AWG Correspondent

Jade Helm

Yamhill Valley Vineyards Photos

Yamhill Valley Vineyards Review

Regions: Willamette Valley AVA, McMinnville AVA, Oregon

Reviewed: May 17, 2014 by Jade Helm
Published: July 27, 2014

Yamhill Valley Vineyards seems quaint upon arrival. The entry drive has views of some of the 100+ acres of vines. Wine barrel planters spilling with colorful flowers line the path. A large koi pond with waterfall offers a moment to slow down a bit from the bustle of tourism.

The outside of the tasting room is a painted facade of an old world stone winery. The entrance takes guests by the cool, dimly lit barrel room. Visitors then enter the tasting room; bright with natural light and the greeting of the naturally hospitable Tasting Room Manager, Linda Arnold.

If I could, I would award Yamhill Valley Vineyards a 5+++ on service. Arnold creates a welcoming atmosphere as she visits around the room and gives everyone special attention. Knowledgeable and fun, Arnold makes the wine tasting experience seem like a party.

Yamhill Valley Vineyards in the McMinnville feels like a little break in the wine tasting day. There is ample seating at the bar and around several tables. The Vineyard Manager handcrafts the furniture from old wine barrels. Other furnishings are antiques from the owners' travels, including a marble pastry table from the 1700's. A back deck is filled with the sounds of songbirds. While food is not served, guests are allowed to bring snacks. There is no rush here, just take your time and enjoy the wine.

There is a lot of wine to enjoy. There are three tasting flights - Signature, Pinot noir, or Whites. Pick one or all three. On our visit, we tasted seven wines. Among them were Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Riesling all from estate fruit. The Chardonnay is a cool climate stainless steel style full of crisp tart apple flavors. Yamhill Valley Vineyards Riesling is off dry. In addition to this large range of varieties, Yamhill Valley Vineyards offers a wide range of price points; from $15 Pinot Gris to their $60 Tall Poppy

We were lucky to taste a preview of 2012 Reserve Pinot noir. This remarkable wine kept changing in the glass. Layered flavors included earth, dried fruit, lavender, Christmas spices, cherry and black pepper. We also got a sneak peak at the 2013 Tall Poppy. This Pinot noir is bottled only in special vintages. In fact there have only been 8 in the past 31 years. Surprisingly both 2012 and 2013 have been Tall Poppy years. The name means a person who is ostentatious but genuinely deserving of accolades. "It ain't bragging if it is true." Both the 2012 Reserve Pinot noir and 2012 Tall Poppy are slated to release in early 2015.

Yamhill Valley Vineyards is the oldest winery in the McMinnville AVA: the first vintage was 1983. Make this a McMinnville stop for the history, the variety of wines, and the chance to relax a bit along the tasting trail.

Address & Contact Information: 16250 Oldsville Rd. McMinnville, Oregon 97128. Telephone: 503-843-3100, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Apr-Dec: 11:00-5:00; Jan-Mar: Thurs-Sun 11:00-4:00.

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