Wineries in the Willamette to Know About

Archery Summit Winery

As some of you may remember, last fall I worked as a harvest intern for Alexana Winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. My partner (now fiance!) and I lived in our newly renovated campervan, parked in a family friend’s driveway, stopping by Planet Fitness to shower before heading to work. We worked six days a week, twelve hours a day sorting grapes, doing punch downs, running lab tests, moving wine from tank to barrel, the list goes on…

After two solid months of shedding blood, sweat, and tears (don’t worry, they filter before bottling), we were rewarded with our fair share of wine and even a few field trips!

We were fortunate enough to be able to visit several wineries towards the end of our internship – and I’d like to share a bit more about those wineries today.

To read more about how I nearly had a panic attack from doing punch downs and to check out how Frank and I spent our days off, see here.

Stoller Family Estate
Stoller Winery

Stoller is a name you might have seen while perusing the wine aisle in the grocery store. Their wines have been far-reaching and satisfy many price points. We were able to tour the reserve winery, which features exceptional wines made by Australian-trained winemaker Kate Payne Brown.

This winery was full of surprises. Catacombs lace throughout the building acts as a natural cooling system, and the winery is LIVE certified with wildflowers encouraging healthy, diverse wildlife.

In addition to an exciting winery, the estate is gorgeous. Excellent reserve wines accompanied by scenic views make this a must-visit destination. Find their tasting room hours here.

Beaux Freres

I’m so grateful we could visit this winery, as it is remarkably different from any winery I’ve ever visited. Beaux Freres relies solely on “spontaneous” fermentation, letting native wild yeast kickstart as they see fit.

Beaux Freres Winery

Beaux Freres also works to make their wines “reductive,”- meaning the wines exposure to oxygen is intentionally limited. This is done to preserve fresh and fruity notes in the wine, and it’s harder than it sounds. Tasting room hours can be found here.

Fun fact, the owner of Beaux Freres, Michael Etzel, was able to open this winery with the help of his brother-in-law, the one and only Robert Parker, wine critic for the Wine Advocate.

Archery Summit
Archery Summit Winery

If I could award any of these wineries for “Best Caves,” – it would be Archery Summit. This winery takes special care to ensure their barrels are topped off daily. Guests and members are able to enjoy wine tastings in Oregon’s only cave system built directly into the bedrock.

Archery Summit also runs a sister winery, Pine Ridge Vineyards, based out of Walla Walla. Tasting room hours for Archery Summit can be found here.

Penner Ash Wine Cellars

The first time I made it to this winery, Frank and I arrived warm and out of breath. This was our final stop after an exciting weekend of bikepacking – we almost didn’t make it! You can read about that fun tale here.

One thing I love about Penner-Ash is the owner/winemaker Lynn’s devotion to making single-vineyard bottlings from vineyards across the Willamette. When you go in for your tasting, you learn so much more about these regions, and you can educate your palate in a unique and exciting way. Tasting room hours can be found here.

Final Thoughts

Boy, was it nice getting to relive these experiences again! I had the time of my life getting to work harvest, and I made friends I’m fortunate enough to have to this day.

If any of you have had the chance to check out these wineries, let me know! How did it go? I’m always taking recommendations for new Willamette Valley wineries… especially now that we are getting close to that 2021 vintage… I’ll have to make a trip down soon!

Penner Ash Wine Cellars
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