Newberg’s proximity to Portland makes a day trip tempting. But if you’ve got the time, spending a night or two adds an entirely new dimension to your wine country experience. So book a bed and breakfast, fuel up the car, and toss an empty wine case (or two) in the trunk. Some of the best wine tasting in the world is right on Portland’s doorstep, and you’ll be there before you know it.


While there are a handful of tasting rooms in Newberg proper, to get the real experience, you’ll be best-served by hopping in the car for a short drive out of city limits. Many wineries also now require reservations, especially for sit-down experiences that pair flights with food or involve excursions into the vineyard.

Raring to go? Stop off at August Cellars on your way into downtown Newberg. In addition to August Cellars’ own label, eight other boutique producers make their wines at this 16,000 square foot facility, including Crowley Wines, Twill Cellars, and Ovum Wines. The Schaad family has been farming on this property since 1942, so it’s fitting that the tasting room experience is satisfyingly old-school: No reservations needed, picnics welcome, warm banter at the bar encouraged.

WHERE TO TASTE (continued)

Raring to go? Stop off at August Cellars on your way into downtown Newberg. In addition to August Cellars’ own label, eight other boutique producers make their wines at this 16,000 square foot facility, including Crowley Wines, Twill Cellars, and Ovum Wines. The Schaad family has been farming on this property since 1942, so it’s fitting that the tasting room experience is satisfyingly old-school: No reservations needed, picnics welcome, warm banter at the bar encouraged.

You can choose from an all-August Cellars flight, or a Building flight featuring August Cellars’ wines as well as those from other producers made onsite. Whatever you choose, don’t miss August Cellars’ 2009 Marechal Foch, which features an unusual grape known for its inky color and rich, savory flavor that pairs beautifully with grilled lamb or spicy charcuterie. “We’ve always loved things beyond pinot,” explains winemaker Tom Schaad.

For self-described “contrarian” Scott Flora, hearing that pinot noir would “never ripen” on his property’s north-facing slope landed as more of a dare than a warning. Today, the proof is in every bottle of Native Flora’s ‘Heretic’ pinot noir, made entirely from estate fruit grown on a 30% grade with north exposure. “This is my neener-neener wine,” says Scott with a smile.

Open by appointment only, Native Flora offers an intimate tasting room experience led by the owners and designed for people who are serious about wine. That doesn’t mean the winery takes itself too seriously. Classic, ageworthy Oregon pinots rub shoulders with irreverent releases like “Ruby Primo,” a rosé so dark as to be practically red, or the 2018 ‘L’autre’ Pinot Noir, which showcases “renegade” barrels that don’t quite fit with the primary character of their vintage. An aerie-like tasting room offers sweeping views of the Chehalem Mountains.

Just down the road, Alexana Vineyard and Winery farms 55 acres of grapes across 18 different soil types, giving the winemakers a remarkable palette of flavors to work with. Super-knowledgeable staff make geeking out over soil types and clones a pleasure, if that’s your thing. If not, you’ll still find plenty to love, including textbook Oregon pinots with brilliant red fruit and haunting aromatics, plus a delightful cheese and charcuterie pairing plate (order ahead). Feel like getting a little closer to those vines? Book a Rover tour to be whisked through the vineyard to taste wines right on the patch of Earth where the fruit in your glass was grown.

The Oregon wine industry is famously collaborative, and Alexana might not exist at all if not for Lynn Penner-Ash of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. When the vineyard property was first listed for sale, it was Lynn who called Alexana’s owner, Madaiah Revana, with the alert that a remarkable parcel had just hit the market. Lynn even helped design Alexana’s cellar, which is why it looks so similar to Penner-Ash’s production floor. Just eight minutes north, this anchor of the Ribbon Ridge AVA pours concentrated, fruit-focused pinot noirs showcasing estate fruit as well as grapes sourced from other top-tier vineyards like Hyland and Shea Vineyard.

Patricia Green Cellars, also in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, proudly claims to produce more individual bottlings of pinot noir than any other winery in the nation. Here, pinot lovers can taste their way through the full spectrum of this famously versatile grape, from bright, cranberry-inflected releases from cooler vintages to brooding, concentrated wines made from some of the most iconic vineyards in the state.

White wines more your style? You’re in luck. Just to the east is Adelsheim Vineyard. Founded in 1972, Adelsheim was the very first winery in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, and it’s still setting the pace, particularly when it comes to chardonnay. Co-founder David Adelsheim helped import the first early-ripening Dijon clones of chardonnay into the United States in the 1980s, and Adelsheim’s chardonnays are some of the best in the valley. Book a single vineyard tasting to taste library wines and club-only exclusives paired with an assortment of local nibbles.

Oregon is decidedly not Europe, but you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in the Mosel at J. Christopher in the Chehalem Mountains. It’s owned by Ernst Loosen, an internationally famous German winemaker whose family has been growing and making wine in Germany for more than 200 years. Grab a seat on the patio to enjoy beautiful landscaping and rolling valley views while you savor a rotating flight of J. Christopher wines, including estate wines and those showcasing fruit from elsewhere.

Expect inspiration from European traditions, like sauvignon blanc inspired by Sancerre and or chardonnays every bit as flinty as Chablis. Loosen’s importing business is also based in Oregon, which means you can tuck a couple bottles of German Riesling to that case of pinot you take home.

Just down the road, ROCO Winery makes an ideal stop for bubble-lovers. Founded by Oregon sparkling wine pioneer Rollin Soles, who helped found Argyle Winery in the 1980s, ROCO elevates this celebratory style to an entirely new level. First, taste ROCO’s refined still wines, including chardonnays and pinot noirs. Then move on to their RMS brut, a supremely elegant sparkler made in the Champagne style.

On your way back to town, don’t miss Rain Dance Vineyards. Owned by the same family as the Allison Inn & Spa, this laid-back, ultra-comfortable tasting room occupies a remodeled craftsman home, spilling out onto a tiered patio complete with oversized fire pits and botanical garden-like grounds. Estate fruit from different vineyards forms the basis of a canonically Oregon collection of wines, including riesling, gewürztraminer, chardonnay, and red and rosé pinot noirs. A short walking path passes through vineyards to connect Rain Dance Vineyards to the Allison Inn & Spa, which makes it an appealing choice for an aperitif before dinner reservations at JORY.


It might look like an auto body shop, but don’t be fooled: See See Motor Coffee Co. is indeed a motorcycle club, but it also serves the best espresso in town. Start your engines with a latte and pastry before hitting your first tasting room of the day.

If plans call for a picnic, swing in to Good Company to stock up on charcuterie, crackers, nuts, preserves, and an exceptional selection of domestic and imported cheeses cut to order. Or grab a table and let the cheesemonger make you a selection of cheeses and accompaniments.

The Painted Lady Restaurant is the undisputed apex of Newberg’s fine dining scene. Seasonal tasting menus focus on high-quality local ingredients in sophisticated preparations. Opt for a wine pairing for more variety, or pick a bottle from The Painted Lady’s deep cellar, which includes Northwest and world wines.

“Farm-to-table” is interpreted quite literally at JORY, the fine dining restaurant at the Allison Inn & Spa, where the a la carte and tasting menus feature produce grown directly onsite. For a quick lunch, the Painted Hills “Pinot” Burger, which features Tillamook white cheddar, charred onion relish, arugula, Dijon aioli, and bacon on a house-made bun, is a wine country classic. If you have more time, book the chef’s table for a memorable dining experience featuring local seafood and vibrant Northwest flavors.

Wine flows freely at SubTerra Kitchen & Cellar, a subterranean restaurant that was recently purchased by husband-and-wife team Javier Santos and Stephanie Fagerstrom. An Oregon-centric list of wines by the glass or bottle complements a menu featuring updated takes on classics, like a savory French Onion bisque that translates the iconic flavors of the bistro classic into a silkier format. Ruddick & Wood, Rosemarino, Trellis, and The Newburgundian are other great options for lunch or dinner.

Hankering for something sweet to finish off the night? Stop in at Jem 100, a ‘50s-style ice cream parlor and burger joint, for a combined sugar and nostalgia rush. Grab a waffle cone scooped by a local high school student, then slip a quarter in the jukebox and settle into a vinyl-seat booth to reminisce about your first job.


It’s (almost) possible to get the full wine country experience without leaving the 35-acre grounds of the luxurious 85-room Allison Inn & Spa. Start with coffee in front of your in-room gas fireplace, then stroll down to the spa for a rejuvenating massage and a signature “Divine Wine” facial that uses wine grapes to firm and nourish skin. If you’re inspired by the art-filled spaces at the Allison, visit Art Elements Gallery in downtown Newberg, which represents over 50 Oregon artists, including some whose work is exhibited at the Allison Inn & Spa.

Newberg’s country lanes are also dotted with great, independently owned small inns and bed and breakfasts. There’s something very Oregon about how the Willamette Valley B&B manages to fuse the fun of staying with a friend with the comfort of a luxury hotel. Five large, comfortable rooms feature fireplaces, deep soaking tubs, heated floors, and private patios equipped with Adirondack chairs for watching the sun set. Thoughtful details, like pillows in a range of densities, hint at the owners’ long background in hospitality, while homemade soaps and hand-painted tiles add a cheerfully homey feel.

Locally roasted coffee, homemade granola, and pastries baked by a former Papa Hyden’s pastry chef start every morning right at Chehalem Ridge Bed and Breakfast. An ideal location just north of Newberg makes for a perfect jumping off point for wine country adventures–and if you need ideas, owners Kristin and Curt are able to help book tastings at their favorite producers. Or indulge your fantasies of a wine country pied-a-terre at The Setting Inn. Every inch of the incredible grounds surrounding this 8-room luxury inn is fair game for strolling, sitting, and sipping, including a regulation bocce court and a central courtyard equipped with fire pits and board games. But it’s the standout breakfast box delivered right to your door–complete with mimosa fixings–that delivers perhaps the most compelling argument for why waking up in wine country is such a delight.


For more information about visiting Newberg, the Gateway to Oregon Wine Country:
Taste Newberg