Why is the Willamette Valley such a destination for gourmets? In short: pinot noir, both the grape and the red wine fermented from it.
-McRae, Willamette Valley Gourmet Escape
The Willamette Valley is rich with places to see and things to do. VIA Magazine, AAA’s travel guide, offered some highlights of a road trip through the valley, and touches on hidden gems, local businesses and exciting events. Writer Michael McRae suggests paying a visit to the places below.
If you want to eat, drink, unwind, or view local art, Newberg is an ideal stop. First Street, Newberg’s downtown, is a delight to traverse and speckled with tasting rooms. Writer Michael McRae highlights the “growing array of…wine bars, restaurants and delis, and the Art Elements Gallery, which showcases Oregon artists and curated a collection at the nearby Allison Inn & Spa, a deluxe base for touring the valley.”
After exploring Newberg, it’s only a short drive to some fantastic Pinot noir at the unique glass-and-steel tasting room of WillaKenzie Estate. McRae calls their estate “an idyllic spot to enjoy a flight of pinot noir and other varietals—perhaps including a fruity, floral pinot meunier—and to educate your palate. Different taste characteristics, you’ll learn, arise from different soils: black fruits such as black currant from WillaKenzie sediment, red fruits such as cherry or pomegranate from the volcanic Red Hills of Dundee.”
If you are visiting in the summer, McRae suggests attending the grand International Pinot Noir Celebration on the beautiful Linfield College campus. This celebration is a weekend-event centered around Oregon’s pride; Pinot Noir. It has top wine from around the world, paired with delicious local artisan food. The event is a must-see for oenophiles and foodies alike, whether you choose to stay the whole weekend, or for just one spectacular meal.
The Yamhill Valley holds surprises for both locals and visitors, so no matter what you’re looking for here, always remember to explore.