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The Perfect Weekend in Willamette Wine Country




It’s the weekend. Finally. And you are ready for a weekend of wine tasting relaxation. You’ve been dreaming of sipping a glass of perfectly blended Pinot Noir and gazing upon the Oregon vistas all day when you realize, you don’t know where to go! What wineries should you visit? Where is the best place to grab lunch? What American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are in the area? 
Luckily, you don’t need to be a Willamette Valley expert to explore the region because we are, and are willing to give you all of our secrets to sipping your way through wine country. 
 

Friday: 

First things first, you need a home base for your adventures. Somewhere centrally located so you aren’t driving more than you need to. A place with beautiful views and relaxing rooms that make you feel like home the second you arrive. Bella Collina Bed and Breakfast outside of Amity, OR is the perfect lodging for any wine excursion. With views of vineyards in all directions, large rooms with panoramic windows, and large property with waterfalls, gazebos, and a fireplace to help you relax after a long day of winery tours. The best part? Fresh, farm-to-table breakfasts each morning. Arrive at your room and relax with a glass of wine as you watch the sunset. 



Saturday:

Wake up to the wafting smell of home-cooked breakfast wafting through the air. Come down to piping hot coffee and freshly baked pastries. A stunning 2-course breakfast is served at 9 o’clock and you will find your first taste of this wonderful region. Enjoy savory or sweet entrees varying from yogurt parfaits and fluffy crepes to egg fromage and seasonal vegetable scrambles. After a filling, delicious breakfast, you’re now ready to explore wine country! 



Eola / Amity Hills AVA:

Starting at the Bella Collina B&B, you are already in the heart of Wine Country. This AVA stretching from Salem up to our B&B and over to Amity contains over 100 vineyards and 30+ wineries and tasting rooms. We recommend heading over to Keeler Estate to see their organic and biodynamic farming process. Or you can head to Bjornson Vineyard to see their beautiful farmhouse winery with a stunning view of Mt. Hood. 



Lunch at Community Plate:
All weekend you will be enjoying local wines, locally sourced breakfast, and experiencing the best of the Willamette Valley. This shouldn’t stop at lunch. Head to Community Plate in McMinnville for a locavore lunch that will blow you away. Try their Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Sandwich for a perfect midday pick me up.


McMinnville Foothills AVA:
On the western side of McMinnville lie beautiful foothills that are angled so perfectly to capture the sun and produce delicious wine grapes. We love love love
Coeur de Terre for an afternoon visit. Drive into one of the valleys to find this winery perfectly tucked into a hillside. Taste their renowned Pinot Noir and take in the views. 


Yamhill Carlton AVA:
Head north of McMinnville to the
Gran Moraine Winery. The name sounds luxurious and the wines match. You can taste their tireless attention to detail in their true vintage wines. If you’re starting to warm up, then choose one a Rose of Pinot Noir. Fruity and floral, perfectly chilled, and masterfully blended make for a refreshing mid-afternoon sip.


Dinner at Barberry:
Mcminnville food is so delicious, it is worth making to stop on the way back too. Head to the Barberry to dine on seasonally handcrafted dishes and taste wines off their award-winning wine list. Pro Tip: get a glass from a vineyard you didn’t get the chance to see! 


Back to Home Base:
Arrive back at Bella Collina, hopefully with a bottle from your favorite winery that you visited today. Crack it open and mingle with the other guests to find out which wineries they visited, their favorite blends, and learn more about the valley and why Oregon wines are so lush. 



Sunday:

Once again, the wonderful smell of coffee and homemade breakfast will pull you out of bed. Find an entirely different breakfast spread in front of you, yet just as satisfying as the day before. Put on some sunscreen, finish your coffee, and head out for your second day. 


Dundee Hills AVA:
Dundee Hills is where the first grapes in the Willamette Valley were planted. You can thank the fertile soil, ideal climate, and passionate winemakers here for the gift of Willamette Valley wines that we have today. As the most densely planted locale in the state, there are over 100 excellent wineries to choose from. Personally, we always love a good bottle from Sokol Blosser. This winery has been producing since 1971 and is a certified B-corporation, meaning every glass you drink is both good for you and the world. 


Lunch at Ruddick/Wood:
This stop in Newberg is an absolute must. The restaurant is located in a converted 1920’s garage and the decor is classy, casual, comforting, and chic all at the same time. The food can be described as the same. Rotating menu items that are masterfully crafted and blend together seamlessly. 


Ribbon Ridge AVA:
Head north from Newberg and visit the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Even though Ribbon Ridge is the smallest of the AVAs, the exquisite wines that come out of this region are absolutely to die for. Ayres, for example, is a smaller winery focused on making sure each grape produced is up to the highest of standards. They are committed to the heath of their vines, the environment, their guests and the world so they use highly sustainable practices in every aspect of their business. 



After the lovely weekend filled with wine-tastings, scenic drives, delicious locally fresh entrees, and memorable friendships, it is sadly time to go home. Hopefully, you purchased a bottle or two to bring home with you and remember your wonderful weekend in the Willamette Valley. 




Planning a wine tasting weekend? Book a Stay at the Bella Collina B&B, a luxurious inn located in the heart of Oregon wine country.

 


Bella Collina B&B  |  6280 SE Eola Hills Rd. Amity, Oregon 97101  |  (541) 272-1700  |  (503) 550-6056

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