Marci Sischo | 04/08/2022 | Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries, Summer, Winery

6 Heart of Willamette Wine Passport Sip Trips

Benton County is nestled in the heart of some beautiful wine country, surrounded by the lovely foothills of the Coast Range and blessed with excellent grape-growing conditions - all of which means we're surrounded by excellent boutique wineries. Every year, several of those wineries get together and offer the Heart of Willamette Wine Passport, which offers free tastings, discounts on purchases, free swag, and more.

This year thirteen of our local wineries are participating in the Heart of Willamette Wine Passport, which can make for difficult decisions when it comes to planning out an afternoon of wine tasting. To help out, we have a few suggested Sip Trips here, offering two or three stops each.

Round up a few friends, pick up your passports online, and savor Oregon wine on a sip trip through beautiful Oregon back roads. And don't forget your designated driver!

Namaste Vineyards is located at 5600 Van Well Road in Dallas, and known for pinot noirs and elegant white wines. They're open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through November. Taste their wines while enjoying breathtaking views of the valley. 

Heading south from Namaste's Dallas tasting room, you'll find Salt Creek Ciderhouse, located at 14500 Salt Creek Road in Dallas, and known for their flagship ciders, Freedom, Rebel, Rebel Rose, and Wild. They're open for tasting daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Round out your afternoon with a taste of pinot noir or chardonnay from Benedetto Vineyards, which you'll find at 14020 Orchard Knob Road in Dallas. They're open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; and by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Tucked away in the beautiful rolling hills around Monmouth, you'll find Emerson Vineyards and Airlie Winery.

Emerson Vineyards is possibly best known for their Brother Red, and they have a great rosé, Pinkie, as well. Find them at 11665 Airlie Road, open daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Join them Friday evenings in the summer for live music, for a special evening.

Airlie Winery, meanwhile, offers occasional "yoga and wine" classes, along with concerts on Sundays through the summer. Try their Late Harvest Muscat Ottonel while you're there - it's a lovely floral and fruity dessert wine. Airlie is located at 15305 Dunn Forest Road, and open Thursdays and Mondays, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Spiritopia is a bit different than other suggested stops here, as they're a craft distillery, not a winery. Don't let that give you pause, though. They're known for aperitif wines like their Ginger Lemon Drop and Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine as well as whiskeys, brandy, and liqueurs. Find them at their original tasting room at 720 NE Granger Avenue, Bldg. B, in Corvallis, open Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; or their new tasting room at 333 1st Avenue W. in Albany, open Thursdays through Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Named one of the Top 100 Wineries of 2016 by Wine & Spirits, Lumos Wine Co. offers amazing pinot noir, pinto gris, chardonnay, and more. Here you can enjoy a tasting in their beautiful tasting room, or relax on their deck and sip Oregon wine while gazing out over the vineyard at stunning views of the Coast Range and Marys Peak. Lumos is located at 24000 Cardwell Hill Drive in Philomath, and they're open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Finish up at Cardwell Hill Cellars, also home to gorgeous views of the Coastal Mountains, as well as multiple award-winning Oregon wines. They were just named Wine Press Northwest's Oregon Winery of the Year for 2021. Visit them at 24241 Cardwell Hill Drive in Philomath, open daily from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Compton Family Wines (formerly Spindrift Cellars) is located at 810 Applegate Street right in the heart of Philomath, and they're open Thursdays through Sundays, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Here you can savor pinot noir, pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, and more, and consider adding a bottle or two from their Old Vine Collector Series to your library while you're there. Try sampling their Sea 02 sparkling wines, too - their 2017 sparkling rosé is lovely.

Your next stop is nearby Pheasant Court Winery, found at 1731 Pheasant Court in Philomath. Try carmenere, malbec, port, and more, made from grapes and fruits sourced from all around Oregon. They're open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and encourage visitors to bring picnics to enjoy while they sample Pheasant Court's vintages.

Fullerton Wines' new Corvallis tasting room is located at 804 NW Buchanan Avenue in Corvallis, and they're open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They're best known for their elegant and distinctive pinot noirs and chardonnays, and be sure to sample their 2017 Tenebris Pinot Noir while you're visiting. Fullerton is currently requiring reservations, so click here to make yours before you head out.

Your next stop is just a quick jaunt away at Valcan Cellars, which you find at 341 SW 2nd St Suite 3 in Corvallis, right by Old World Deli. You can relax in their warm and inviting tasting room, or enjoy a table outdoors, while you savor their Oregon wines, handcrafted from grapes grown all around the Willamette Valley. Valcan offers charcuterie and cheese platters to go with your wine, but you're also welcome to bring your own food. And since you're right in downtown Corvallis, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from for your meal. Valcan Cellars is open Thursdays and Fridays, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., no reservations required.

Namaste Vineyards has a second lovely tasting room, located at 3250 Pacific Highway S. in Independence. It's open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a flight of their delicious wines, including Peace, their popular white blend, estate grown pinot noirs, chardonnay, luscious full-bodied reds, and more.

You'll find Stomp by Croft Vineyards at 5475 River Road South in Salem. The Stomp tasting room was once a 1940's era dance hall and is full of history, the perfect fusion of old and new. Besides Croft's award-winning wines, you'll also be able to enjoy gourmet nibbles including scratch pizzas, small plates and desserts.

Heart of Willamette Wine Passport

The Heart of Willamette Wine Passport participating wineries are all within 30 miles of Corvallis and the South Salem area. You'll be able to picnic, listen to music, hike, and more at various locations on the passport, as well as take advantage of free tasting flights, swag, and discounts.

The 2022 Heart of Willamette Passport, priced at only $40 (or two for $75), offers over $100 worth of value and is valid until December 31, 2022.

Learn more and buy your passport.

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113 SW 3rd Street, Alley Suite 101
Corvallis, OR 97333
(Entrance facing 2nd St public parking lot)
800-334-8118 | 541-757-1544
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Closed Saturdays and Sundays