At Yamhill, head east of Route 47 on Route 240 to find, in a beautiful rural setting, the hillside vineyards of Willakenzie Estate (19143 NE Laughlin Rd., 503/662-3280). The three-level gravity-fed design of the winery (a tradition in Burgundy) allows gentle handling of the wine. Along with several different estate-grown pinot noirs, the tasting room pours a lush pinot gris and a crisp pinot blanc. Don’t miss this place—even though it’s off the main highways, it’s a real treat to visit.
East of Willakenzie in the area known as Ribbon Ridge are a number of mostly small wineries. These back roads, which lie north and west of Newberg , are home to some of Oregon ’s finest wineries. Beaux Frères (15155 NE North Valley Rd., 503/537-1137, open only by appointment and on Memorial Day and Thanksgiving weekends), an old pig farm that has been transformed into a top-notch winery, is partially owned by Wine Advocate author and publisher Robert Parker (no, he doesn’t rate his own wines).
Patricia Green Cellars (15225 NE North Valley Rd., 503/554-0821, open Memorial Day and Thanksgiving weekends, at other times call ahead for an appointment) is another small, very well respected winery specializing in pinot noir and sauvignon blanc.