produces a more intense olive oil.
A field of blue and a sweet aroma on the breeze are the marks of the valley’s lavender growers. Yamhill producers of lavender essential oils as well as delicately scented bath products and cosmetics include Wayward Winds Lavender and Woodland Lavender. Woodland is set on top of a hill on a farm also growing pinot noir grapes, providing a space for weddings and other celebrations. They’re part of two dozen Oregon lavender producers opening up their farms for a week in July for the Oregon Lavender Festival, one of the state’s most aromatic events.
In Newberg, Flying Feather Orchards grows multiple strains of hazelnuts, and their popularity is booming. Oregon has 97 percent of the hazelnut orchards in the country, and Yamhill Valley has an abundance of this intensely flavorful nut.