Welcome back to Part 5 of my free wine tasting series! We are going to continue on with the famous Willamette Valley since it was too long to fit all in one blog post last time. If you are interested, you can find the first Willamette Valley post here. The day that we visited these wineries, it was, unfortunately, raining all day. It seems that I can’t get away from bad weather. First, it was the smoke/fires and now it’s the rain. Let’s be honest though, I’ll take the rain over fires any day.
If this is your first time to this series, the way to receive the free wine tastings is that you must have flown on Alaska Airlines to one of the participating cities and will visit one of the participating wineries within a certain amount of days. More info on the program can be found here. Also, COVID precautions are still in place here. Seatings are limited and reservations are strongly encouraged.
Below are the three wineries we visited that day. Feel free to click the links below if you want to jump to their specific section.
Saffron Fields Vineyards (Yamhill-
Great Oregon Wine Co./Duck Pond Cellars (Willamette Valley AVA)
Argyle Winery (Dundee Hills AVA)
Disclaimer: This is not a partnership blog post with Alaska Airlines. This is solely my experience using Alaska Airlines Free Wine Tasting Program and all opinions are of my own.
SAFFRON FIELDS VINEYARDS (WINERY #12)
TASTING: $25 FOR 4 WINES (COMPLIMENTARY WITH ALASKA AIRLINES)
My jaw literally dropped when we walked into this winery. I knew it was going to be a nice winery from the pictures that I’ve seen, but I had no idea it was going to this fancy. Once you step inside, you’ll be transported into this architecturally grand and modern building filled with windows, art, and of course, wine. Not to mention the beautiful Japanese garden in the back (which was the real reason I wanted to come). I was truly sad that it was raining that day so we couldn’t enjoy the outside as much, but at least it gave a very cozy romantic feel to the place.
We probably spent half the time just taking pictures, strolling through the garden, and gawking at the art. The art piece with the lighted bars was fun to watch because it apparently will never repeat a color pattern in someone’s lifetime. We tried to ask how long it would take to repeat again, but our waitress, unfortunately, did not know the answer. If anyone finds out, please let me know! I think my favorite art piece though was the digital flower installation. It is a floor-to-ceiling projection that is continuously scrolling on a loop showcasing various types of poisonous flowers.
For the free wine tasting deal, they offer you their standard tasting where you are served four wines side-by-side. At the time, we were presented with one chardonnay and three pinot noirs. The bottle prices ranged from around $45-$60. My boyfriend and I had a hard time choosing which pinot noir we liked more, but in the end, decided to get a bottle of the 2017 Heritage Clones Pinot Noir.
Address // Saffron Fields Vineyards, 18748 NE Laughlin Rd. Yamhill, OR 97148
Reservations // Tock
DUCK POND CELLARS/GREAT OREGON WINE CO. (WINERY #13)
TASTING: $20 FOR 5 WINES (COMPLIMENTARY WITH ALASKA AIRLINES)
We found Duck Pond Cellars through the Oregon Wine Board’s free wine tasting list that you can find here. It’s a little confusing when you are trying to find the location because they are actually now a part of the Great Oregon Wine Co. The Great Oregon Wine Co. has a couple of different labels under their company, which gives you a chance to sample multiple wineries at once. There’s even a spirit tasting if you prefer to try that out instead of the wines.
The premise is very cute and quaint and our server was absolutely the star of the show. He was super friendly and passionate about the wines. They also let us bring in our own lunch to eat with our wine tasting. There was a table next to us that brought a whole cheese and charcuterie spread which I thought was genius. Not sure if they are still allowing this so be sure to call and double-check.
Address // Duck Pond Cellars 23145 Hwy 99W, Dundee, OR 97115
Reservations // Call 503-538-3199
ARGYLE WINERY (WINERY #14)
TASTING: $25-$30 FOR 4 WINES (COMPLIMENTARY WITH ALASKA AIRLINES)
Argyle Winery is probably one of the more popular wineries in the Willamette Valley. They are one of the few wineries that have a wide selection of sparkling wines. I’m actually surprised there aren’t more sparkling houses in Willamette Valley. Since champagne is usually made up of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, you would think a region known for pinot noirs would also be flushed with sparkling wines. If I ever find out why this isn’t the case, I will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, Argyle is a must-visit when you’re in town and are looking for some sparkling.
Argyle is another beautiful modern winery with a huge tasting room with lots of windows and outdoor seating. Even though the outdoor seating was covered, it was too cold for us to sit outside. Inside was busy, but still very spacious. This was probably the busiest winery we visited in all of Oregon so far so make sure you make a reservation. We actually got to choose between three tastings: Tasting House Flight ($25), Pop Flight ($30), Pinot Noir Flight ($30). We opted for the first two since we felt like it was going to give us the most variety. Our server was even nice enough to pour us an extra tasting of the Reserve Chardonnay that wasn’t on the tasting menu. We liked it so much that we ultimately ended up buying a bottle of it.
Address // Argyle Winery, 691 Highway 99W Dundee, OR 97115
Reservations // Tock