Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

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Last updated Jul 6, 2023

Willamette Valley is a growing wine region in Oregon. The Oregon wine industry started in the early 1960s (incredibly young wine region) but in the first decade of the twenty-first century is when it really matured and made a name for itself. There are close to 1000 wineries in the region now and it still has not lost its personal, handcrafted approach. The five exquisite wineries we visited in Willamette Valley are just a small sample of the much bigger region.

This list of five exquisite wineries to visit in Willamette Valley comes from some of the wineries we’ve personally enjoyed on our trip to Oregon. Each one of them has an excellent wine selection, a great story behind it, and a feel of a welcoming small winery. They are scattered through different AVAs.

Willamette Valley is considered a cold wine-growing region which means sunlight and heat are in short supply and ripening can take a long time or never really be achieved. Rain and frost, the least desirable conditions when the grapes are most vulnerable in spring and fall, are a common occurrence. However, these stressful scenarios may be the precise reason for the success of this region.

Atticus Wine |Yamhill-Carlton AVA

Atticus Wine is one of our favorite wineries in Willamette Valley. Completely secluded off the Russel Creek Road we were not even sure we were in the right place. There are no signs of the winery other than a welcoming smile from Ximena, owner and winemaker.

She shared the inspiring story of settling in the Willamette Valley, planting the vines in what used to be clover fields, Ximena becoming one of the few female winemakers in the region, and making her and her husband’s dream come true.

The wines were beautiful and elegant, paired excellently with a cheese and fruit platter provided, and priced very reasonably.

Oregon Wine country
Atticus Wine | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

The outside patio for the wine tasting is shaded with a beautiful view of the vineyard. Silver and Becks (two cats) may come out of hiding to say hello as well. Ximena will make you feel welcome as she describes her wine-making process and the challenges that come with it every year.

Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley
Atticus Vineyard | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

Classic Wine Tasting: $50 per person waived with case purchase per couple and/or wine club membership.

Wine Club: Exclusive access to library wines, early releases, magnum bottles, and the Atticus XO Pinot Noir, as well as private tastings with the winemaker and invitation to exclusive wine club tasting events. Discount of 10% on single bottle purchases & special case discount of 20%

Two shipments a year April & October at a 20% discount.

J.L. Kiff Vineyard | Yamhill-Carlton AVA

Willamette Valley Winery
J.L. Kiff Vineyard | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

Another one of our favorites. Joel and Laurie will make you feel like you are part of the family right away at J.L. Kiff. They are very much so do-it-yourself family operation. As a small operation, they have been making wine since the early 2000s but have not been commercial until a few years back when their children were all grown up. And unlike most of the smaller wineries in the region, they had an older vintage selection in the inventory. Their 2012 Pinot Noir was superb.

Each vintage they have produced has a designated song that Joel may even perform for you during the visit. And all the artwork for the labels has been created by their children so truly a family-owned business.

Classic Wine Tasting: $20 per person waived with qualifying purchase.

Wine Club: Access to exclusive wine produced only for the club, discounts on wine purchases, and reduced shipping costs.

Two shipments of six bottles with a 10% discount or two shipments of 12 bottles with a 20% discount in Spring and Fall.

Beaux Frères | Ribbon Ridge AVA

Not going to lie, the main reason we had Beaux Frères on the list was because of the pigs and goats we saw on their website and couldn’t resist. On top of that their wine is excellent, more pricy than other wineries we’ve visited, but nonetheless very good.

Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley
Beaux Frères | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

When Michael G. Etzel came and visited Willamette Valley with the family in 1986, he fell in love with the idea of winemaking. With the investment support from his sister and brother-in-law Robert Parker Jr. (wine points guy!), this idea became a reality. And the Beaux Frères (Brother-In-Law) was created.

Beaux Freres is a more established winery than the rest we have on the list, but it still has a feel of a small family winery. With wine-making equipment sitting outside in a bit of a disarray, dogs Earl and Charlie as well as pigs sitting in as welcoming committee, and wooden tables placed under the shade of the trees for perfect wine tasting, it feels small and homey.

Willamette Valley Winery
Beaux Frères Destemer | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

Classic Wine Tasting: $40 per person waived with qualifying purchase.

Wine Club: Wine club members receive first access to all wines, including signature Estate single-vineyard Pinot Noir and barrel reserve selections. Two shipments a year, Spring and Fall

Enthusiast Club Membership: Six bottles per shipment | Spring $535.50 and Fall $586.90
Collector Club Membership: Twelve bottles and one 1.5L magnum per shipment | Spring $1258 and Fall $1377

Vidon Vineyard | Chehalem Mountains AVA

Even if you are not a wine lover, a visit to Vidon is a must for the views. We could have stayed here forever enjoying the endless views.

Willamette Valley Winery
Vidon Vineyard | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

The vineyard was founded in 1999 but recently has been sold to new owners with the same winemaker. We absolutely loved their Chardonnay, and we are not even white wine drinkers! It was crisp and refreshing with a minimal touch of oak and perfect for Florida summers.

Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley
Vidon Vineyard | Five Exquisite Wineries to Visit in Willamette Valley

Classic Wine Tasting: $20 per person waived with qualifying purchase.

Wine Club: Exclusive access to small production wines crafted for club members only. Additional discounts & complimentary tastings.

Stratosphere Club: Two shipments of six bottles in Spring and Fall. In addition, 15% off all current releases and complimentary tastings for two. Average shipment cost $190-220.
Thermosphere Club: Two shipments of twelve bottles in Spring and Fall. In addition, 20% off all current releases and complimentary tastings for two. Average shipment cost $360-420.
Exosphere Club: Three shipments of twelve bottles in Spring, Summer and Fall. In addition, 25% off all current releases and complimentary tastings for two. Average shipment cost $520-600.

Ayoub Wines | Dundee Hills AVA

To enjoy Mo’s (Mo is the owner and winemaker) wines you will be either seated inside of his house in his living room (must take shoes off) or out on the balcony overlooking the vineyard. His winery was born out of a passion for good food and even better wine. An electrical engineer who one day after a health scare decided to give up his career and concentrate on what he genuinely loves – making wine.

Willamette Valley Winery

Even though the Oregon Wine region is mostly known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Mo is one of the few winemakers playing with some other grapes and his 2019 Cab Franc with one of the flashiest labels we have ever seen is pretty darn good!

Willamette Valley Winery

Classic Wine Tasting: $20 per person waived with qualifying purchase.

Wine Club: Exclusive access to small-production wines crafted for club members only. Additional discounts & complimentary tastings.

One Case Cellar Club: Single November shipment – 3 bottles of Memoirs Pinot Noir, 3 bottles of Ayoub Chardonnay and 6 bottles of selection of Single Vineyard Pinots. 10% off on additional wine purchases. Cost – $585.
Two Case Cellar Club: November shipment – 6 bottles of Memoirs Pinot Noir, 5 bottles of Ayoub Chardonnay and 1 bottle of Blanc de Noir available only to club members. February shipment – 3 bottles of Ayoub Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard, 7 bottles selection of limited production Single Vineyard Pinots, 1 bottle of Mojo Red Wine, 1 bottle of Latifeh Reserve Pinot Noir available only to club members. 15% off on additional wine purchases. Cost – $1185.75.
Three Case Cellar Club: November shipment – 4 bottles of Memoirs Pinot Noir, 6 bottles of Ayoub Chardonnay and 2 bottles of Blanc de Noir available only to club members. February shipment – 12 selection of limited production Single Vineyard Pinots. March shipment – 6 bottles of Ayoub Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard, 2 bottles of Mojo Red Wine and 2 bottles of Latifeh Reserve Pinot Noir available only to club members. 20% off on additional wine purchases. Cost – $1752.

When you decide to visit Willamette Valley you will quickly notice that it is hard to make up your mind as to which wineries to visit. The big, popular names are always easy to find, but we always look for something smaller where we can enjoy a conversation with a winemaker as it is their heart and soul that you will be tasting after all. Hopefully, this post helps in making your final list.

Other helpful posts…
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Two Weeks In Washington and Oregon – For Hikers and Wine Lovers
10-Days in Oregon

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