Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley with Your Friend Who Doesn’t Drink Pinot Noir
Some of us have that “friend” (or family member) who insists they don’t like Pinot noir, but they want to join us as we go wine tasting in the Willamette Valley, the best Pinot noir producing region in the world.
So, what do we do with them? Drag them to our favorite spots, hoping to change their Pinot position when that one magical taste hits their lips? Maybe. Although, in my experience, this doesn’t work. It’s a day full of a lot of disappointment and the occasional tasting room worker who internally rolls their eyes (it’s a thing) when your friend explains to them that Pinot noir just isn’t for them.
What I have learned to do, instead, is have a winery in my back pocket that will fulfill both of our needs – great Pinots alongside a great selection of other fantastic varietals (red and white). This way EVERYONE enjoys their day in this wonderful Willamette Valley
Below we have selected our favorite such winery in each of the Willamette Valley’s AVAs. Enjoy!
Chehalem Mountains AVA
Anne Amie is the perfect spot to satisfy your friend. While Anne Amie’s reds are primarily (all?) Pinot noir, they have a wonderful selection of white wines, including a Pinot Noir Blanc, a Pinot Gris, a Riesling, a Rosé, and a couple Sparking options.6580 NE Mineral Springs Road Carlton,OR 97111 503-864-2991 anneamie.com
Dundee Hills AVA
While Argyle is the place to go for those who love a variety of sparkling wine, if your friend enjoys red wine other than Pinot noir, stop by the new Remy Wines Tasting Room in the heart of the Dundee Hills. Remy specializes in Italian varietals (think Sangiovese, Barbera, Lagrein, and Nebbiolo) making it a must for those who want to step outside the Pinot noir world.17495 NE McDougall Road Dayton, OR remywines.com
Brooks Vineyard & Winery
Brooks Vineyard & Winery is your must visit site in the Eola-Amity Hills.
Not only does Brooks have stunning views and a gorgeous tasting room, it has an entire line of Rieslings (ranging from bone dry to sweet and soon Riesling BUBBLES), highly rated Pinot noirs AND (ready for it?) Beer!21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane Amity brookswines.com
R. Stuart & Co. Wine Bar
The McMinnville AVA is quite Pinot-heavy. For most, this is a GREAT thing, but, for your friend, you might need another option. For them, we recommend the R. Stuart & Co. Wine Bar. Obviously you’ll find fantastic Pinot noir by R. Stuart, but there’s also a chance to taste Rieslings, Rosés, Tempranillos, Cabs, Chardonnays, Bubbles, Beer, and *Coffee*.528 NE Third Street McMinnville,OR 97128 rstuartandco.com
Ribbon Ridge AVA
Discover Trisaetum on Ribbon Ridge Road in Newberg.
Thanksgiving Weekend includes (ahem) Pinot noir, alongside Bubbles, a 96 Point Riesling AND a Walla Walla Cabernet Blend.TRISAETUM WINERY
18401 Ribbon Ridge Road, Newberg
Elk Cove it the place to be for those who want to dabble in non-Pinot noir sippers. While you take on their robust Pinot noir menu, your friend can enjoy Elk Cove’s Alsacian-style, steel-fermented white wines: Pinot Gris, Estate Riesling, and Pinot Blanc. Other non-Pinot options include a Pinot Noir Rosé, a Sparkling, and a couple of Dessert wines.27751 NW Olson Road, Gaston