1. ARGYLE WINERY As you’re sitting in what can often be an endless traffic snarl in Dundee, simply visualize Argyle’s creamy blanc de blancs sparkling wine, which is always worth the wait. An easy first stop on your journey into the Dundee Hills AVA, Argyle’s tasting room is conveniently perched on Dundee’s main drag and possesses a certain unassuming air—perhaps a reflection of owner Rollin Soles’s humble approach to winemaking. After you’ve sampled Argyle’s complex sparkling wines, be sure to get a taste of the winery’s top-shelf chardonnay and pinot, bottled under the Nuthouse and Spirithouse labels. 691 Hwy 99W, Dundee; 503-538-8520; Mon-Sun 11-5
2. ARCHERY SUMMIT WINERY Set amid 100 acres of estate-owned vineyards in the Dundee Hills, Archery Summit uses grapes grown on some of the oldest vines in the region, including those of the superb Arcus vineyard, whose fruit composes Archery Summit’s best pinot noir. From the outside, the eye-catching winery seems to stretch forever into the hills, but the tasting room is quite small—although not lacking in personality. A tour through the winery’s facility is recommended: Its underground wine caves are impressively similar to those in Burgundy. 18599 NE Archery Summit Rd, Dayton; 503-864-4300; Wed-Sun 10-4
3. DOMAINE DROUHIN OREGON There are few who will disagree that Domaine Drouhin’s reputation for producing superb pinot helped bring Willamette Valley viticulturalism into the limelight, perhaps in part because the Drouhin family actually hails from Burgundy—where they maintain their other prestigious winery, Maison Joseph Drouhin. Domaine Drouhin’s vast estate atop the Dundee Hills offers a panoramic view of the valley; their wines offer a similar “view” of the heights to which pinot noir can soar in Oregon. Indeed, our wine critic has included Domaine Drouhin’s Laurène pinot as a top 10 Pacific Northwest wine. 6750 NE Breyman Orchards Rd, Dayton; 503-864-2700; Wed-Sun 11-4
4. CARLTON WINEMAKERS STUDIO Co-owned by talented winemaker Eric Hamacher, this large-scale, cooperative “winery” offers a lab for budding or small-production winemakers who don’t want to open a facility of their own. By visiting the studio’s tasting room or sitting out on its patio with a flight, you’ll be able to taste wines from 11 different labels produced by 8 winemakers. Hamacher, who has produced impressive pinot noir and chardonnay since he opened the studio in 2002, vinifies three of the labels himself. 801 N Scott St, Carlton; 503-852-6100; Thur-Sun 11-5 (Jan-Feb), daily 11-5 (Mar-Dec)
ALSO WORTH A VISIT
5. DOMAINE SERENE WINERY 6555 NE Hilltop Ln, Dayton; 503-864-4600; Wed-Sun 11-4
The Lowdown: Exquisite winery whose pinot has consistently beat out those from Burgundy in blind tastings; snatch up a bottle of the Evenstad pinot noir.
6. FOUR GRACES 9605 NE Fox Farm Rd, Dundee; 800-245-2950; daily 10-5
The Lowdown: Good pinot noir, but the whites here, especially the pinot gris, are among the best in Oregon.
7. TYRUS EVAN 120 N Pine St, Carlton; 503-852-7010; daily 11-5 (only white wines available for tasting)
The Lowdown: A tasting room that pours Ken Wright’s Southern Oregon wine label, Tyrus Evan.
8. LANGE ESTATE WINERY & VINEYARDS 18380 NE Buena Vista Dr, Dundee; 503-538-6476; daily 11-5
The Lowdown: Located at the top of the Dundee Hills; top-quality pinot noir, especially their reserve bottlings, all made by early winemaking pioneer Don Lange.
9. LEMELSON WINERY 12020 NE Stag Hollow Rd, Carlton; 503-852-6619; by appointment only
The Lowdown: Casual, understated winery that doesn’t compromise class; offers pinot appropriate for aging, as well as some meant for early drinkability (as in the Thea’s Selection).
10. RAPTOR RIDGE WINERY 130 W Monroe St, Carlton; 503-367-4263; by appointment only
The Lowdown: Set in a new warehouse in Carlton, the winery owns vineyards in the Chehalem AVA, but also uses grapes sourced from all over the valley to make its single-vineyard pinot noir.
11. SCOTT PAUL WINES 128 S Pine St, Carlton; 503-852-7300; Wed-Sun 11-4
The Lowdown: Excellent pinot noir from grapes grown in some of the valley’s most sought-after vineyards; also imports and sells pinot and chardonnay from Burgundy.
12. SOLENA CELLARS 213 S Pine St, Carlton; 503-852-0082; Thur-Sun 12-5, or by appointment
The Lowdown: Many bottlings are made from grapes grown in multiple Oregon AVAs; ask for a taste of Solena’s pinot made from its newest Yamhill-Carlton estate vineyard.
13. STOLLER VINEYARDS & WINERY 16161 NE McDougall Rd, Dayton; 503-864-3404; Sat-Sun 10-5, Mon-Fri by appointment
The Lowdown: A new winery owned by Bill and Cathy Stoller, who have built a reputation selling Dundee Hills grapes to prominent wineries.