Get your tastes in a row

NW Food & Gifts in McMinnville features only wines unavailable in other retail locations <b>Photo by Marcus Larson</b>
NW Food & Gifts in McMinnville features only wines unavailable in other retail locations Photo by Marcus Larson

There is no shortage of charm in the downtowns of the Yamhill Valley. There’s also no lack of wine in many. Cruising through the hills from vineyard to vineyard is a great way to experience Oregon Wine Country. But if you’re expecting to taste as many different labels as possible, these tasting room rows are what you need.

Third Street in McMinnville: McMinnville’s downtown has a well-earned reputation for excellent eateries, sophisticated shops, eclectic commodities and, of course, a great selection of tasting rooms. Specifically, there are seven wine bars and tasting rooms within a three-block walk. Talk about a time saver.

The Granary District and the Northeast Gateway: A few blocks from Third Street you will find this former industrial site turned unique business sector that includes four wineries and tasting rooms. Moving a few blocks farther from Third Street is the “Gateway District,” a neighborhood planned to become the next business, living and cultural hub of McMinnville. A couple wine operations, Eola Hills and Remy Wines, have already staked their claim in the development.

Downtown Amity: On the northeast side of the Eola-Amity Hills, this small town has a big vision as being the next wine hub of the region. Just a handful of tasting rooms are currently established, but that number will certainly increase in the years to come.

Downtown Carlton: More than two dozen wineries and tasting rooms operate in this small downtown, many in historic and unique settings — for example, an old train depot and the original fire station.

Downtown Dundee: With a new bypass soon, Dundee has prepared for less traffic in its downtown with a “Walk Dundee” promotion. More than a dozen tasting rooms are on the circuit. Dundee has perhaps the most variety in tasting room experiences, including some of the largest urban wine operations in the county, like Argyle and Dobbes Family Estate, as well as many small, unique operations.

Downtown Newberg: While the tastings rooms in Newberg are pretty spread out, there are many to choose from. Make a list and stroll around the "Gateway to Oregon Wine Country."

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