Thoughts on these Willamette Wineries

Staying at Youngberghill and have read a lot of the previous posts about the area.

I could just stay in McMinnville too (I love Westrey wines, but looking for some new finds), but I’m curious about these wineries (style, price point, tasting experiences, etc) below that were recommended to me:

Penner Ash




Elk Cove



I like Penner-Ash for really enjoyable wines value priced wines with good typicity. Bergstrom wines also very positive, but seemed more varied stylistically. I’ve had elegant wines and I’ve had brutes from them.

Penner-Ash has a beautiful site and pleasant tasting room. The style is on the rich and ripe side that is not what forum members here generally prefer. The wines are well made, and from top notch vineyards, but I no longer buy them.

Bergstrom used to be large framed and heavily oaked, though again well made and from top vineyards.
Word is that the oak has been dialed back. I’ve long preferred the wine Josh makes for his brother-in-law under the DeLancellotti label which hold back on the crarred wood, so maybe that is an indication as to where his style has evolved.

I used to visit Lange and buy their wine when the tasting room was in the basement of their house. They have expanded greatly, and I think the quality slipped commensurately. Their entry level wine shows up on sale in Seattle frequently, and is a good buy for casual drinking.

Elk Cove is comparatively large, and quality is uneven, ranging up to excellent. Good whites in particular.

I don’t know anything about Aramenta.

P Hickner

I have only been to Elk Cove which was fine but I have never thought to go back.

The others I can’t help with and haven’t heard of Aramenta. From I a wine standpoint I think I would vote Bergstrom.

If you do go to Penner-Ash, make sure to pop across the street to Patricia Green.

Not to thread drift, but in McMinnville, where else have you visited besides Westrey? Ignore if this is not news to you but I’ll throw votes out for, Remy, Matello, Heater-Allen (if you like beer) & Eyrie. All within walking distance of each other. And a very short drive over to Biggio-Hamina.



Doesn’t Vincent have a tasting room in McMinnville? If so, add that to the list.

Vincent is in East Portland unless something has changed.


I believe you’re thinking of Grochau. He moved from PDX to McMinnville a couple of years ago, and has since move to Bjornsen vineyards down near Cristom.

Thanks everyone, very helpful!

Perhaps I should stay in McMinnville and visit all those mentioned. Any thoughts on Domino IV?

My experience with Westrey was at a tasting in LA years ago, but I really enjoyed the wines then. Couldn’t hurt to go back.

Maybe Bergstrom or Penner Ash (and Patricia Green if I can get an appt) well round out the itinerary.

Dominio IV is worth a visit if you are going to be steps away at Matello. Both do excellent, and distinctively different Viognier. You will hardly recognize the grape if you are used to CA or most WA Viognier.
Patrick (Dominio IV) loves Tempranillo if you need a break from PN, and Syrah from the Oregon side of the Columbia gorge.

One thing you can get at Eyrie, and not many other places, is a taste of older library wines. That alone brings me in when I’m in the area. and the other wines are, to me, improved under Jason Lett compared to the later years of David’s tenure. Eyrie and Matello will make a great comparison to Bergstrom and Penner-Ash.

P Hickner

P Hickner

I would recommend Soter. Great wines, great story, and absolutely wonderful tasting area and views. Need to make reservation, but not a bog deal. Brick House is another great tasting experience if you want to meet the owner and hear his story.

Following up, ended up going to:

Anne Amie: like the whites here, particularly the pinot gris.

Anam Cara: great vibe here, small, down-to-earth; liked their riesling

Roco: very nice pinots here; the '12 Marsh was the standout.

Youngberg Hill: another strong showing of pinots, even the shy 2011 vintage. The “Natasha” stood out as well as a 2011 syrah sourced from the Rogue.

Also enjoyed a '12 Stephen Goff Weber vineyard pinot with dinner at Thistle.

Overall, a beautiful area with lovely wines; very fun tasting experiences and chats.

I stayed in McMinville this past August. We hit 6 wineries including:

Alloro - Beautiful Tuscan style winery… gorgeous property. Wine was in the Burgundian style.
Ponzi - Also a beautiful property. Wine was fine overall, I thought their whites were better than their Pinot.
A winery with Falcon in the name… can’t recall.
Domaine Serene
Evening Land
Penner-Ash - My favorite across the board, both red and whites.