Since moving to Oregon, we’ve taken an annual trip to Cannon Beach the first few days of June. This year we decided to tack on a day in Dundee, Oregon to hit up the plethora of wineries we’ve read a lot about.
The goal of the trip is to relax and go-with-the-flow, which means we drove into Dundee with no plans in place other than our hotel (Inn at Red Hills – review to come). As it’s a small town Uber and limos, which line the California Winery scene, are non-existent. We were hoping to walk from our hotel after the long drive, so were happy to see there are quite a few tasting room options within a half mile.
First up was Methven Family Vineyards and Winery. We spotted the tasting room while eating lunch and immediately knew it would be our first stop. The property was inviting, even from a distance, and the “Bubbles” sign pretty much sealed the deal.
The encompassing tasting menu covered the gamut from a light and refreshing Pinot Gris to a bold “Oregon-esque” Pinot Noir. We were pleasantly surprised to receive two bonus pours that weren’t listed on the menu, bringing the total tastes to seven.
Two of the seven tastings featured Gamay grapes, which we don’t see often on menus in the US (mainly grown in France). Methven Family Vineyards is one of the few who grown them and in fact sell them to other producers in the region. Gamay is a light-bodied, fruity red with tart flavors of cherries and raspberries, similar in taste to a Pinot Noir, albeit at a lower price point. Gamay has low tannins, pairs wonderfully with food and is a great option for those looking for a lower alcohol option. Truth be told, we enjoyed the Pinot Noir more than the Gamay, but it was a nice change of pace.
We ended the tasting with their 2016 Beehive Riesling. When reading FoodieandWine.com you’ll see many of our wine pairings call out Riesling as a good choice. It’s crisp, refreshing and plays nice with most foods. Riesling has been our go-to wine since we actually started buying wine vs. drinking only the free Chardonnay and Merlot provided at work events or weddings. Those cheap wines did provide some good “back when we were poor” stories though.
With that said we don’t usually care for dessert Riesling. They tend to be too thick and syrupy for our liking. This Beehive Riesling was neither. Just the perfect amount of sweetness to elevate to a dessert wine status. Of course the free bite size chocolate we were gifted rounded out the tasting and left us pleased with our stop.
The day we visited, live music was scheduled from 6pm-8pm which is a rarity at wineries. Most wineries close at 5pm; 6pm if you’re lucky. Having the option to incorporate one last stop, before calling it a night, was welcoming. A las we didn’t make it back for the music, but the option was there.
Last but not least, we must note the level of service provided. Our lovely server was new to the tasting room, but eager to please and answer questions we had. We sat outside to enjoy the sun and she happily came out to pour the tastings instead of making us walk back inside for our next pour. A few wineries we’ve been to lately make you walk back up to the counter, even when quiet, which counteracts the whole “relax and enjoy” aspect of a winery.
All in all we’d come back to Methven Family Vineyards for another round of tastings when we’re in the area. It’s a solid choice for those who appreciate a wide array of wines, both white and red.
Planning a trip to the Willamette Wine Region? Our go to website was WillametteWines.com. We were able to quickly identify hotels, restaurants and wineries we wanted to hit up.
Address –11400 Westland LaneDayton, OR, 97114
Tastings -$15 (tasting fee waived with the purchase of any 2 bottles of wine)
Reservations – Not required.