wine newcomer

Argyle Winery

Less than an hour from Portland, the state’s most celebrated wine country is so close it’s easy to put off visiting for another day. For newcomers—and procrastinators—here’s what should be on every Willamette Valley virgin’s shortlist.  



wine newcomer spa

Allison Inn & Spa

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The exquisite Allison Inn & Spa is not just for Napa Valley-spoiled Californians or jet-setting oenophiles; it’s the ideal getaway for Portlanders in need of some pampering. The rooms have a spare, Japan-meets-Northwest aesthetic. There’s an indoor pool and a Jacuzzi, a lavish spa, and a mile-long trail around the property for moonlit walks. Add impeccable service and a terroir-focused restaurant, and you’ll see why the Allison is in a class of its own. 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg; ?503-554-2525;; doubles from $295


Pioneering winemaker David Lett planted Oregon’s first commercial pinot noir vineyard in the Dundee Hills in 1966. His son Jason Lett continues the legacy of the family’s Eyrie Vineyards with exemplary pinots and chardonnays plus his own Melon de Bourgogne (the grape used in Muscadet) made from the property’s oldest vines. Jason Lett’s ingenious re-engineering of a Swiss hand-bottling machine called the Elva makes rare library wines such as an ’87 chardonnay and an ’88 Pinot Reserve available by the pour ($15 for a six-flight library tasting). 935 NE 10th Ave, McMinnville; Wed–Sun noon–5; 503-472-6315; ?; $5 for four pours


Don’t let the understated exterior of Tina’s fool you. Opened by Tina and David Bergen 19 years ago, Tina’s serves some of the valley’s most sophisticated food. Locals and visitors alike come for inspired dishes made from regional, organic ingredients, such as the panfried Willapa Bay oysters served with sorrel mayo or a buttery risotto studded with crispy pancetta and wild mushrooms. 760 Hwy 99W, Dundee; 503-538-8880