A Wine Tasting Itinerary in Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills
Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills, located west of Salem and 45 minutes southwest of Portland, features some of the top vineyards and wineries in the state.
The Eola-Amity Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a wonderland for tasters looking to get a bit off the beaten path in search of some of Oregon’s best wine. There are nearly 30 wineries and countless more vineyards throughout the Eola-Amity Hills. A defining characteristic of this region is the cool maritime air that flows from the coast to the valley via the Van Duzer Corridor. This cold air keeps daytime temperatures in check and ultimately pushes the vines to work harder, heightening the aromatic qualities of wine made from the region’s grapes.
On this itinerary, we've highlighted three of our favorite wineries to visit in the Eola-Amity Hills!
One Hour from Portland
The Eola-Amity Hills are just over an hour down I5 from Portland, with the optional shortcut of the Wheatland Ferry
17 Tasting Rooms
There are seventeen tasting rooms in the Eola-Amity Hills. We've picked three of the best for this tasting itinerary.
Check out this resource for a list of vacation rentals and B&Bs for an overnight stay in the Eola-Amity Hills
Featured Eola-Amity Hills Wineries
Founded in 2006, the Björnson family opened their beautiful estate winery and tasting room in 2016. Winemaker Pattie Björnson crafts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé and Auxerrois solely from fruit grown on the estate vineyard. The winery has quickly made a name for itself thanks to exceptional hospitality in the tasting room, beautiful wines, and their dedication to sustainable faming practices. With commanding views of the vineyard, valley, and Mt. Hood in the distance, Björnson Vineyard is a must-visit winery on your next wine tasting venture to the Eola-Amity Hills.
Sidenote: While we try not to repeat the featured WineryHunt wineries each year, this was the member favorite in 2019, so we had to bring in back for our 2020 members!
Wines Offered: Chardonnay, Auxerrois, Rosé, Pinot Noir
"Our experience was fantastic. Gerry and the Bjornson’s provide a fun and informative journey through their wine selections. I’d recommend to anyone looking for good wine and a memorable visit!" -CW, Google Review
Brooks is an acclaimed Oregon winery in the Eola-Amity Hills, esteemed both for its wines and tasting room experience.
Since its founding in 1998, Brooks has become one of Oregon's most popular wineries because it offers everything a wine lover could want. The biodynamic wines are some of the best in the valley, with a particularly impressive assortment of white wines. The tasting room atmosphere is just plain cool, and the view of the estate vineyard and lower valley hard to beat. There are always special events and unique experiences, like winemaker dinners, yoga, bingo nights and more. Overall, this is a can't-miss winery in the Willamette Valley. In addition to Pinot noir, Brooks produces beautiful aromatic white wines, including a full range of Rieslings, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and the amazing Amycas white blend.
Wines Offered: Pinot Noir, Riesling, White Blends, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Muscat
"First of all, you can't find a more gorgeous view. Second, the staff was so friendly and the atmosphere was very welcoming! Even though it was fairly busy, April was so attentive and had lots of great suggestions for us, getting to know both our tastes and our price range to find a bottle of wine that everyone in the group would love." -GD, Google Review
After more than decade selling wine in some of Portland’s finest restaurants, including a 14-year stint at Higgins, owner/winemaker John Grochau plunged into winemaking. He spent a year in Sonoma before returning to Oregon to work at Erath Winery, and then worked alongside winemaker Doug Tunnel at Brick House Vineyards for four years. His first vintage as owner and winemaker at Grochau Cellars was 2002.
With Grochau’s restaurant experience, there was a natural progression as a winemaker to craft food-friendly wines that enhance a meal. Grochau strives to make wines that are balanced, textured and expressive of place. Inspired by the diversity of the Willamette Valley’s soils and microclimates, Grochau sources fruit from organic and sustainably-farmed vineyards. Grapes are hand-harvested and wines undergo a slow, natural fermentation. Working with grape varieties with a legacy in the Willamette Valley – namely Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc – Grochau also seeks to showcase the potential of emerging varieties like Melon de Bourgogne and Gamay.
The Grochau Cellars tasting room is perched at the top of one of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA's iconic hills and offers beautiful views cherry orchards and the peaks of the Coastal Mountain Range.
Wines Offered: Pinot Noir Chardonnay Gamay Melon de Bourgogne Syrah Tempranillo
"We visited the new tasting room overlooking the mountains in Amity and had a fantastic time! John, the owner, had a story for each of the wines and the selection was great." -KK, Yelp Review