Willamette Valley Wine Tours
Willamette Valley Wine Tours
Experience the best that Oregon has to offer with these exclusive Willamette Valley Wine Tour options that are guaranteed to take you deeper into the Oregon wine story.
Your driver will be an award-winning author, graduate school professor, and Pinot historian. He will travel with you and make sure you learn all of the fascinating things about Oregon and Pinot Noir that we love as well as just about anything else under the umbrella of “World History” you could ever hope to know.
Each trip is customized based on the unique needs of our customers. Our tour pricing includes four wineries per day with a lunch at one of Willamette Valley’s cult sandwich shops (lunch not included).
Your transportation is a BRAND NEW plug-in hybrid Volvo XC90 with all the trimmings (double moonroof, Bowers and Wilkens sound system and more)—because those who love history and wine alike deserve a car built for adventure!
Take a look at the tours below and book what fits best. We will then contact you in order to finalize your Willamette Valley Wine Tour itinerary!
What’s included: planning services, guide, education, transportation and water.
What’s not included: lunch, gratuity and tasting fees (often waived with a purchase or club membership).
When you can’t decide, this is the best Willamette Valley wine tour for the person who wants it all!
The early history of the Willamette Valley is a story of young couples risking everything for the love of Pinot Noir. Experience the:
1. Oldest Vineyards
2. Oldest Wineries
3. Deepest stories
4. Wines with tradition
On this fun adventure, trace the evolution of the valley and the cult figures who have made it one of the top wine regions in the world!
The Willamette Valley averages 8% of the Top 100 Wines of the World from Wine Spectator. This favorite amongst Willamette Valley Wine Tours will introduce you to the reasons why we are one of the finest wine regions in the world.
On this Willamette Valley Wine Tour, learn about the history of the valley while meeting the women and people of color re-writing the story of winemaking in the valley.
From non-profits like Ahivoy educating children of vineyard stewards to events like the ¡Salud! auction, we will make sure to expose you to the wide range of people and organizations working for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Willamette Valley.
1. Travel to four different Willamette Valley AVA’s all in one day! (Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, Chehalem Mountains).
2. See some of the most historic wineries while also tracing the beautiful landscape that unfolds from one viticultural area to another. Some of the best wine tours of the Willamette Valley come from visiting the different AVA’s.
What to Know for Willamette Valley Wine Tours
- Minimum Oregon drinking age is 21
- Tasting fees are not included in tour prices
- Most tours are able to be canceled if needed. See our terms and conditions below for more details
- Dress for colder than expected weather (layers are best) and bring sunglasses
- Pack a few snacks for your Willamette Valley wine tour as munching on snacks is always welcome between wineries
- Most wineries will offer you a chance to join their wine club. Wine clubs are different than being sold a timeshare and actually play a vital role in the fine wine economy (ask your tour guide for more info). Saying no is always okay
- Most wineries will waive tasting fees with a club sign up or with a minimum bottle purchase onsite
- For more on what to expect at a tasting room, click here
Read more articles on the Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley History Timeline
An area famous for its pinot noir, the Willamette Valley is considered an ideal location for growing many grapes in the Vitis Vinifera family. From the beginning, settlers knew the mild weather and lush farmland would provide the perfect atmosphere for growing wine grapes. Below, we dive into Willamette Valley’s early history through wine.
Take a look at our other wine tours
You can learn more about Willamette Valley’s history by booking one of the available wine tours in Willamette Valley.
Willamette Valley Nested AVAs
Part of what makes going on the best wine tours Willamette Valley has to offer exciting is the vast number of American Viticulture Areas (AVAs). Ten of the 19 AVAs in Oregon are located within the Willamette Valley. These ten distinct wine-growing regions in Willamette Valley differ in factors like geographical location, soil, and climate that greatly impact the wines produced there.
The oldest AVA in the Willamette Valley, the Willamette Valley AVA, was created in 1984, while the most recent AVA (Mount Pisgah) was established in 2022. This period during which the Willamette Valley AVAs were created offers a look into the area’s winemaking history and how wine production has expanded and evolved.
Willamette Valley Geography and Soil Types
Willamette Valley’s multiple growing regions each uniquely affect the local wine grapes due to their differing climate and soil types. While exploring the area through Willamette wine tours you’ll find the flavor and profile of the wines varies depending on these factors. A Pinot Noir from the Chahalem Mountains with Loess soils (windblown volcanic) will taste quite different from one produced in the Ribbon Ridge AVA with its marine sedimentary soils, though the wine is created from the same grape varietal.
Though it may not seem like different terroirs affect fine wines, many vintners (especially in the Willamette Valley area) will do their best to prove this belief wrong through wine tastings.
The difference in microclimates and soil types has led many vintners in the area to produce single-vineyard pinot noirs to better bottle the distinct flavors and aromas of their specific terroir (geography and soil).
Willamette Valley Food Recommendations
There are many vineyards included in the Willamette Valley wine tours that offer an elevated tasting experience, with spots featuring small bites, to charcuterie boards and even entire meals.
A few top wine and food pairing options include Soter Vineyards, a spot that specializes in pairing seasonal foods with its wine, and Domaine Divio Winery, which boasts some of the best charcuteries boards centering around their sustainably created Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. These elevated vineyard experiences feature an array of wines, from sparkling to Pinot Noir, offering an option for every wine drinker with various foods.
Of course, if you have additional time between Willamette Valley vineyard tours, several highly-rated restaurants, like the casual Red Hills Market in Dundee and The Horse Radish in Carlton to unique places like La Rambla in McMinnville to fine dining restaurants such as Cuvee, Joel Palmer House, and Tina’s in Carlton, Dayton, and Dundee respectively are also worth visiting.
Willamette Valley Fun Facts
These fun facts about Willamette Valley are an excellent way to boost your excitement for the area (while gaining knowledge) before you head out on some of the best Willamette Valley wine tours.
- Willamette Valley is abundant and fertile due to multiple ice-age floods, which brought additional soils to the volcanic and marine sedimentary soils already present.
- The majority (about 2/3) of Oregon’s vineyards and wineries are located within Willamette Valley.
- An impressive 900+ wineries are tucked away in Willamette Valley, making it Oregon’s largest wine-producing region.
- The Willamette Valley stretches 150 miles from the Coast Range to the Cascades.
- Pinot Noir is the leading varietal in Willamette Valley. The area is considered one of the top Pinot Noir-producing locations worldwide
- Wine tours in the Willamette Valley and wine-related tourism increased 13.6 percent between 2016 and 2019 contributing $893.6 million in revenues to the Oregon economy in 2019 and supporting 8,600 jobs.
- “American Viticultural Areas | Willamette Valley Wineries.” Www.willamettewines.com, www.willamettewines.com/about-the-valley/ava-overviews/.
- “Oregon Wine History.” Oregon Wine Board, www.oregonwine.org/discover/oregon-wine-history/.
- Oregonian/OregonLive, Katherine Cole | For The. “Wine Notes: The Dirt on Willamette Valley Soil Types.” Oregonlive, 25 May 2011, www.oregonlive.com/foodday/2011/05/the_dirt_on_willamette_valley.html.
- “Willamette Valley.” Oregon Wine Board, www.oregonwine.org/regions/willamette-valley/.
“Wine Producing Regions.” Willamettevalley.org, www.willamettevalley.org/wine-producing-regions.