Wine tasting in the Willamette Valley is always a treat regardless of if you’re a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur or a grape juice newbie. Yet, finding the right winery to begin your adventure is always the toughest part. The following three wineries in the Dayton and Newberg, Oregon region are great starting points and will leave you planning your next trip back before you even leave.
Archery Summit is one of the most popular high end wineries in the Oregon Valley offering beautiful cuvees and pinot noirs. Upon entering Archery Summit winery it is impossible not to be impressed with the breathtaking scenery and matured landscape that only a well-established vineyard can provide.
The staff at Archery Summit has been the best that I have encountered on all my adventures to Oregon wine country. They are more knowledgeable about their wine and wine in general than most sommeliers (that might be a stretch but point is they know their stuff).
If you are lucky enough to visit on a day that is not overly crowded you may be able to talk the staff into a tour of the grounds especially the cave that houses many of the wines. The tour provides little known information about the wine, the winery, and a general overview of how it is all created. Walking around in the cave is the best experience I have had wine tasting and made the trip incredibly memorable.
Located: 18599 NE Archery Summit Road Dayton, OR 97114
Known for: Cuvee and Pinot Noir
Best Feature: Wine Cave
Wine (scale of 1-10): 9.5
Rex Hill Winery located near Newburg, Oregon offers a range of mid to high priced Pinot Noir wines. The winery itself offers a fantastic ambiance with a stone fire place that is both daunting and inviting. The staff in the tasting room is knowledgeable and approachable giving additional information and guidance for each of the offered wine tastes.
Rex Hill winery has also teamed up with A to Z wine which can be purchased on location. Although there were no tastings of the A to Z wines available, the spectrum of Rex Hill wines will more than satisfy your palate.
One element that sets Rex Hill apart from other wineries in the area was a beautiful array of wine glasses filled with scents found in their wines. Components such as ground Flintstone Vitamins, dried cherries, and eraser bits were offered as a form of aroma chart to help patrons distinguish tastes and smells in their wine. Regardless of the fact don’t think of erasers when I am drinking wine it was a great conversation starter among friends and fellow wine tasters.
Located: 30835 N Hwy 99W in Newberg
Known for: Pinot Noirs
Best Feature: Aroma Chart Table
Wine (scale of 1-10): 8
A great winery that offers mid-priced wine with a high priced taste is Duck Pond Cellars in Newberg, Oregon. Duck Pond offers a small tasting room with complimentary tastings and a small reserve list for 2 dollars a taste. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and offers a gift shop that is as entertaining as the wine itself.
The staff was pleasant and helpful but did not go in to much detail about the wine or the vineyard history. The process is more hands off but the winery does offer a guided tour with reservations. Groups of ten or more are also encouraged to call ahead to ensure the best experience.
Located: Between the towns of Dundee and Newberg on the west side of Hwy 99W
Known for: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Best Feature: Gift Shop
Wine (scale of 1-10): 6.5