In pursuit of Willamette Valley wine, wineries along the Highway 99 corridor tend to get lots of love. And what’s not to love? There is an amazing selection of conveniently located wineries along this stretch of road. Stray a bit off the beaten track, though, and you’ll discover an alternative wine route that steers you away from congestion and toward accessible, peaceful and lesser-known experiences instead.
You don’t need to have any great destination in mind; simply meander along the Sip 47 route. Highway 47 provides the ideal respite from heavily traveled roads and crowded tasting rooms as it carves its own distinctive and memorable path right through the heart of Oregon wine country. One streetlight separates Carlton and Forest Grove (with nothing in between except unpretentious wineries, breathtaking farm country and idyllic scenic vistas). Here’s a glimpse at some wine sites along the route.
ADEA is anything but your average wine tasting experience. The easy-going custom crush facility is a showcase for ADEA wines (which are sourced from a number of regional vineyard sites). It’s also a home for other very small local producers and often an opportunity to taste some up-and-coming winemakers. ADEA is primarily a Pinot house, but you’ll also find small bottlings of premium chardonnay and Pinot blanc.
April-September: Saturday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
All other times by appointment only
26421 Highway 47, Gaston
Cana’s Feast Winery
Bring a picnic and enjoy the day while sipping wine, playing bocce and soaking up coastal range views from this winery that combines rich, complex Mediterranean wines and warm, family-friendly hospitality. Canas Feast is far more than just a Pinot house. In addition to tasting wines such as syrah, merlot and cabernet sauvignon, a visit to their tasting room might lead to pleasant discoveries such as counoise, nebbiolo and petite verdot. Don’t leave without sampling winemaker (genius) Patrick Taylor’s Chinato d’Erbetti; it’s part wine, part cocktail mixer and part heavenly dessert. Thank me later.
Open daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
750 W. Lincoln St., Carlton
David Hill Vineyards
As if sweeping mountain views aren’t enough to woo you, the historic charm of the region’s oldest established vineyard, the picturesque original farmhouse tasting room and value-driven wines might just make you fall in love. A flight of David Hill’s red and white wines can include a lovely Pinot noir, their stunning Riesling and an aromatic Muscat port that tastes every bit as good as it smells. Just a tip: Take home a case of their Farmhouse Red blend for everyday sipping (if they have any in stock). You won’t be disappointed.
Open daily 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
46350 NW David Hill Road, Forest Grove
Elk Cove Winery
Located in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range, Elk Cove is the oldest winery along the Highway 47 stretch of road, as well as at the top of the list of Oregon’s most reputable producers. Founded in 1974, the winery and vineyard remain family owned, with a focus on crafting estate-grown wines that rival the best in the world. Elk Cove’s vineyards span over 220 acres on five separate vineyard sites across the Northern Willamette Valley and contribute to a portfolio of impressive wines.
Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
27751 NW Olson Road, Gaston
Relax with a glass of Muller Thurgau bubbly on the deck, while the winery dogs rest comfortably at your feet, and feel the stress just melt away like ice cubes sitting in the warm summer sun. Kramer is one of Oregon’s premiere sparkling wine producers, and one of Oregon’s hidden gems. Producing wines for thirty years, the family has a long history of crafting wines with character. Just eighteen acres are planted with Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Muller Thurgau, carmine, Pinot meunier, gruner veltliner, chardonnay and gamay Beaujolais. The Kramer’s craft small lots of estate wines that are full of big flavor.
Open daily 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. April-October (Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. November-March)
26830 NW Olson Road, Gaston
Wander into Lenné’s beautiful Tuscan villa and it’s almost as if you’ve stepped back in time and across the pond, to Italy. Winemaker and proprietor Steve Lutz crafts stunning boutique Pinot noir in a minimalist, old-world style, expressing both richness of flavor and characteristics reflective of this unique location. The drive up the steep gravel road is more than worth it.
Open Saturday-Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursday-Friday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (or by appointment, or anytime the gate is open)
18760 NE Laughlin Road, Yamhill
Patton Valley Vineyard
After a visit here, you might find that Patton Valley wines not only speak to you, they make you happy. All twenty-four acres are planted with sustainably farmed, estate-grown Pinot noir. In addition to deliciously full-bodied reds full of fruit, earth and spice, the winery also produces a brilliant Pinot noir rosé that’s sure to become one of your favorite pink wines (even if you didn’t know you liked pink wine).
Open Thursday-Monday 11-5
9449 SW Old Highway 47- Gaston
If your saké experiences have only included tasting inexpensive, warm house sake with your sushi, a visit to SakéOne will be a welcome change. SakéOne is actually one of just six saké brewing companies in America, and the first of its kind in Oregon. Visit their facility for an educational tour; you’ll learn about the complicated production of rice wine, how many different types of saké there are, and best of all, discover what a food-friendly, versatile and fun wine it really is. You’ll never doubt saké again.
Open daily 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
820 Elm Street, Forest Grove
This magnificent eighty-acre, biodynamically-farmed estate was purchased by the Montalieu’s as a wedding gift to each other and planted with clones given as wedding gifts from their guests. Solena’s wines are as beautiful as the story, and the winery itself is a sight to be seen. In addition to stunning Pinot noir, you can expect to taste cabernet sauvignon, merlot, zinfandel, syrah and stellar Pinot gris.
Open daily 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
17100 NE Woodland Loop Road, Yamhill
1859 would like to welcome our new blogger, Tamara Belgard. Tamara moved to Oregon more than a decade ago in search of professional, cultural and recreational opportunities but discovered an even greater passion for Oregon wine. When not exploring Oregon’s wine country and culinary scene, she enjoys skiing, swimming, biking, hiking, live music, soaking up rare bits of sunshine, cooking for her friends and family and spending quality time with her two sons. Tamara is a marketing communications professional by day, wine writer by night, and takes immense pleasure in sharing Oregon’s best kept wine secrets with her readers. You can learn more about her Oregon wine journey on her blog Sip With Me.