“All wines come from someplace, but the best wines can only come from an extraordinary place. Oregon is an extraordinary place for wine.” – Oregon Wine Board

Pinot Noir is known among wine enthusiasts as being the grape varietal perhaps most finely in tune with its terroir. It is considered by growers to be finicky and difficult and by consumers as complex and refined.

Oregon is a world class producer of Pinot Noir. However, it is not all of Oregon but specifically the Willamette Valley – and not even all the valley but the hills perched on the edges of the northern Willamette Valley – that are leading the world in Pinot Noir grape growing.

There is really no better grape to provide an education about wine than Pinot Noir and no better place to do it than the Northern Willamette Valley. On this five-day tour we will explore three of the most famous of Oregon’s Pinot Noir growing regions – Yamhill-Carlton, Ribbon Ridge, and Dundee Hills – while visiting large and small wineries alike, eating from the smorgasbord of Oregon’s local products, and staying in a small luxury hotel.

Curated Experiences

  • Create your own private group with a minimum of only 6 people
  • Learn about the finicky, expressive, and divine Pinot Noir grape
  • Explore three top Willamette Valley AVAs: Yamhill-Carlton, Ribbon Ridge, and Dundee Hills
  • Two to three wine tastings per day, ranging from established well-known favorites to small family-owned businesses
  • Spend time in the small towns of Carlton, Dundee, and McMinnville
  • Eat delicious wine country meals to accompany Oregon’s delicious wines
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Tour Details

Tour Details

  • Private Tour Only: Choose Your Own Dates
  • Trip Price Per Person (6 – 7 people): $3,450
  • Trip Price Per Person (8 or more people): $3,250
  • Single Supplement: $800
  • Optional Hotel Upgrade: $1,200 per room
  • Minimum: 6 people
  • Guide: William Pollard, Jr.
  • Meals: Breakfasts and dinners. Lunches will be on your own to give you a chance to explore the area.
  • General Tour FAQs
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Customizations to the itinerary are possible with additional fees.

Please note –  Our pricing is based on double occupancy lodging. If upon finalizing your private trip, your group has a solo traveler in a room without a roommate, the single supplement is mandatory.

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Tour Details

DAY 1 – Introduction

Carlton Winemakers Studio

We meet after lunch at our hotel in Oregon wine country for introductions and an orientation of the week ahead. (For those of you flying into Portland International Airport, we will provide shuttle information.) We are then off to the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio, a collaborative effort that does the winemaking for 16 different wineries in the area. This is a fantastic start to our tour, as it allows us to compare wines from various wineries in one sitting. We’ll focus on Pinot Noirs and experience wines from different wineries that publications such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Vinous have rated among the top wines of Oregon. After a leisurely and educational tasting, dinner is at the Dundee Bistro, a casual yet elegant restaurant beloved by the wine industry and located in the small town of Dundee.

DAY 2 – Yamhill-Carlton

Elk Cove Winery

Today our focus is on the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, a protected horseshoe shaped valley with Oregon’s Coastal Range on the west, Chehalem Mountain to the north, and the Dundee Hills to the west. This protected geography, the relatively high altitude compared to the valley below, and the ancient marine sediment soils produce some of the finest Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other cold weather grapes in the world. We will visit Elk Cove Winery in the morning, one of the most respected wineries in the state. Lunch will be on your own in the small town of Carlton. After lunch we’ll do an educational tasting at Ken Wright Cellars – a place where Taste Vacations’ owner Allan Wright received what he considers the best educational talk about wine he has ever heard. Our final tasting will be at Lenne, a relatively new winery that has received some outstanding awards. With a little time for afternoon R&R, we’ll eat at Earth and Sea Restaurant in Carlton for dinner.

DAY 3 – Ribbon Ridge

Domaine Divio

We switch to one of the newer, less known, and yet most exciting AVAs in the state of Oregon: the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Located on a long, ribbon-like ridge that looks out over the valleys on both sides, the area has produced walnuts, prunes, hazelnuts, hay, Christmas trees, timber lots, and cattle since the 1800s. Now it is known as a premium wine grape producer. We will start our morning with a visit to nearby Bald Peak State Scenic Viewpoint, where we can see over the valley below and – on a clear day – all the way to Mt. Hood. We will then visit Eminent Domaine winery for a chaperoned tasting. Next we’ll talk to owner Dan Warnshuis at his Utopia Vineyards. Dan is head of the AVA Association and is the perfect person to learn the region’s stories and history. We’ll taste his wines, learn about vineyard practices, play a little bocce, and have a picnic lunch. It is then on to Domaine Divio, lead by Frenchman and winemaker Bruno Corneaux, who has delectable wines. After a full day on Ribbon Ridge, we’ll head to the town of McMinnville to explore its antique shops, ice cream parlors, and tasting rooms before grabbing a beer at McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon and dinner at local favorite Nick’s Cafe.

DAY 4 – Dundee Hills

Oregon Wine Tour - Sokol Blosser

This morning we head to Dundee, one of the main wine towns in Oregon, not for wine but for an olive oil tasting at Red Ridge Farms. You’ll be impressed by the official EVOO competition tasting glasses they use to present their four estate-pressed olive oils and will then have time to wander the herb garden, nursery, and shop.

Next up is a tasting at Sokol Blosser winery, one of the most famous wineries in Oregon with 50 years of winemaking experience in the state. Lunch will be on your own in Dundee and then in the afternoon we will visit Duck Pond Cellars, one of the most reputable wineries in the state, for a delightful tasting.

Tonight, we enjoy a delicious final meal at Cuvee Restaurant.

DAY 5 – Farewell to Oregon

Sokol Blosser Vineyards

After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll say our goodbyes. You are then free to travel on your journey, either heading to Portland Airport and home or perhaps to explore more of the wonderful state of Oregon.

Accommodations

La Bastide B&B on Oregon Wine TourLa Bastide is just one of the hotels we use in Oregon Wine Country. The B&B has eight comfortable rooms, many with a fireplace, offers a sumptuous breakfast, and is located in the heart of wine country. We will select a similar property based on availability for the date you choose for your private tour. If you would like to upgrade to a hotel such as The Allison, Black Walnut Inn and Vineyard, or The Setting Inn there will be a $1,200 supplement per room.

What is Included

  • All Local Transportation
  • Double Occupancy Lodging
  • All Breakfasts and Dinners
  • All Scheduled Activities
  • Wine During Organized Tastings
  • Professional Tour Guide

Not Included: Travel to and from destination, lunches, wine with meals, personal expenses, and optional gratuities to local staff and your guide. Travel insurance is also not included, though we highly recommend it.  Check out our Travel Insurance page for more information.

While the general trip itinerary will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotel, and wineries listed will change based on availability and opening hours. Most restaurants and wineries in Oregon wine country are closed a couple of days a week, so we will adapt our schedule based on your starting day.  If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance.

Arrival & Departure Information:
We meet you at 1:30 PM at our host hotel in Oregon’s wine country on the first day of the tour. If you are flying to the area, you can either rent a car or we will suggest shuttles from Portland International Airport (PDX).

The tour ends in the morning on the last day of the tour when you can catch a shuttle back to the airport or rent a car to continue your vacation in Oregon. Details will be provided in the Pre-Departure Packet after you reserve your vacation.