Planning a visit to Oregon’s wine country? You should; swoon-worthy wines and sublime views await you! Between the snowcapped mountains, pastoral settings, long reaching valleys, and vineyards that provide a tapestry of color, a visual feast is practically around every corner. And though it’s difficult to narrow down the list, the following are 12 views you shouldn’t miss.
Anne Amie: Located north of the tiny town of Lafayette, Anne Amie offers a bucolic westward view of the Pacific Coast Range. While there’s nothing especially remarkable in the landscape—no snow-capped volcanoes or distant cities—the scenic and pastoral setting is the ultimate in relaxation. Cattle graze on one side of the road, vines grow on the other, and the rolling hills and cloudscapes make time disappear. Insider tip: Buy a bottle, bring a picnic and linger long enough to watch sunset from the hammocks or Adirondacks while your stress melts away. You won’t be sorry.
Bella Vida: With Bella in their name, this distinctive location in the Dundee Hills must be beautiful. Outrageous views of practically endless vineyards and the majestic mountains that will never disappoint. Check out the Winemaker Series – same vintage, same vineyard, same fruit… three different winemaker’s interpretations.
Bells Up Winery: Perched on the slope of Chehalem Mountain, Bells Up features a spectacular 270-degree view of the surrounding area. It also overlooks the quaint little town of Newberg and their estate vineyard, planted to Pinot noir and the Willamette Valley’s first planting of Seyval blanc. An array of Oregon native wildflowers bloom throughout the spring and summer (and sometimes even into the fall!). With private tastings by appointment only, the view is always yours alone to appreciate. The winery was named “One of The Best Places to Kiss in the Willamette Valley” in 2018 by Oregon Wine Press, something you’ll want to test for yourself.
Bethel Heights: Before stepping foot in the tasting room, look west, far across the entire valley, all the way to the Coast Range. The view is especially spectacular at sunset. It’s easy to get lost in the views of the 75-acre estate vineyard and neighboring vineyards, the forested slopes of the Eola-Amity Hills, and the valley below. On clear days, Mt. Jefferson sparkles in the distance. Weather permitting, enjoy this view from the picnic tables on their deck.
Brooks Winery: The winery tasting room overlooks the estate vineyards with expansive and captivating views all the way from the Dundee Hills to the Chehalem Mountains. Watch the Willamette River as it winds through the valley below. In the distance, Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson tower over the valley, while Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens also make their presence known. On those rare but really clear days, you can see all the way up to Mt. Rainier in Washington state.
Domaine Serene: Built at almost a thousand feet in elevation on the Winery Hill Estate Vineyard, The Clubhouse at Domaine Serene boasts commanding views of the Willamette Valley, making it ideal for visitors looking for an almost 360-degree birds-eye wine country view. The vast outdoor patio and surrounding grounds are the perfect place to take in the area’s striking beauty. Observers enjoy multiple mountain views, including the picturesque snow-capped peaks of Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and Mount Adams – and on the clearest of days, the tips of the Three Sisters rise in the distance. Schedule a private Paradigm tasting in the winery caves for an experience like no other.
Eminent Domaine: Bask in the serenity of this remarkable site strategically located at the tippy top of the coveted Ribbon Ridge AVA. The modern yet intimate setting provides one of the most breathtaking views to be enjoyed with their remarkable wines. Picnic tables are available on a first come first serve basis and the winery is only open seasonally.
Fairsing Vineyards: Nestled within a one-hundred-acre Certified Family Forest, Fairsing is distinguished by its biodiversity, varied topography, and panoramic views of the Northern Willamette Valley. Guests enjoy sweeping views, extending from the Cascades to the Oregon Coast Mountain Range, from a ring of Adirondacks that circle the grounds. A meditative labyrinth outside the tasting room is ideal for sipping and strolling in sight of Mount St. Helens, Mount Jefferson, and neighboring vineyards. Cozy fireplaces, spacious patios, and intimate seating areas offer unique settings for sharing a seated tasting or bottle of wine.
Rain Dance Vineyards: Why Rain Dance? The answer is easy: llamas. Situated at the base of the Chehalem Mountains, Rain Dance has roughly 130 llamas on their ranch that graze over 20 acres adjacent to the tasting room patio. The llamas are more than just pretty faces; they’re an integral part of the winery’s sustainable farming practices with overgrowth management. With names like Bonzi and Blue Ice, they will surely win your heart while you enjoy wines and a picnic on their relaxing patio.
Saffron Fields: Unique and magnificent, Saffron Fields is like a world all its own, from the large patio looking out west over the stunning Koi pond, to the rolling hills luring you towards the coastal range. Depending on the season, enjoy a kaleidoscope of color and wildlife, from the magnificent Japanese gardens designed by Hoichi Kurisu (the world-renowned landscape architect and former director of the Portland Japanese Gardens), as well as the vineyards that surround this little oasis. The beginning of summer invites dragonflies to the lily pad pond surrounded with colorful lavender.
Willamette Valley Vineyards: Located south of Salem, Willamette Valley Vineyards sits high atop their Estate Vineyard. The 180-degree view can be savored from inside the impressive tasting room and from their wrap-around patio. You get an exceptional view of the valley and the coastal range, with Mary’s Peak in the distance on the southern horizon. Rent one of the Winery Suites and enjoy the views from your own private deck.
Youngberg Hill: Guests indulge in mountain views of the entire Cascade Range to the east (including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and Sisters); and to the west, lies the Coast Range. The quaint but rural setting outside McMinnville overlooks the entire Willamette Valley, as well as Yamhill Valley and the Eola-Amity Hills.Youngberg Hills is also a Bed & Breakfast, so stay here and savor this view for days.
When Tamara Belgard’s not chasing down stories for publications like NW Travel and Life, Portland Monthly, EaterPdx, WinePress NW, and Oregon Wine Press, you might stumble upon her traipsing through wine country, exploring new restaurants, perusing her local farmers market, pouring over cookbooks, or searching the racks of her favorite wine shop for hidden gems.