ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Perfect Oregon Wine Country Tour

Updated on June 11, 2008

Swirl, sniff and savor.

To really experience the wine, put your nose in the glass and take in a big smell. Try to identify all the unique and individual components.
To really experience the wine, put your nose in the glass and take in a big smell. Try to identify all the unique and individual components.

Tour Oregon's Wine Country and Savor the Pinot

Oregon’s Willamette Valley features hundreds of wineries to visit so planning a wine country outing can be somewhat overwhelming. With my help, and a little thought, you can have the perfect Willamette Valley wine country tour. Take delight as you taste delicious wines, enjoy a slice of history with the pioneers at a founding Oregon winery and drink in the breathtaking mountain and valley views.

When I first moved to Portland, Oregon, I heard and read all about Willamette Valley Pinot noir. I waited for the rare combination of both a sunny day and money in my pocket while I planned my visit to savor the region’s finest. I knew about the majestic Mt. Hood and colorful valley views and in addition to the fabulous wine, I wanted that whole experience too. So, the sun came, and no money. Money came and no sun. And so I waited. And a year passed. And when the moon and sun were in perfect alignment, I made my visit, and it was everything I had hoped it would be.

I started my Willamette Valley tour with a little taste of history at Adelsheim Vineyard located at the base of the scenic Chehalem Mountains in Newberg. Founded in 1971 by David and Ginny Adelsheim, Adelsheim Vineyards offers tastings and guided tours of their beautiful winery. The warm and inviting tasting room overlooks the Calkins Lane Vineyard and there is patio seating as weather permits, so buy a bottle and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.

If you’re interested in wine and want to learn more, stay for the in-depth winery tour. You'll be guided through the winemaking process and will sample a varied selection of wines. Plan on spending approximately two hours if you do the tour. Though I passed on the tour this time around, I enjoyed the wines, the patio and the valley and vineyard views.

For serious views though, nothing beats Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in Newberg. This label was found just 10 years ago but has achieved impressive growth going from 125 cases to 8,000 cases. The Penner-Ash winery, completed in 2005, is nestled into a hillside overlooking the Chehalem Valley. The building seems to spring from the land itself, reflecting the wines often described as elegant and earthy, structured and thoughtful.

Embraced by 80 acres of land, the winery is stepped into the hillside on three levels, positioned to take full advantage of the breathtaking and expansive views of the Chehalem Mountains to the north and the Red Hills of Dundee to the south—on a clear day, both Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson can be seen.

The winery celebrates the Northwest and its Pacific Rim location with local, natural materials and clean, simple lines. The tasting room has a view of the winemaking space through the windows and to the outdoors. Everywhere, natural, diffused sunlight brings the outdoor beauty of Oregon inside.

The beauty of the location is matched only by the gorgeous wines, which are balanced, have purity of flavor and aroma, and are both distinctive and impressive. We brought a delicious picnic lunch and enjoyed the almost limitless mountain and valley views while sipping a beautiful Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir. Penner-Ash is a must-visit.

Though Adelsheim and Penner-Ash both had delicious wines I made my last stop at the Ponzi Wine Bar located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country in downtown Dundee in search of Oregon’s perfect Pinot. Also founded in 1998, the Ponzi Wine Bar features wines from over 70 top Oregon vintners, offering visitors an opportunity to taste many high profile wines in one stop. Rotating, specially selected flights of wine were available and we enjoyed wines from a guest winemaker (which apparently are featured every weekend throughout the summer). For a unique experience, we decided to sample Pinots from different producers served in Riedel's crystal Oregon Pinot Noir glass for a fun side-by-side comparison. All in all, a great end to a perfect wine country tour.

Heading out for an excursion into wine country is an incredible opportunity to see the countryside, taste amazing wines and feel like you’re getting away from it all, if only for the afternoon. To ensure maximum enjoyment though, I highly recommend doing a little planning. I decided to include a little of everything on my tour, but you could plan your tour to focus on three new wineries, or three wineries that produce grapes from the same vineyards (to really see the winemaker’s talent) or three wineries that recently achieved great reviews. With a little forethought, you too can plan the perfect wine country outing. Cheers!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Umpqua Wineau 

      9 years ago

      Nothing like a day in the vines! Next tour set your sights to the South and head down to Umpqua Valley! Just a 2 1/2 hour drive from Portland, you will be rewarded with a pristine countryside and 22 tasting rooms to enjoy.

    • profile image

      Katherine Parsons 

      11 years ago

      I don't drink alcohol anymore, but after reading your article I sure wish I still drank wine! Thanks for the written tour.

    • profile image

      Brian Luccio 

      11 years ago

      I always enjoy your writing and insight. Thank you for your contribution to the world of Oregon wine!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)