Pinot noir thrives at Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, part of Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Scotsman William Reid founded Dundee as a railroad hub in the 1880s and named it for his hometown. Or is it a town? The overarching impression it gives is of wide expanses of rolling green. Whether planted with grapes or grass, the acreage contributes to Dundee’s semirural nature. The long, narrow strip bordering Highway 99W that serves as its commercial district has never seen much retail infrastructure, but it has now become home to several sizable winery operations. Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce: (503) 538-2014, chehalemvalley.org.
Area code is 503 except as noted.
Dundee is the gateway to the Dundee Hills American Viticultural Area (AVA), Oregon’s best-known pinot noir−growing district. Visit the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association at dundeehills.org for an orientation. In town, you’ll find Argyle Winery the state’s largest sparkling wine producer, with a newly renovated tasting room. 691 Hwy. 99W, 538-8520, argylewinery.com. Dobbes Family Estate and its offshoot, Wine by Joe, make their own wines and also produce for other small growers. Winemaker Joe Dobbes sources fruit from the Willamette, Umpqua, and Snake River valleys. 240 SE Fifth St., 538-1141, dobbesfamilyestate.com. One of Oregon’s pioneering wine families, the Sokol Blossers, began planting their vineyard in 1971, and their first wines were released in 1977 under the Sokol Blosser Winery name. 5000 SE Sokol Blosser Ln., 864-2282, sokolblosser.com. Established in 1993, Archery Summit has built a sterling reputation for pinot noir. 18599 NE Archery Summit Rd., 864-4300, archerysummit.com.
Since opening in 1991, Tina’s has been a wine country favorite. Well before the organic and farm-fresh movements became mainstream, Tina’s made their precepts manifest in dishes such as rack of lamb and beef tenderloin. 760 Hwy. 99W, 538-8880, tinasdundee.com. Red Hills Provincial Dining, also opened in 1991, occupies a craftsman house on the eastern edge of town. The owners have a vineyard as well and offer a Provençal experience, from coq au vin to ragout of wild boar. 276 Hwy. 99W, 538-8224, redhills-dining.com. In 1999 a prominent winery family, the Ponzis, built the handsome Southwestern-style building that houses Dundee Bistro. Their restaurant features daily-changing menus of upscale lunches and dinners, from Cobb salad to Manila clams. 100-A SW Seventh St., 554-1650, dundeebistro.com. Newest on the Dundee scene is Farm to Fork, attached to the Inn at Red Hills, where you can order gourmet, locally sourced cheeses and other goodies to go, or eat wild board with dried cherries in the cozy restaurant. 1410 N. Hwy 99W, 538-7970 (538-7989 for Press), innatredhills.com. Adjacent is Press, A Wine Bar, offering a wide range of area wines. innatredhills.com.
You can stay in downtown Dundee at the Inn at Red Hills, the first boutique hotel in Oregon’s wine country. The 20 rooms have high ceilings and generous sitting areas. 1410 N. Hwy 99W, 538-7666, innatredhills.com. Perched on a slope in the forest of the Dundee Hills, the Black Walnut Inn was constructed in the style of a European villa, with nine elegant suites sharing large common rooms. 9600 NE Worden Hill Rd., 538-8663, blackwalnut-inn.com. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels.
Photography by Doreen L. Wynja/courtesy Sokol Blosser Winery
This article was first published in August 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.
Check out the rest of our Willamette Valley package:
Carlton: Tiny, but packed with wine country delights
Dayton: Historic buildings and acclaimed restaurants
Forest Grove: Sip sake or bird-watch
McMinnville: Airplanes, UFOs, and a charming downtown
Newberg: Convenient tasting rooms and nearby vineyards