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  • Theresa Downs

Plan Your Visit to Oregon's Mount Pisgah/Van Duzer Corridor AVAs

14 sensational wineries to add to your tasting itinerary



Map of Oregon AVA regions
Image via Amalie Roberts Winery by Willamette Valley Wineries Association

As of last year, we have another thing to celebrate about Oregon: Mount Pisgah Oregon became Oregon's 23 AVA (American Viticultural Area).


Officially known as Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon, its unwieldy, lengthy name is such as not to confuse the new AVA  with other Mount Pisgahs in Oregon. This AVA is particularly important as I grew up in this area.


Located 15 miles from Salem, Oregon's capital, in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Mount Pisgah gives us one more reason to revere Pinot Noir. However, grapes such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, and Tempranillo are also grown. Pinot Noir is its linchpin grape, however. Since Mount Pisgah was formed 65 million years ago as a seafloor volcano, its soil is more volcanic than the surrounding area. That makes for high-acid, elegant Pinot Noirs, Yum! The AVA boasts of 10 vineyards and 3 wineries (so far!). We wanted to experience all that is Pisgah, so we ventured out to the 2 wineries (one wasn't opened to the public then) and 12 other wineries in close-by Van Duzer Corridor AVA.


I've been warned that I'm a bit lengthy, so I will list what's sensational about each winery for brevity's sake. Enjoy!


Amalie Robert Estate


Amelie Robert Estate winery in Oregon
Image Amelie Robert Estate via Wine By Appointment LLC

Amelie Robert Estate winery in Oregon
Image via Amalie Roberts Winery by Willamette Valley Wineries Association

Address: 13531 Bursell Rd, Dallas, OR 97338

Phone: (503) 551-9978

Hours of Operation: By appointment

Wine Tasting Fee: $20.00 per person waived if 2 or more bottles are purchased


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Owners, Ernie Pink and Dena Drews are two of the most passionate and knowledgeable people about wine you'll run across.   And they're not shy about sharing their knowledge…you will walk away with much more than what you started with. I was so impressed with their wine that we purchased 6 bottles. 

  2. One of the most fun truck tours I've had.   Jump onboard with Ernie in his truck for a ride through his amazing property.

  3. Amalie Robert Estates makes various wines: Chardonnay,  Viognier, Pinot Meunier, Gewurztraminer, and Syrah, but their Pinot Noir is the star.

  4. Beautiful vistas of the Mount Pisgah area to enjoy when quaffing a glass of their superior Pinot Noir.


Andante Vineyard


Andante Vineyard in Oregon
Image Andante Vineyard via Wine By Appointment LLC


Andante Vineyard in Oregon
Image Andante Vineyard via Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  3855 Morris Road Dallas, Oregon 97338

Phone: (971)273-3872

Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Monday, 11:00am to 5:00pm.

Paired tasting is available Thursday through Sunday (we recommend!!)

By appointment only

Wine Tasting Fee: $20.00 per person waived if 2 or more bottles are purchased


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit

  1. Andante Vineyard has one of the best wine-tasting pairings around (reasonably priced to boot). Plan a visit when tastings are available Thursday through Sunday.

  2. Andante Vineyards makes some unique wines not usually found on Oregon wine menus. Fun to try:  Aligote and Marsanne (both white).

  3. Oregon wineries devised a clever way of salvaging smoke-tainted grapes:  White Pinot Noir, since this process doesn't involve much contact with the tainted grape skins.   I can see your skepticism, but Andante's version's really worth a try.

  4. Andante Vineyard offers a beautiful outside setting to sip, maybe that glass of White Pinot, and enjoy the view or a cozy, modern salon in which to relax.



Benedetto Vineyards

Benedetto Vineyards in Oregon
Image Benedetto Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC

Benedetto Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Benedetto Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  14020 Orchard Knob Rd, Dallas, OR 97338

Phone: (971)301-2807

Hours of Operation:  Monday & Tuesday – By appointment only

Wednesday through Friday: 3.00pm to 7.00pm.

Saturday and Sunday:  12.00pm to 5.00pm

Wine Tasting Fee: $20.00 per person waived  a bottle is purchased


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Voted Gold Best Live Music, Silver Best Winery, Gold Best Happy Hour, and Gold Best Date Night Spot by the Best of the Willamette Valley Association in 2023.

  2. The foursome of owners have spent much time and energy on the winery grounds, making it a prime spot for fun and relaxation and for contemplating the beautiful scenery.

  3. Benedetto Vineyards makes one of my favorite varietals:  Gamay.  It's a bit lighter and fruitier than its big brother, Pinot Noir.

  4. Sponsors numerous events at the winery if you plan an extended visit.



Bethel Heights Vineyard


Bethel Heights Vineyard winery in Oregon
Image Bethel Heights Vineyard via Wine By Appointment LLC


Bethel Heights Vineyard winery in Oregon
Image Bethel Heights Vineyard via Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  6060 Bethel Heights Rd NW, Salem, OR 97304

Phone:  (503) 581-2262

Website:  Bethel Heights 

Hours of Operation:  Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm; Appointments are recommended

Wine Tasting fees vary depending on the type of tasting.


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Bethel Heights is a bit outside of the Mount Pisgah area but close enough to consider a visit, which you should plan. Located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, this winery is a jewel. The wines are terrific, and the winery is gorgeous.

  2. Their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have garnered praise from numerous sources (Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and me!)

  3. Their Casteel series (named appropriately after the winemaker/owner) for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are particularly noteworthy.

  4. It's family-owned and operated - my favorite type of winery!

Bjorson Vineyards


Bjorson Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Bjorson Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Bjorson Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Bjorson Winery via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Address:  3635 Bethel Heights Rd NW, Salem, OR 97304

Phone:  (503) 687-3060

Website:  Bjorson Vineyards 

Hours of Operation:  Daily 11:00am – 5:00pm; Appointments are recommended

Wine Tasting Fee: 25.00 per flight, waived with a two-bottle purchase.


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Bjorson Vineyards is very close to Bethel Heights Vineyards and Byrn Mawr Vineyards, which is an easy way to plan a day of wine tasting.

  2. It is worth a visit to taste their version of Gouais Blanc wine (grape is the mother of Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir is Chardonnay's father). With its smooth texture and flavors of pear and apple, it just might become your new favorite.

  3. Bjorson Vineyard's wine is very nice, but their hospitality is even better. Warm welcomes are assured.

  4. Sometimes, it's nice to get a break from Pinot Noir; Bjorson Vineyards offers different types of wine wines (along with the Gouais Blanc), Pinot Blanc, and, of course, Chardonnay.

 

Bryn Mawr Vineyards


Bryn Mawr Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Bryn Mawr Vineyards/Wine By Appointment LLC

Bryn Mawr Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Bryn Mawr Vineyards/Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  5935 Bethel Heights Rd NW, Salem, OR 97304

Phone:  (503) 581-4286

Website:  Byrn Mawr Vineyards 

Hours of Operation:  Daily 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; Appointments are recommended

Wine Tasting Fee: 25.00 per flight, waived with a $50.00 bottle purchase.


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit

  1. Just down the road from Bethel Heights Vineyard, Byrn Mawr Vineyards has one of the best outside seating areas in a winery. The views from the deck/patio are just incredible.

  2. They offer several different types of tastings – some come with charcuterie included. I can't think of anything better than starring at the gorgeous vistas while munching on cheese.

  3. For those who aren't into Pinot Noir, their mainstay, Byrn Mawr Vineyard, offers other types of wine:  Tempranillo, Dolcetto, and Gamay. Their Dolcetto is particularly yummy.

  4. Byrn Mawr wines are very reasonably priced, considering the great quality of their wine.


Chateau Bianca (Wetzel Estates Wines)


Chateau Bianca winery in Oregon
Image Chateau Bianca via Wine By Appointment LLC

A shaded tasting patio is available for visitors to Chateau Bianca

Address:  17485 OR-22, Dallas, OR 97338

Phone:  (503) 623-6181

Website:  Chateau Bianca 

Hours of Operation:  Daily 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wine Tasting Fee: 15.00 per Tasting


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Chateau Bianca (part of the family-owned Wetzel Estate Wines) has a cozy, homey tasting room where you can enjoy their nice wines. They also have one of the best shopping for wine paraphernalia.

  2. Lovely patio area with vineyard and mountain vistas to enjoy

  3. Chateau Bianca makes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay wines, and other Oregon standards, like Pinot Gris; they make Marechal Foch, which I think is the stout of wine. It's definitely worth a taste.

  4. Their canned wine is a hoot.

Coelho Winery


Coelho Winery in Oregon
Image Coelho Winery via Wine By Appointment LLC

Coelho Winery in Oregon
Image Coelho Winery via Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  111 5th St, Amity, OR 97101

Phone: (503)835-9305

Website: Coelho Winery

Hours of Operation: Daily,  11:00 am to 5:00 pm; reservations are available

Wine Tasting Fee: $30.00 per person.


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Coelho has one of the coolest interiors: a repurposed 1930s hardware store complete with massive exposed beams, an inviting fireplace, and a piano!

  2. Located in the quaint town of Amity (part of the Van Duzer corridor), it's worth a stroll. Be sure to stop in for a delectable waffle at The Common Cup (they have a waffle bar!).

  3. Coelho has an interesting wine menu. Not only do they make Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but their wine repertoire is full of Portuguese red and white wine varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cão, Alvarelhão, Touriga Francesa, Alvarinho and Verdelho and luscious blends of these varieties. They are interesting and fun to try.

  4. Coelho offers delicious St. Jorge cheese, crackers, salami, hazelnuts, and not-to-be-missed local Brigittine chocolates. They are all worth a trip by themselves.


Failla Wines Oregon

Failla Wines Oregon winery in Oregon
Image Failla Wines Oregon via Wine By Appointment LLC


Failla Wines Oregon winery in Oregon
Image Failla Wines Oregon via Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  9449 SW Old Highway 47, Gaston, OR 97119

Phone: (503) 391-5555

Hours of Operation:  By appointment only (Failla is in the middle of a remodel; visits may be a little iffy. Call for status)

Wine Tasting Fee: $35.00 to $45.00 per person.

 

Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. We are familiar with Failla Wines in California, so we were eager to check out their Oregonian digs. We weren't disappointed with either their wine or Charcuterie board.

  2. The current tasting room is funky, modern, and comfortable for a sprawl.

  3. Down to the nitty gritty, their wines are fabulous. Their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines have received numerous accolades from prestigious wine scribes.

  4. Gamay is grooving in Oregon, and Failla's Gamay is gorgeous. Gamay is Pinot Noir's less serious, unpretentious brother if you're unfamiliar with the grape. It's a fun red wine you can drink now, chilled or unchilled.



Illahe Vineyards


Illahe Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Illahe Vineyards via www.illahevineyards.com

Illahe Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Illahe Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC

Address:  3275 Ballard Rd, Dallas, OR 97338

Phone:  (503) 831-1248

Website:  Illahe Vineyards 

Hours of Operation:  Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wine Tasting Fee: $20.00 per flight, waived with a $100.00 purchase.


 Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Illahe Vineyards was the impetus for forming the Mount Pisgah Oregon AVA.

  2. Illahe's new tasting room is gorgeous and highlights the majestic views of the Mount Pisgah AVA.

  3. Illahe Vineyards likes to experiment with different grape varieties. Interesting wines to sample and decide if they're your new favorites. The winery's Viognier wine is pretty great.

  4. The winery's Viognier and Grüner Veltliner (white wines) are a welcome surprise and a bit different from what you find in most Oregon wineries.


Johan Vineyards


Joann Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Johan Vineyards via Wine by Appointment LLC

Joann Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Johan Vineyards via Wine by Appointment LLC











AdAddress:  4285 N Pacific Hwy W, Rickreall, OR 97371

Phone: (503)623-8642

Hours of Operation:  Daily 11:00 am -5:00 pm


 Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Johan Vineyards was named one of the top 100 wineries by Wine & Spirit.

  2. Johan Vineyards is another winery in the Van Duzer Corridor; it boasts beautiful terrain with mesmerizing views, including a lake.

  3. Their concierges are extremely welcoming and knowledgeable about their wines. The winery also serves great crackers (hey, crackers are important).

  4. The winery is very proud, and rightfully so, of its biodynamic status. They also offer a smorgasbord of interesting wines from European grapes such as Savagnin, Ribolla Gialla, and Kerner. Check out the label art on their wine labels when there. Gorgeous!


Left Coast Estate


Left Coast Estate winery in Oregon
Image Left Coast Estate via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Left Coast Estate winery in Oregon
Image Left Coast Estate via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Address:  4225 N Pacific Hwy W, Rickreall, OR 97371

Phone: (503)831-4916

Hours of Operation:  Daily 12:00 am -4:00 pm

Tasting Fees:  Vary; there is a $10.00 tasting fee deposit if making an online reservation


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Left Coast Estate is a small family-owned and operated winery that is very earnest about sustainability in its vineyards.  

  2. Left Coast Estate has one of the prettiest outdoor patio settings.

  3. They have the most amazing winery cat! Unfortunately, the cat was a bit camera-shy. So, visit to meet the cat in person and experience Left Coast award-winning wines. They are the cat's meow (couldn't resist).

  4. What's better than a winery cat? Bubbles! Left Coast Estate has amazing sparkling wines that run the gamut from sparkling cider to Pinot Meunier sparkling (made in the traditional method – wine undergoes the second fermentation in the bottle). Try out these sparklers and say hello to the cat.

Namaste Vineyards Inc.


Namaste Vineyards Inc. winery in Oregon
Image Namaste Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Namaste Vineyards Inc. winery in Oregon
Image Namaste Vineyards via www.namastevineyards.com

Address:  5600 Van Well Rd, Dallas, OR 97338

Phone:  (503) 623-4150

Hours of Operation:  Daily, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wine Tasting Fee: $20.00 per flight, waived with a $50.00 purchase.


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. Namaste Vineyards' beautiful tasting room is a converted 100-year-old barn

  2. Namaste Vineyard makes note-worthy Pinot Noir, but their Gewurztraminer and Gewurztraminer/Chardonnay/Riesling blend seals the deal.

  3. Namaste Vineyards is one of the few wineries in the Willamette Valley that makes a nice Cabernet Sauvignon.

  4. What's better than wine…how about yoga and wine? Yoga enthusiasts should check the winery's event page for details.


Van Duzer Vineyards


Van Duzer Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Van Duzer Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Van Duzer Vineyards winery in Oregon
Image Van Duzer Vineyards via Wine By Appointment LLC.

Address:  11975 Smithfield Rd, Dallas, OR 97338

Phone:  (800) 884-1927

Website:  Van Duzer Vineyards 

Hours of Operation:  Thursday through Monday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm;

Tuesday – Wednesday, by appointment only

Wine Tasting Fee: $20.00 - $35.00 per flight depending on which tour,  fee reduced or waived with a purchase.


Sensational Reasons Why You Should Visit:

  1. See why Van Duzer Vineyards is considered the pinnacle winery of the Van Duzer Corridor.

  2. Van Duzer is one of my favorite Oregon wineries;  their Pinot Noir wines are truly memorable.

  3. The bottle label art is astounding and should be in an art gallery (start a trend – art galleries for wine bottle labels – it could easily be a thing).

  4. Wine concierges are welcoming and knowledgeable. Their charcuterie trays are one of the best – well thought out foods to complement the winery's wines.

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