What to expect when visiting wine country Summer 2020
Yamhill County, Oregon – home to hundreds of Willamette Valley wineries – began reopening its doors to the public May 15th. As part of the Phase 1 reopening plan set by the Governor’s office, tasting rooms, bars and restaurants are permitted to once again offer in-house service with a few new guidelines in place. At Chehalem Ridge B&B, we are waiting for leisure travel to open up, which we hope will happen on June 5. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to make sure you hear the latest and then keep reading to learn what to expect at the businesses that are open now. Wine country’s business owners and fans rejoice as we partner together to keep everyone safe… and to stay open!
We’re all excited to leave our homes and experience normal life again, but it is not quite business as usual in wine country. Some wineries and restaurants are sticking with to-go options for a little longer. The businesses that are opening in the Willamette Valley will be operating a bit differently with reservations needed at most wineries and restaurants as they increase the space between guest groups and can serve less people. As you make those reservations, ask each winery how much time to allot for your reservation. Staff at Oregon businesses are required to wear face coverings (masks) and many businesses are asking their customers to don them as well when not sitting at a table. Many wineries are no longer permitting on-site food consumption, children and pets. We recommend calling ahead to make sure you know what to expect.
You may have to put a little more time into researching where you want to visit and then make reservations accordingly, but in the long-run, we think you’ll have many more fulfilling, personal experiences. Owners and staff have been waiting to re-open and are just as excited to host you as you are to visit. Let’s get you on your way! Here are a few wineries we love that are currently welcoming reservations and visitors. For an on-going list of openings, please refer to the Willamette Valley Winery Association website.
Parrett Mountain Cellars, a lodge-style building with spectacular views of Mt. Hood, is the kind of place that makes you feel like you are on vacation the moment you walk onto their Newberg property. Their spacious, yet cozy tasting room is ready for visitors Thursday, Sunday & Monday 12-5pm and Fri – Sat 12-7pm. Enjoy seating inside, on their veranda outside, or down on the grass below. They even have a bicycle repair station for avid cyclists who would like to relax and enjoy a beverage after a challenging ride up-hill. Reservations are appreciated for groups of 4 or more.
Domaine Divio, located in Newberg’s Ribbon Ridge AVA, is open by reservation daily 11-5pm. Bruno Corneaux, its owner and winemaker, comes from a long line of Burgundian wine producers and his love of wine and his passion for nurturing the land that helps produce it is infectious. Quite often you will see him in the tasting room chatting with fellow wine-lovers.
Bella Vida Vineyard, located high above the Dundee Hills atop a beautiful winding road, is open seven days a week from 11-5 with reservations. Offering outstanding views of wine country, outside and inside seating, and a flight of wine featuring four different winemakers, it’s a great place to start your day of exploration.
If you’d like to experience Downtown Newberg’s tasting rooms, many are happily accepting visitors. Et Fille, known for their endlessly drinkable Pinot Noirs, is a great spot to drop in and taste before dinner plans in Newberg. Our newest tasting room is Carlton Cellars. They’ve got a loft overhead that’s perfect for larger groups and a unique selection of whites. Bravuro Cellars and Cliff Creek Cellars have bigger, bolder reds if you’d like to take a break from Pinot Noir. Anam Cara Cellars has one of our favorite dessert wines in the valley and Chehalem Wines has a large, modern tasting room that transforms into a wine bar after 5pm.
Once you know what time your winery reservations are for the day, you can plan for your wine-pairing meals! While many fine-dining restaurants are still open for to-go meals only, we’ve listed below the ones that you can dine-in for lunch or dinner and dress-up or down for.
Barley and Vine Tavern on Newberg’s bustling 1st Street. Perfect for lunch, their menu includes maybe the best nachos you’ll ever have, a cheese and charcuterie board, and crackling pork rinds drizzled with honey. Open every day 2-10pm except Friday and Saturday when they open early at 12. No reservations needed.
Another wonderful community hot-spot is Red Hills Market in Dundee, right off Route 99W. You can purchase locally made goods and create your own cheese and charcuterie board to enjoy on their patio in between wineries. Or order from their kitchen any one of their incredible gourmet sandwiches, soups, or wood-fired pizzas. Open daily, 7am-8pm, no reservations needed.
The Newbergundian Bistro has reopened for lunch and dinner. This vibrant little restaurant has quickly become a Willamette Valley favorite, churning out traditional dishes with an inventive flair. When you want something more refined, order their melt-in-your-mouth Coq au Vin. Or if you want a traditional tried and true dish, try their perfectly fried and seasoned Fish and Chips. Casual or fancy, lunch or dinner, it’s up to you at The Newbergundian. Check their website for hours.
As we move through the summer, we expect more changes and more openings. We highly recommend referring with the winery or restaurant’s website before travelling to visit. And, as always, you can count on us to keep you posted on the latest happenings in the Willamette Valley. Don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 503-538-3474. Our website is www.chehalemridge.com and has even more info on winery and restaurant recommendations, day-trips and more.
We look forward to hearing from you and are beyond excited to welcome you back to Chehalem Ridge B&B as our guests beginning June 5th.
By Liz Bethell