A Wine Tasting Itinerary in Carlton, Oregon
With dozens of wineries within walking distance, Carlton is a dream town for wine lovers.
Located an hour southwest of Portland and ten minutes north of McMinnville, Carlton boasts over twenty tasting rooms, all within walking distance... the highest number of tasting rooms per capita in the entire Untied States! Ken Wright planted roots in Carlton in the 1980s, and over time Carlton has become an epicenter in Oregon's wine industry. In addition to the wineries, there are a great boutiques, bakeries and restaurants to make visiting enjoyable for everyone.
There is no major hotel in Carlton but plenty of vacation rentals and AirBNBs, so we recommend staying in town for a night or two, walking to the tasting rooms and not worrying about the drive home! For this itinerary, we've selected four of the best tasting rooms for you to visit while in Carlton.
One hour from Portland
Carlton is one hour southwest of Portland. Access it via 99W and Hwy 240 at Newberg, or via Hwy 26 to Forest Grove and south on Hwy 47.
Carlton has the most tasting rooms per capita in the United States! We've picked four of the best for you to visit.
Featured On This Tasting Itinerary
The Carlton Winemakers Studio
The Carlton Winemakers Studio is a unique cooperative winery in which 15 different vintners share one space to craft premium Oregon wines. Founded in 2002, the Winemakers Studio is located on the north edge of Carlton and provides the ideal incubator for smaller wineries looking to start or grow their wine brand. Some of Oregon's biggest names got their start here, including Soter and Penner-Ash. Well-loved brands and up-and-comers call the studio home today, including Andrew Rich Wines, Lavinea, Hamacher Wines, Ratio, Lazy River and WildAire.
The modern tasting room features a revolving selection of wines made at the studio. The winery has received impressive accolades over the years, with features in Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, The Oregonian and more. This is a must-visit during your time in Carlton!
Wines Produced: A full range of Oregon wines from 15 different producers. The tasting flight features an ever-changing selection.
Seven of Hearts
Seven of Hearts explores different vineyards, appellations and varietals within Oregon's Willamette Valley and neighboring regions. From Riesling to Roussanne, Pinot Noir to Bordeaux Blends, Winemaker Byron Dooley does not shy away from making wine from a wide variety of grapes grown in the Pacific Northwest. No matter what your taste in wine is, you are sure to find a new favorite at Seven of Hearts. You will usually find Byron behind the tasting room counter, eager to teach tasting room visitors everything there is to know about he varietals he works with and the winemaking process.
Byron's wife Dana owns Honest Chocolates, a chocolaterie that shares space with the charming downtown Carlton tasting room. A chocolate is always included in the wine tasting flight.
Wines Offered: Riesling, Rosé, Pinot Gris, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Bordeaux Blends, Nebbiolo, Dessert Wine
Based in Oregon's Rogue Valley, Troon Vineyard crafts wines that thrive in the hot Southern Oregon climate. The satellite tasting room in Carlton offers a chance to break away from Pinot Noir and try bigger red wines that thrive in warmer conditions, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The white wines also are a departure from what is normally offered in the Willamette Vally, with Vermentino and Roussanne being highlights. The tasting room has plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your tasting, or head to the back patio on nice days to sit and relax for awhile.
Wines Offered: Vermentino, White Blends, Roussanne, Riesling, Orange Wine, Grenache, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Red Blends, Merlot, Sangiovese, Dessert Wine
"This is a great winery for bold southern Oregon wines that are a great break for the Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs." KH, Google Review
Winemaker Dave Grooters began his foray in the Oregon wine industry as a vineyard manager for Ken Wright, and by 2001 he was producing his own wine under the Carlton Cellars label. His focus then and now is to produce excellent small-batch wine from the best nearby Carlton vineyards. Dave planted his own estate vineyard east of Carlton in 2003, and in 2007 opened their winery facility and tasting room in the heart of Carlton. Dave and his team have built up a respectable following of wine lovers over the years thanks to their great hospitality and delicious Oregon wines.
Wines Offered: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Pinot Noir
"I can’t express how warm and welcoming this tasting room is; the wines are affordable and delicious. Highly recommend!!" SL, Google Review
"I love the wine, and the people at this Winery. I always have wonderful, memorable days here." JJ, Google Review
“Seven of Hearts has a great variety of whites, Pinot Noirs and big-reds and all of them are made with pride and care. Byron, the wine maker, and Mac, the tasting room manager are personable and knowledgeable, and the wines are all delightful.”
Seven of HeartsColleen Lees | Google Review
“I know that you're out here to taste Pinot Noir, but get your booty to Troon! They have the most delicious (and affordable) bigger red wines sourced from Southern Oregon!”
TroonSerena C. | Yelp Review
“Everything at the Carlton Winemakers Studio is exceptional! From the caliber of winemakers and the quality and variety of wines being turned out - there is no other place like it. The wine club is on point with fun and different events and the best part is you are sharing them with a variety of winemakers.”
Carlton Winemakers StudioShannon H | Yelp Review