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Oregon’s Own Award-Winning Wine Region

The Willamette Valley has been named Region of the Year, just in time for Wine Country Thanksgiving.

Presented by Willamette Valley Wineries November 14, 2016

Vista hills mount hood view by mark stock clt6ju

Whether you’d like your extended family out of the house for a few hours, or you’re just trying to get as far away from the mall as possible, head to Willamette Valley wine country for the 34th annual Wine Country Thanksgiving event on Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

This year, there’s an even bigger reason to sip Pinot at your favorite winery or go off the beaten path to discover a new one—the Willamette Valley has just been named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine for their prestigious Wine Star Awards. 

The award honors the hard work of our state’s wine industry pioneers and the hundreds of visionaries who’ve added to the ranks since the 1960’s. More than 530 wineries now call the Willamette Valley home, and they are making a flood of delightful wine. 

Pinot noir is the go-to variety, with examples from Oregon rivaling some of the world’s best. Pinot’s ability to reflect the place in which its grown is a match made in heaven with the Willamette Valley, which provides ideal conditions for ripening the Pinot noir grape to its elusive perfection. 

Fortunately, Pinot noir pairs beautifully with food, so it’s ideal for your holiday dinner table. Discover some new boutique producers at Wine Country Thanksgiving and then dazzle your guests with your local wine know-how.

Stock up on Pinot noir, but also seek out the Region of the Year’s other varieties—there are plenty worth your attention. Here are some places to find six of the Willamette Valley’s other gems:


Domaine Roy & Fils in Dundee is previewing its inaugural Chardonnay at a hosted seated tasting that also includes the first bottling of their Estate Iron Filbert Pinot noir. 

Shea Wine Cellars in Newberg is rarely open to the public, so pop by their open house for a sip of 2014 Chardonnay.

Pinot gris

Taste the “other” Pinot at Elk Cove Vineyards in Gaston, a second generation family winery crushing it since 1974.

For those who like to drink pink, Ruby Vineyard & Winery in Hillsboro (an easy drive to avoid traffic on 99W) will showcase their Rosé of Pinot gris.

Pinot blanc

Enjoy a spectacular view from the Bryn Mawr Vineyards hilltop tasting room in Salem while tasting limited-production Pinot blanc.

Winter’s Hill Estate sources Pinot blanc from their Dundee Hills vineyard and will pour it at Wine Country Thanksgiving alongside a guest winery sparkling tasting.


Trisaetum’s Newberg tasting room, barrel cave, and art gallery offer a picturesque setting for sipping their 96-point Riesling, one of more than half a dozen Riesling bottlings by the producer.

A taste of Late Harvest Riesling at Armonéa Vineyard in Datyon will have you ready to buy a case and receive a certificate to stay at the on-site B&B.


Sparkling Wine

The new Argyle Tasting House in Dundee is home to some of the region’s most lauded bubbles, as well as a new art exhibit and Art of Sparkling project, in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art.

ROCO Winery in Newberg will debut its RMS Sparkling Wine at Wine Country Thanksgiving, made by the legendary Rollin Soles himself.


If you’re not sure how to pronounce this wine, a white variety of Swiss origin that loves the Willamette Valley’s cool weather, visit Kramer Vineyards at their winery in Gaston or tasting room in Carlton, and add MT to your holiday celebrations.

Visit willamettewines.com for the list of more than 160 Wine Country Thanksgiving events.