Suddenly, it seems, little Carlton is home to several exceptional winemakers, many of them clustered in an eco-friendly winemaking (and wine-tasting) hub at the northern edge of town.
Add a handful of shops and a fine new restaurant in the 19th-century farming town's three-block-long center, and you've got a new player on the Oregon wine map. The wine-touring year in these parts builds to a peak during Thanksgiving weekend and into December, after which some wineries shut down tasting rooms until spring.
Savor the season's end in the Yamhill wine country with a day of sipping and shopping in Carlton.
Carlton Winemakers Studio. WHAT: As many as 10 boutique winemakers can be housed here; test the results of their work in an airy tasting room that also offers espresso. WHEN: 11-5 daily Feb-Dec; by appointment only in Jan. HOW MUCH: Tasting fee varies. WHERE: 801 N. Scott St. www.winemakersstudio.com or 503/852-6100.
Cuneo Cellars. WHAT: Wine Press Northwest named Cuneo "Oregon Winery of the Year" for 2005. WHEN: 12-5 daily. HOW MUCH: Tasting fee from $5. WHERE: 750 Lincoln St.; www.cuneocellars.com or 503/852-0002.
The Tasting Room in Carlton. WHAT: Try vintages from two dozen or more small local wineries. WHEN: 11-5 daily. HOW MUCH: Tasting fee is 10 percent of the bottle price. WHERE: 105 W. Main St.; www.pinot-noir.com or 503/852-6733.
Cuvée. WHAT: Chef/owner Gilbert Henry owned Winterborne in Portland before moving here. Try French favorites like cassoulet d'agneau (lamb stew) paired with local wines. WHEN: Dinner Wed-Sun. HOW MUCH: $$$. WHERE: 214 W. Main St.; 503/852-6555.
LuLu. WHAT: Country French artifacts, most circa 1910-1940. WHEN: 12-6 Sat-Sun and by appointment. WHERE: 214 W. Main St.; 503/852-6777.
Late Bloomers Quilt Shop and Dry Goods Company. WHAT: Finished quilts and all the makings. WHEN: Open Tue-Sat. WHERE: 125 W. Main St.; 503/852-5533.
The Depot. WHAT: Browse gourmet gifts and taste Tyrus-Evan wines in the town's restored 1923 railroad station. WHEN: 11-6 Thu-Mon. WHERE: 120 N. Pine St. (at Main St.); 503/852-7010.
INFO: Carlton is about a 71⁄2-mile drive north of McMinnville on State 47 and about a 37-mile drive southwest from Portland.