Dundee: The Center of Northern Willamette Valley!
Last week I wrote about McMinnville, the largest town in the northern Willamette Valley and the furthest from Portland. As we drive north from McMinnville back to Portland along Route 99, the next town with many amenities is Dundee, the town closest to Dundee Hills sub AVA (American Viticultural Area). Dundee is a great choice if you want to stay in the valley and be close to hundreds of wineries as well as walking distance to tasting rooms and great restaurants.
Where to Stay
The heart of Dundee is the Dundee Hotel, located on Route 99. This hotel caters to the wine enthusiast with several tasting rooms (Le Cadeau, Evening Land, Cougar Crest) on site as well as a locavore restaurant, Field + Stream. This boutique hotel displays local art in hotel rooms andoffers suites as well as a larger room for groups up to 6.The concierge staff, headed by Jenna White, is happy to assist in creating an itinerary for you. Jenna is well connected in the valley and a great resource for everything local from food to special events to the art scene.
Several wineries have on-site cottages to rent including Stoller, Beacon Hill and Durant. There are several B&Bs nearby including Black Walnut Inn and La Bastide. The Vintages is an RV park with vintage RVs available for rent and also spaces to BYO.
Walk in either direction from the Dundee Hotel and you can visit several tasting rooms, the most well known is Argyle. Their modern facility includes both tasting and production/storage areas for their classic Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and sparkling wines. Down the street is Purple Hands, Cathedral Ridge, Day Wines, Hyland Estates, Alit and Dobbes, all worth a visit.
Wineries to drive to? Though I recommend letting Triangle Wine Country Tours do the driving, if you have a designated driver, there are many nearby wineries to take you up into the Dundee Hills for the amazing views. Some of my personal favorites in the Dundee Hills include: Furioso, Winderlea, Winters Hill, Durant, Purple Hands’ Haakon Lanai, Knudsen.
Tired of wine ? Try Barn Door Brewery, Branch Point Distillery or Trisaetum which offers both wine tasting and spirits at Brixeur, their on-site distillery.
Hungry? The Dundee Bistro is a local favorite as well as next door Red Hills Market for a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner and local packaged foods. Add Tina’s, Trellis, La Sierra Mexican Grill to offer something for every taste. A short drive south on Rt 99 is the newest tasting room and restaurant at Domaine Willamette, opened in October as a showcase for Willamette Valley Vineyards sparkling wines. Visit for a tasting, a glass of wine, snacks or a meal on scenic grounds surrounded by vines and an impressive room, patio and wine caves.
Restless? Need some exercise after all that eating and drinking? You can hike or run along several trails available on Traveldundeeoregon.com. Biking along Route 99 is easy as Oregon is famous for their abundance of bike lanes.
McMinnville offers one type of wine country experience. I’ll call it more downtown/urban, with more access to stores and services like a bus terminal.
Dundee is more spread out but walkable along both sides of the main thoroughfare through the valley midway between McMinnville and Newberg. It’s a great option to have access to wineries to the north and south.
Next time: Newberg, the gateway town to the Willamette Valley under an hour’s drive from Portland Airport and the Camellia City!