So you’d like to go wine tasting in the Willamette Valley. Maybe it’s your first time, perhaps you’ve gone with some friends before who did all the planning for your trip. Or maybe it’s just been a while since you’ve planned a trip, so you’re looking for some advice.
Making the most of your time in the Willamette Valley is always a priority. So in this article, we’re giving our go-to tips for planning a trip to Oregon’s wine country to ensure it’s an enjoyable experience.
1. Choose an AVA (American Viticultural Area)
Choosing an AVA is essential while visiting the Willamette Valley. For those who don’t know, this wine region is broken up into AVAs our shuttles can take you throughout. Unless you are a wine connoisseur, this is not terribly important. The main thing to note is that this typically means there is a number of wineries located in a central area.
From the Dundee Hills AVA established in 2005 to the Willamette Valley established in 1983, having some insight regarding the AVAs near where you’re staying has its benefits. You’ll know how you can narrow your research and build a convenient driving path at the same time with this insight. This information will give you choices, including choosing between spending time in the tasting room or driving from one AVA to the next. For more guidance, here’s a great article to help you learn more about AVAs.
2. Build an Itinerary
Building an itinerary might not seem important, but failing to prepare could mean preparing to fail. Without an itinerary, you’re traveling on a whim. However, if you choose to plan ahead of time, you’ll increase your chances of seeing and doing everything you’re interested in experiencing during your trip.
Now that you’ve chosen an AVA, it’s time to choose 3 wineries to visit. This is usually the magic number for those looking to enjoy a nice leisurely outing while still managing to keep your taste fresh and in-tact. You’ll click on an AVA of your choice, followed by a click on Wineries to discover wineries located in the same area. As you’re researching wineries, make sure to check out the food options and reservation policies, as well.
3. Make your lunch plans
There are a couple of options for lunch plans in the Willamette Valley, and it all depends on your preferences regarding what you’d like to eat. Picnics are usually the go-to. However, these require some planning. You can pack an assortment of your favorite cheeses, crackers, veggies, and fruits to nosh on during your lunch with a spectacular view overlooking a vineyard. Be sure to research which wineries allow outside food if you’re planning a picnic as well. You can also check out our blog “Lovely Picnic Spaces In The Willamette Valley.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that picnics will have to be consumed outside. You will not be allowed to eat outside food in any of the tasting rooms you visit. This brings about the next option: enjoying the food that the wineries offer.
Some wineries in the Willamette Valley are offering their own picnic platters. A prime example of this is the picnic platters Durant Vineyards provides. These picnics are generally locally sourced cuisines that include enough food to be shared between two people. This is a delicious, as well as convenient, option that many of our guests find the best. You’ll be able to enjoy foods from these local vendors, enjoying all that Oregon’s wine country has to offer.
You can also choose to stop at a restaurant. Since some AVAs like Dundee Hills and Carlton have central main streets with countless dining options, this is also an excellent option for those who prefer to be served. This also gives you and your party a chance to experience life in the Willamette Valley, enjoying the tasty foods and beverages of restaurants in Oregon’s wine region.
For any option you choose, you’re sure to have an excellent time during your visit to the Willamette Valley. If you find you need some assistance planning, feel free to ASK Adrian your complimentary email@example.com for some more advice and tips to guide you as we work to make the most of your stay in this gorgeous area.