Hello from the Dundee Hills —
the internationally acclaimed winegrowing region, known for its distinctive Pinot Noirs, born of its Jory soil. Tucked in the Willamette Valley just 28 miles south of Portland, Oregon, the Dundee Hills is a fine-wine destination reminiscent of Burgundy, France.
Home to the highest concentration of wineries and vineyards in Oregon, the Dundee Hills are a convenient destination for visitors. Wine lovers can easily explore a mix of the region’s pioneers and best-known names plus the many young rising stars in the wine world. All were drawn to the area for the unique climate and soils paired with the heritage of artisanal craftsmanship.
“The Dirt” is our inaugural media tip sheet, which will help keep you up on all the fun and coverage-worthy stories from this region — ‘the heart and soil of Oregon wines.’
Please let me know if you need any additional information or images for these stories ideas.
By Run—The third annual Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon takes place on July 15, 2012, offering runners 13.1 miles of rare access to some of Oregon’s most beautiful wine country.
Participants actually run through the grapevines. A large portion of the event will follow unpaved vineyard trails as they wind through rows of grapes and under branches of Oregon’s prized hazelnut trees.
A limited group of 1,500 runners will participate in the strenuous race over some of the many hills that make up Oregon’s world-class wine region. Runners will go through some of the region’s top vineyards — Stoller, Vista Hills, Domaine Drouhin, Winter’s Hill and Archery Summit.
The rewards at the finish line are worth every second of the run. At the post-race Wine Celebration, participants and their families and friends will sample some of Oregon’s best Pinots and other wines. 21 Dundee Hills wineries, including Argyle, Winderlea, Domaine Serene, Lange and many more, will be sharing their finest to toast to each finishers success.
By Walk — If you’d rather explore by foot at a more leisurely pace (and be able to sample wines along the way), there’s the Oregon Walking Wine Tour. Led by longtime Dundee Hills resident Mark DeLong, visitors will ramble over hills and through vineyards, learning about the special Jory soil and other natural features of the area between winery stops. Lunch is provided.
By Hoof — How about taking a horse from winery to winery? You can with Equestrian Wine Tours. Guests can choose between going on horseback or by carriage. Either way, it will be far more memorable than being behind the wheel of a car. To complete the experience, sign up for the gourmet picnic lunch. (Does not include a carrot for your horse.)
By Bike — The Portland area is known for its love of bikes, so when in Rome… Pedal Bike Tours offers a relaxing wine country tour by bike. Visitors are transported by van and then get to wend their way through backcountry roads to several wineries.
To (literally) better serve their wine-loving visitors, five Dundee Hills wineries have opened new, signature tasting rooms:
Alexana Winery — Enjoy Alexana Winery’s complex wines from the beautiful new tasting room overlooking their vineyard. Open daily, 11am to 5pm. Tasting fee: $20. 12001 Northeast Worden Hill Road, Newberg.
Bella Vida Vineyard — Guests can enjoy spectacular views from the deck of the new Bella Vida tasting room, have a picnic on the lawn, or play a game of bocce. ($5 per person fee for use of the court). Open Thursday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Tasting fee: $10. 9380 Northeast Worden Hill Road, Dundee.
Durant Vineyards — Located at Red Ridge Farms, guests can taste their way through 100 percent estate wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, plus Oregon Olive Mill 2011 extra virgin olive oils. Visitors can do this all while taking in the picturesque views of Dundee’s Red Hills from the wraparound porch. Open Thursday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Tasting fee: $10. 5510 NE Breyman Orchards Road, Dayton.
Hyland Estates — Hyland’s distinctive new tasting room just opened its doors, and they are proud to introduce their Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir wines, exclusively harvested from the old growth portion of the Hyland Vineyard. Open daily 11am to 5pm. Tasting fee: $10; refunded with the purchase of two bottles. 20980 NE Niederberger Road, Dundee.
Thistle Wines (pictured) — Thistle Wines’ new tasting room allows them to share both their wines and their amazing location. The light-filled room sits among the vines and features a deck over the vineyard, allowing guests to get as close as possible to where it all begins. Open most weekends (Saturday & Sunday) during the summer, 11am to 4pm or by appointment. Tasting fee: $5.00, refundable with purchase. 10555 NE Red Hills Road, Dundee.
Lange Estate Winery — is proud to be celebrating 25 years of producing award-winning wines in the Dundee Hills. To commemorate, the winery is offering a very limited bottling (only 35 cases produced), presented in an attractive screen-printed bottle with artwork to honor Don and Wendy Lange’s love of music as well as wine. The 2009 “25th Anniversary” Pinot Noir is made from fruit sourced entirely from the Dundee Hills, showcasing all of the elegance you’ve come to expect from both Lange Estate and the acclaimed AVA.
Barrel Fence Cellars — This summer, Barrel Fence Cellars celebrates the third anniversary of their tasting room with “Two Worlds of Pinot Noir.” Tasting room visitors can compare Pinot Noir made from their own 45th latitude north (Dundee Hills) vineyard and Pinot Noir from their own 45th latitude south (Central Otago, New Zealand) vineyard. 8880 Worden Hill Road, Dundee.
There’s more being produced in the Dundee Hills than just world-class wines. Red Ridge Farms features the largest olive oil pressing operation in the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Olive Mill. A state-of-the-art olive pressing facility processes over 1,000 pounds of olives per hour. The olives are sourced directly from their olive grove: over the past five years, they have planted 13,000 olive trees over 17 acres in the Dundee Hills. The varietals include Arbequina, Leccino, Mission, Pendolino, Koroneiki, and Picual, and each type of olive produces a distinctive flavor. Visitors can taste them in the gift shop.
Red Ridge Farms’ Nursery has an extensive selection of culinary herbs with a specialty in lavender and rosemary varieties. They also feature a wide assortment of edibles, drought-tolerant shrubs & perennials.
On June 24, 2012, visitors can join owner Paul Durant for a summertime stroll through Red Ridge Farms’ extensive vineyards, olive grove & olive mill. The olive mill’s house-pressed olive oils and a flight of Durant Vineyards wines will be offered throughout the tour. After the walk, enjoy a light picnic lunch & glass of wine on the farm’s picturesque patio. 10am to 12:30pm; $40 per person.
2012 Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon.(Sunday, July 15, 2012) The third annual Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon gives runners 13.1 miles of rare access to some of Oregon’s most beautiful wine country and is followed by a fun post-race Wine Celebration that features Dundee Hills wines.
Fueled by Fine Wine Pre-Race Dinner at Winderlea Vineyard and Winery. (Saturday, July 14th, 2012 at 6pm) Join fellow racers and friends for the perfect pre-race dinner paired with just the right amount of Pinot noir and Chardonnay from Winderlea. The special guest of the evening is Sage Canaday, two-time Olympic Trials Qualifier. Sage will share his insights on training and how he plans on handling the Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon course, which he is running. $60 per person (inclusive). If you don’t feel like drinking with the pre-race dinner, Winderlea will provide you with a complimentary tasting when you next return. Reservations required by calling 503-554-5900 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited.
Lavender Extravaganza.(Sunday, July 15, 2012, 10am- 5pm) The lavender fields at Red Ridge Farms will be ready for their annual Lavender Extravaganza, when the public is welcome to visit the property, stroll through the lush lavender fields and enjoy lavender-themed activities and treats. Also available this year is a special Cooking with Lavender class, a fun and delicious cooking demonstration that features many different ways to cook with lavender. The class is from 11am to 1pm and costs $45 per person, which includes recipes and a fresh-cut bundle of lavender that can be used for culinary creations at home. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 503-864-8502. The Lavender Extravaganza coincides with the Oregon Lavender Festival.
Summer BBQ + Live Music by Y La Bamba. (Saturday, July 21, 2012; 11am-4pm) Evolution Wines and Sokol Blosser are partnering with Pickathon, Oregon’s favorite indie roots music festival, to bring an amazing afternoon of live music, wine and BBQ cuisine to Sokol Blosser Winery. The event features the live stylings of local legends Y La Bamba, food by RibSlayer, and wine tasting in the vineyard. Free. Sokol Blosser Winery, 5000 Sokol Blosser Lane, Dayton, OR.
Thistle Wines First Annual “Last Chance Weekend”. (Saturday & Sunday, September 1 & 2) The tasting room will close for the season on Labor Day but will be open Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm for a last chance to get limited-production and library wines and to sit on the deck and enjoy the view until spring.
Formed in March 2006, the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association highlights the unique relationship between soil, climate and vintners as expressed in exceptional wines. The 60 members include Oregon’s flagship wineries, boutique wine producers and vineyard owners as well as local B&B’s, restaurants and other businesses. www.dundeehills.org