This gap allows Pacific Ocean air to flow eastward into the Willamette Valley, moderating summer heat. The influence of the Van Duzer Corridor extends to the McMinnville and Eola- Amity Hills AVAs, but is perhaps most strongly impacted in the vineyards around Dallas and Rickreall. The cooling effect of the corridor leads to longer hang-times for the fruit and more complex wines for the wineries within the Van Duzer Corridor AVA.
Here are our top recommended wineries for your visit to this unique Oregon winegrowing region.
3855 Morris Rd, Dallas, OR 97338
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir,
Located in the rolling hills of the Van Duzer AVA, Andante Vineyard offers beautiful views, memorable wines and generous staff. The word andante in classical music lexicon means a moderate tempo, a calming cadence. You’ll find this to be the rhythm at Andante Vineyard as well, a serene environment to take in the views and enjoy classic Oregon wines. The vineyards are LIVE Certified sustainable and Salmon Safe.
Why We Love Andante: Beyond a lovely visit to the winery itself, your tasting adventure can be bookended with a trip to the nearby Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, which features numerous hiking trails ideal for wildlife watching.
1600 Oak Grove Rd, Salem, OR 97304
Wines: Sparkling Wines, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends, Dessert Wines
Planted in 2008, Legacy Estate Vineyard is the vineyard of longtime Oregon winery Eola Hills Wine Cellars. Situated on a southwest-facing hillside that’s dotted with native White Oak trees, Legacy offers spectacular views of the Willamette Valley and the Coast Range. The tasting room on the property opened in 2018 and offers a stunningly gorgeous views of the property…. the ideal location to relax while you taste through the Eola Hills Winery wines.
As a side-note: Technically this vineyard is in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA and not the new Van Duzer AVA, though the impact of the corridor is very much still felt here.
Why We Love Eola Hills Legacy Estate: Wiking! Enjoy a flight of wine as well as a hike around the property during your visit.
4285 N Pacific Hwy W, Rickreall, OR 97371
Wines: Melon de Bourgogne, Petillant-Natural, Sparkling Wines, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Blaufränkisch
Johan Vineyards is an 85-acre organic, biodynamic vineyard & winery in Rickreall, 15 minutes northwest of Salem. The afternoon ocean breezes and cool evening temperatures of the Van Duzer Corridor lead to Burgundian-inspired wines of higher acid and complexity. All the wines are made in small, hand-crafted batches and cover a wide range of varietals including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Vin Gris, Blaufrankisch and Grüner Veltliner. Reviews for Johan consistently mention how friendly and educational the winery and tasting room staff are, and praise for Johan’s wines are abundant among casual wine tasters and professional critics alike. There is ample seating outside with beautiful views, so be sure to visit and stay awhile!
Why We Love Johan: If you’re curious about biodynamics and natural winemaking techniques, these are wines you need to try.
4225 N Pacific Hwy W, Rickreall, OR 97371
Wines: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Syrah
Left Coast farms 142 acres of vines on their nearly 500 acre Estate, which is largely sedimentary soil laid down by the Missoula floods and some volcanic soil as well. Sustainability is at the core of everything that Left Coast Estate does… They received the largest USDA grant in Oregon in 2008 to go solar, and the vast majority of the estate’s electrical needs are supplied by the ground and roof mounted solar arrays. The winery and vineyards are LIVE certified and Salmon Safe as well. The gorgeous property has a walking trail through the vineyards and oak forest, as well as many outdoor spaces to enjoy your flight of wines. For those with an appetite, daily food specials are served Monday-Thursday and Wood-fired pizzas are served Friday-Sunday.
Why We Love Left Coast: If your curiosity extends to other fruit fermentations, Left Coast Estate also produces intriguing apple ciders.
11975 Smithfield Rd, Dallas, OR 97338
Wines: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rosé, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oregon Port, Dessert Wine
Proprietors Carl and Marilynn Thoma were among the first to choose the foothills at the mouth of the Van Duzer Corridor to create their family estate in 1998, intrigued by the potential of the microclimate and its ability to produce evocative Pinot Noir. The estate’s 84 planted acres are in the direct path of marine winds and benefit from the cooling gusts that moderate the temperatures over the vineyard, guaranteeing a long, beneficial growing season year after year.
Why We Love Van Duzer: Van Duzer is an foundational vineyard of the Van Duzer Corridor AVA. Stop by for excellent wines in a beautiful tasting room.