Cheers to Wine Tasting

Cheers to Wine Tasting

It would be a big surprise to most everyone who knows me to find out I’d never been wine tasting in Oregon before.

I know. I know!

But I’ve only been drinking wine for a few years. I started during my summer in Europe, and it was easier than I expected it to be. Wine is everywhere in Europe. In some places it was cheaper than water (Hey-oh, Spain!). I started with strawberry wine and graduated quickly to the heavier stuff. I wouldn’t call myself a wino, but I certainly do enjoy a good glass of wine.

I had a good friend come out and visit me here in Oregon a couple weeks ago, and put together some adventure options for her. One of them was wine tasting in Dundee, but we never got a chance to actually go. Since I’ve been wanting to go forever, I invited a few of my lovely lady friends out and we hit up a few tasting rooms that were amazing.

First stop: Argyle Winery

Argyle’s Tasting Room is located right on 99W in Dundee. We chose this particular winery because they are well known and praised for their bubblies, and one of my lovely friends who joined me loves her bubblies.

They have 3 different tasting menus, each of which costs $18. You can choose the Clubhouse option, (which covers their whites, reds, and sparkling), POP (their sparkling bubblies), or Red Diamond (pinot noirs – which is was the Willamette Valley is known for).

We all chose to go the POP bubbly route, because who doesn’t want to start a wine tasting day with some delicious sparkling wines (and sparkling wines are what they’re known for)!

At our table cheers-ing a sparkling pinot noir! Photo Cred: Crystal’s Phone and our lovely server Ali
At the tasting room in front of their wooden wall. A great photo op! Photo Cred: Crystal’s Phone and our lovely server Ali

There were 5 different sparkling wines we tasted, covering a range of sweetness and price points. All were delicious. We bought one bottle to use next month at Attendee Taylor’s birthday celebration.

Also, Ali, our server, was AMAZING – if you can request her, I would highly recommend it.

Second Stop: Alexana Winery

From the city, we headed up into the Dundee hills to the Alexana Winery and Tasting Room. (It should be noted that for tasting parties of six or more, you must make a reservation 24 hours in advance).

The first thing you notice when you walk in, is the the front desk, which displays the soil types found in the area that are so integral to making the wine. After checking in at the desk and getting taster #1 on their 5 wine tasting menu, you’ll step outside and see the beautiful patio overlooking the 80-acre vineyard property.

Each of the wines we tasted were complex and delicious. Most of the wines we tried were from Alexana, but we also got to try a Malbec (my fave!) from the owner’s Argentina Winery, Corazon Del Sol (can someone say future adventure opportunity!?!).

Comfy seats – beautiful views – lots of wine and laughs

The wine tasting itself was $25/person, and included our favorite wines from the day. I always thought I didn’t like pinot noirs – it turns out I had just had some crummy pinots – Alexana’s were to die for. We ended up purchasing the Malbec, because the impending birthday girl and I simply loved it, with hopes of returning to purchase a couple of the pinots for future Thanksgiving feasts.

Third Stop: Eminent Domaine Winery

Our last stop of the day was by far the most beautiful. Eminent Domaine is nestled up on hill outside Newberg, Oregon.

Each winery had both whites and reds for us to try

Once again, there were 5 different wines for us to taste (I think there’s a trend afoot) of both white and red wines. And once again, the pinot noirs were amazing. I’m beginning to question all of my wine preferences prior to this trip – except Malbecs – there’s no question there.

I took the opportunity to snap a few shots while we were up in this gorgeous location. It did not disappoint.

I imagine sunset from here is gorgeous. Too bad tasting only goes until 5pm unless they have an event!

There are a LOT of wineries to choose from in the Dundee/Newberg area. Most people just hit the big name ones, but I think it’s worthwhile to explore the smaller batch providers. We enjoyed our tasting at Argyle, but loved the intimacy and views of the smaller wineries off the beaten path.

What are your favorites to visit? No, seriously! We are dying to go back for round 2, already!

Go forth and adventure!


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