There’s something very vintage about stamp collecting–especially when the vintage comes in a wine glass. Starting this summer, wine lovers headed to McMinnville can track their travel with stamps from a slew of participating wineries and craft beverage producers as part of a new Wine Walk Passport program.
“We’re lucky in McMinnville, we have twenty walkable wine tasting rooms and craft beverage producers, as well as several more in the hills just outside of town, said Kitri McGuire of Visit McMinnville, explaining the program’s success in the first few months. “We’ve had visitors from as far away as Japan and Australia tasting and gathering stamps as they go.”
Popular passport stops include Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, which is located in the town’s former power plant and The Eyrie Vineyards. Established in 1966, Eyrie was founded by David and Diana Lett who planted some of the valley’s first vineyards and produced some of the first American Pinot noir to compete successfully with the renowned Pinot noirs of Burgundy. Avid travelers who collect stamps from at least ten of these sites can redeem their passports for various prizes such as a tasting journal and wine glass at the Evergreen Aviation Museum.
But Wine Walks encompass more than just wine. In addition to pinots, whites and rosés from winery tasting rooms, craft beverages are included in the McMinnville Wine Walk passport. Guests can taste at Golden Valley Brewery, Grain Station Brew Works, Heater Allen Brewing or craft distillery, Ransom Spirits, and earn bonus brew stamps.
With the majority of McMinnville’s tasting rooms in walking distance, the program promotes local wineries, breweries and purveyors and runs year-round, making it doable in a few days or over a few visits.
“No purchase is required, so guests are able to complete it all in one day, or leisurely gather stamps over the course of a trip (or several) to McMinnville,” McGuire said.
Whether guests come for a short outing or a longer getaway, historic Third Street provides a pleasant backdrop for tasting, dining, staying and playing in wine country. Enjoy casual country breakfast at the Wildwood Cafe, farm-to-table fare at Community Plate or fine dining at The Barberry. Stroll and savor the charm of historic downtown, making stops at galleries and bookshops. For accommodation, the charming Oregon Hotel offers rooms full of character as well as a fun roof-top bar. For a map of the wine walk and more information, explore visitmcminnville.com