From the first Oregon Pinot Noir vine and trailblazing biodynamic vintners to local, organic produce, artisan cheeses and much more, the Willamette Valley is a patchwork of cities and towns that offer unique experiences for every traveler.
Nestled between the Coast Range and the Cascade Mountains, the Willamette Valley follows the Willamette River for more than 100 miles from the central Cascades through Eugene and north to Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory.
While Pinot Noir is grown in several areas of the state, it attains star quality primarily in the Willamette Valley.
Where great Pinot Noir grows, one normally will encounter great Chardonnay. Interestingly, that’s not the case in the Willamette Valley.
A few wineries have enjoyed success with the variety, but much more common are exceptional bottlings of Pinot Gris, a.k.a. Pinot Grigio.
For wine lovers who also are history buffs, the town of Albany makes an excellent day trip.
Situated at the intersection of the Calapooia and Willamette rivers, Albany boasts four historic districts with more than 700 historic buildings and homes, including the 1849 Montieth House Museum, Albany’s first frame house.
The town’s founders, Thomas and Walter Montieth, lived there and hosted many historic meetings inside, including the first Republican Party State Convention.
The museum is open mid-June through mid-September from 12 noon to 4 p.m. daily, and by appointment all year.