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Willamette Valley Vineyards
March 7, 2024 | Willamette Valley Vineyards

Craft Your Own Wine with a Blending Experience at Willamette Valley Vineyards

Try your hands at crafting your perfect wine during a red blending experience at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Blending experiences are available at the Estate in the Salem Hills, Willamette Wineworks in Folsom, California, and our Vancouver Tasting Room & Restaurant. These venues offer guests a unique opportunity to learn about wine and take control of the winemaking process.

“It breaks it down to a personal experience,” Vancouver Winery Ambassador Julian LaRocca said. “People get to feel a connection to what they’re doing.”

The prototype for the blending system was created and installed at Willamette Wineworks and later modified for the other locations by David Markel, Willamette Valley Vineyards Research and Development Manager. 

Each location is slightly different, with regional varietals available for blending a unique cuvée. At the Estate in the Salem Hills, wine enthusiasts can learn about and taste seven different Pinot Noir clones. At Willamette Wineworks, guests blend Natoma wines made in California.

In Vancouver, guests blend 5 Walla Walla AVA wines.

The blending system in Vancouver is the newest of the three, debuting in 2023. This location features five varietals grown on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA. Guests can create their blend using Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

“The Blending System elevates the Tasting Room to be more of a complete experience,” Julian said. “It brings you closer to the wine and makes this more than just a restaurant.”

The Experience

A Winery Ambassador leads participants in learning about each varietal, sharing stories about the different grapes and where they grow.

At the Estate in the Salem Hills, guests can create their perfect blend using seven different Pinot Noir clones.

Attendees taste each wine, noting what flavors and aromas they experience. Next, guests create their ideal blend using the dials on the blending system to determine how much of each varietal they want in their wine.

Julian said there are no rules, but he suggests not trying to blend an equal amount of each varietal. He added that the group activity can be fun, competitive and memorable.

“A huge part of wine is the group aspect,” Julian said. “It’s about community.”

Winery Ambassadors take note of each participant’s blend so they can purchase a carafe or glass of their blend any time they visit the Vancouver location. 

Guests who try out the blending experience at the Estate can purchase a carafe of their blend and take home a bottle of their creation. At Willamette Wineworks, participants can purchase a glass or growler of their favorite blend.

Celebrate Washington Wine Month with a Blending

Those looking to pair their blending experience with a special evening can reserve a spot at our Washington Wine Month Celebration and Métis release party in Vancouver on Sunday, March 24th, at 5 pm. 

Before crafting your blend, you’ll taste our newly released 2021 Métis Red Blend. Tickets are $55 per person or $50 for Wine Club Members and $45 for Owners.

Julian said his favorite part is watching attendees take ownership of their wine.

“It’s special seeing people share their blend with friends,” he said. “The people that made the wine get to explain it as they share it.”


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Founded in 1983 by Oregon native Jim Bernau with the dream of creating world-class Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown from a bold idea into one of the region’s leading wineries, earning the title “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine


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