With new hotels and charming tasting rooms, the Willamette Valley is ready for its close-up
May 12, 2009
The beauty of the Willamette Valley is that you can get lost on the backcountry roads but always find a good glass of Pinot around the bend. And now, with new hotels opening and tasting rooms mustering in towns like Carlton, you can experience the valley’s off-the-beaten-path vibe yet have the comforts of a soft bed close by.
B&B with a view
Newberg’s Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast is a frill-free, Northwest-style alpine cottage with the most staggering views of wine country in the West. Period. From $130, including breakfast.
The Inn at Red Hills, a “living room” for the tiny town of Dundee, opens this month with a promising Farm to Fork restaurant ($$). From $150; 503/538-7755.
Newest tasting town
An astonishing 20-plus wineries have squeezed tasting rooms into the postage-stamp hamlet of Carlton. Try Scott Paul Wines (Fri–Sat; tasting $5; 503/852-7300) and Soléna Cellars (Thu–Sun; no tasting fee; 503/852-0082), then keep tasting over lunch in the cozy Horse Radish Cheese and Wine Bar ($; Wed–Sun; 503/852-6656).
Old label, new digs
Willamette winemaker Chehalem (home of superb Pinots, Rieslings, and Chardonnays) has transformed the historic brick cube on the corner of Center Street and Highway 99W in Newberg into a tasting room with a resin bar top and splashy art glass. Thu–Mon; tasting from $5; 503/538-9396.
Art in the glass
From its caves to its wine-inspired art gallery, Trisaetum elevates the grape. Call ahead for a tour (it’s just outside Newberg), and nab a bottle of Pinot Noir to enjoy on the patio. Tasting from $10; 503/538-9898.
Pinot on a perch
The tasting room at the lofty Winderlea Vineyard and Winery in Dundee overlooks some of the oldest vines in the valley. Fri–Sun; tasting $10; 888/554-5990.
Taste the place
At Cucina at Cana’s Feast Winery in Carlton, ingredients are sourced from the winery’s garden right outside (the wines, of course, come from vines just as close). $$; dinner Fri, lunch Sat–Sun; 503/538-9898.
And coming soon … After 20-plus years as a vision, the Allison Inn & Spa is scheduled to open in September, bringing eco-friendly comfort and spa cuisine to Newberg. From $295.