Tasting rooms are blossoming throughout wine country and beyond, with no sign of a slowdown
written by Cathy Carroll
On the heels of soaring wine sales—with safe sipping, solo or in safety pods—now in the rear-view mirror, there’s a new trend in town and it’s oh so much better. Fresh concepts for tasting rooms are bearing fruit all around. Our list goes to eleven:
1: Willamette Valley Vineyards is opening a new winery in the Dundee Hills and sister sipping spots in four cities.
Anticipated to open this year, Domaine Willamette will produce world-class méthode Traditionnelle sparkling wines with an underground aging cellar at the biodynamically-farmed Bernau Estate Vineyard in the Dundee Hills of Dayton. Oregon-inspired hospitality will reign with wine and food pairings, stunning views, educational tours and beautiful gardens to explore.
Four winery restaurants are in the works, following a successful pilot restaurant, Willamette Wineworks in Folsom, California. A few details on the newcomers from this legacy vineyard:
- Lake Oswego Tasting Room & Restaurant, set to open this winter in downtown Lake Oswego with food and wine pairings, a trellis patio and fire pit, wine lockers for owners’ selections and a private wine-cellar dining room.
- Vancouver Waterfront Tasting Room & Restaurant, with views of the Columbia River, will show off seven Washington wineries, and Willamette Valley Vineyards will be the first from Oregon. WVV’s space will open this year.
- Just outside Portland in Happy Valley, Happy Valley Tasting Room & Restaurant is designed with a large outdoor patio, water feature and an opening date for late 2022.
- At Bend Tasting Room & Restaurant, anticipated to open in 2023 in downtown Bend, wine country makes a date with this destination mountain town.
2: In the core of downtown Bend in the D.H. Spheir Building on the National Register of Historic Places, Domaine Serene Wine Lounge opened in December with a menu inspired by the wines of Domaine Serene, Château de la Crée and Maison Evenstad. It’s the third wine lounge for Domaine Serene, based in the Dundee Hills of Dayton.
In Bend, an oversized fireplace warms cool evenings and accordion-style windows will open to outdoor seating in warmer months. Local music will happen throughout the week.
A mezzanine for wine club members will have wine lockers for collectors and connoisseurs seeking to store their wines for private dining and entertaining.
Expect refined rustic accents throughout three levels, a two-story display holding wine bottles and the Cellar Library with turn-of-the-century ambiance for private events.
3: Distaff Wine Company is one of two new tasting rooms in the Newberg Airpark, pouring lesser-known wines from its venue in a converted airplane hangar. The all-female-run label is the work of the wife and daughters of former Owen Roe vintner David O’Reilly.
4: Longplay Wine, just down the road from Distaff, is pouring its chardonnays and pinot noirs from a sleek, modern industrial production space, positioning guests closer to the winemaking process.
5: Rain Dance Vineyards restored a gorgeous, 1916 Victorian home and carriage house in Newberg and converted it into a gracious tasting spot with a patio, appealing fire pit and lovely views. Stroll a few minutes through the vineyard en route to The Allison Inn & Spa. It’s a fitting move from a fifth-generation Oregon agricultural family.
Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Vancouver Tasting Room & Restaurant is one of four that the legacy winery will open this year and next, along with a new winery in the Dundee Hills. In Vancouver, it’s the first Oregon winery to be represented in a new space in Washington with views of the Columbia River.
6: Cooper Mountain Vineyards, a family-run, organic, biodynamic winery has acquired both the storied Chehalem Mountain Vineyard, and ArborBrook Vineyard, where the tasting room will be renovated for a grand reopening Memorial Day weekend in Newberg.
8: Sidereus Vineyard in Cornelius is a new part of a growing winemaking community less than 30 miles from Portland.
9: Open Claim Vineyard near Dallas is set to open a new tasting room.
10: Andante Vineyard’s tasting room opens in January, and a covered patio with a wood-fired pizza oven and outdoor kitchen is slated to open in spring. It is designed to invoke Dallas’s rolling hills of vines, wheat and cattle ranching. The aim is a comfortable, restorative and authentic experience and a sense of connection to the land, reflecting the wines’ expression and the proprietors’ hospitality.
11: Alloro Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains has a new space in a Mediterranean-inspired stone building, for tasting wine made from fruit grown on the picturesque, 110-acre estate in Sherwood.