What to Consider
The Willamette Valley is famous for its wine, especially Pinot Noir. While it’s becoming a more popular tourist destination for wine tastings, as well as delicious food, the weather in Oregon can be unpredictable. Rather, Oregon is not particularly known for it’s abundance of sunshine. While this may not bother many wine seekers, some want to be sure that their wine tastings are accompanied with beautiful weather. We share more about the best time of year to visit the Willamette Valley, depending on what you want to get out of your trip.
If you are looking for sunshine and longer days, summer is the time to plan your Willamette Valley vacation. The summer time will be warm and dry, with less likelihood of rain, compared to the rest of the year. This is also a popular time of year for wineries to hold special events, festivals and vineyard tours. If you want to see the actual fruit on the vines, summer is the best time of the year to visit the Willamette Valley. Summer is also considered more of a down time for winemakers, since the planting has been done, but harvesting and bottling won’t happen for a few more months.
Spring is a nice time to plan your wine tasting trip if you are looking for a more relaxed vacation. While it will likely be rainy and cool, locals enjoy the springtime in the Willamette Valley because it’s pretty peaceful and quiet. In the spring, you will encounter less crowded wineries and tasting rooms where you can really talk to employees to learn more about the wine. Furthermore, if you plan to buy cases of wine to ship them home, you likely won’t need to pay extra to ship the wine overnight due to extreme temperatures.
Fall and Winter
Fall and winter are the busy time for wineries. Why? This is when harvest begins, as well as the actual creation of the wine. For this reason, if you plan your wine tastings during this time of year, you may encounter extra busy tasting rooms and wineries. However, if you time it right, you could be able to participate in harvest activities like grape stomps or perhaps even getting to help harvest the grapes. Keep in mind that many tasting rooms close their doors until the end of March or operate on a limited schedule during the fall and winter months.