Off the beaten winery path, in a former walnut processing plant, lies a fun tasting adventure.  WineWorks Oregon has made this brick building on 17th Street in McMinnvile it’s home for over10 years.  The beauty of the situation is that WineWorks houses five distinct labels so your tasting experience can be as unique as you are.

WineWorks Oregon is a collaboration between John Davidson and John Gilpin.  Their backgrounds are in vineyard management and vine grafting, so their wines tend to show the character of the fruit.  The wines that come out of their partnership are Walnut City WineWorks, Bernard-Machado, Carlton Hill, Robinson Reserve and Z’IVO Wines.  Each label has a distinctive style and flair to it. 

Tasting Room Manager Jennifer welcomes you into your adventure at her bar.  If it gets a little crowded, she has nifty tables built out of old wine barrels situated around the room.  Although the available wines for tasting is heavy on the Pinot Noirs, Jennifer prides herself in being able to set up a tasting of six wines that suit your palate.  That means I can go in and taste six whites and never try a red!  And one of those whites… Walnut City WineWorks’ super tasty Essential Viognier (yes, that’s sugar wine to those Pinot drinkers out there).  But I found it has a great balance of flavor and sweetness; none of that cloying stickiness in some dessert wines.

You can find WineWorks Oregon at 475 NE 17th Street in McMinnville (if you’re on 3rd Street, just head north on Evans til you get there).  Jennifer is there Thursday to Sunday: 11-4:30.

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