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Willamette Valley Vineyards

Bud Break is Here

Bud break is turning the hillsides of our estate vineyards a vibrant green.

A close look at the vines reveal flowering buds, the first sign of grapes forming. The 2024 vintage is looking promising so far, says Terry Culton, Willamette’s Director of Winemaking and Vineyards.

“We’re hoping for a bountiful harvest,” Terry said. “We’re excited about the prospect of this vintage based on how the buds are flowering.”

While the winter wasn’t too harsh on our vines in the Willamette Valley, the vines in the Walla Walla Valley faced more severe weather.

According to Terry, the yield will be lower than normal in the Walla Walla Valley due to freezing temperatures. At one point this winter, temperatures didn’t reach above freezing for over a week, and it was negative seven degrees for 10 hours one day. Fortunately, Terry said the surviving vines look good.

The vines in the Estate Vineyard in the Salem Hills

Despite the challenges, vine health in Walla Walla remains robust. Terry shared that while we lost some fruiting buds, overall vine health is strong.

Vines are fairly resilient in the winter, as water and nutrients move into the trunk and roots. Storing these carbohydrates helps prevent the freezing of the plant tissue and gives the vines the energy they need for bud break in the spring.

Little grapes begin to form on the vines

While our vineyard team tends to the vines and their health, bud break is an exciting time in the vineyard and a great time to visit the winery. The sun is out, temperatures are warming up and the blooming vines make the perfect backdrop for an outdoor tasting experience. 

Willamette has a variety of upcoming events to kick off the summer. Join us at a tasting room next to our vineyards to see the vines as they continue to bloom and grow. 

Time Posted: May 31, 2024 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Bud Break is Here Permalink
Willamette Valley Vineyards

Host Your Next Event at a Winery or Tasting Room

Willamette Valley Vineyards is the perfect place to host your next social gathering. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, private room or a space with stunning views, our wineries and tasting rooms are here to make your next event fun and memorable.

Willamette offers a variety of settings for your event, from a casual bartop or an elevated pairings experience for intimate gatherings to private rooms and outdoor spaces for grander occasions. 

Large Events

The Estate in the Salem Hills is ideal for hosting larger gatherings such as company retreats, holiday parties and family reunions.

Venues at the Estate include private rooms, outdoor patios, lawn spaces and more. Depending on the location, the estate can accommodate 8 to 150 guests. A private pairings dinner experience is also available, with Willamette handling all your wine and food needs.

The Estate in the Salem Hills features a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for hosting private events.

“You get the chance to engage with knowledgeable wine staff, learn about the wine and see the beautiful winery,” said Kaylin Ray, the Estate’s Hospitality and Guest Experience Manager. 

Tualatin Estate Vineyard is another option for large groups. This historic venue offers guests beautiful views and a great outdoor space for hosting. Holding an event at one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected vineyards will make your gathering memorable. 

Tualatin Estate Vineyard is the perfect place to host an outdoor summer event.

Tualatin Estate Vineyard can accommodate 25 guests inside and 100 outside during summer. The vineyard does not provide food, but guests are welcome to bring in small bites or work with a local caterer or restaurant.  

Sparkling winery Domaine Willamette offers a wide selection of private event options in the Dundee Hills.

Choose from indoor or outdoor spaces and host a small group or rent out the Tasting Room for a larger gathering.

Private Rooms

If you’re planning a small or medium-sized gathering, our Tasting Room & Restaurants are great places to celebrate.

The Happy Valley, Lake Oswego and Bend locations all feature private wine rooms that can accommodate between 24 and 44 guests depending on the venue.

The private rooms offer guests a secluded space, perfect for business meetings, small family celebrations and more.

“It’s fun, it’s intimate, it’s a really good location and friendly environment and we have a knowledgeable team,” said Bend Tasting Room General Manager Cara Doering

The Bend Tasting Room & Restaurant can host fun, intimate gatherings in its private wine room.

Doering added that guests can also reserve the entire Tasting Room for larger events.

Another option for a private event is renting out the McMinnville Tasting Room after regular business hours.

The McMinnville Tasting Room accommodates a minimum of 12 guests and a maximum of 40. This Tasting Room does not offer food, but guests are welcome to bring in small bites or work with a local caterer or restaurant. 

Beautiful Views

Many Willamette locations offer stunning views that will make your event memorable. 

The Vancouver Tasting Room & Restaurant features beautiful views of the Columbia River.

The Vancouver Tasting Room features picturesque views of the Columbia River. This location offers various semi-private event options including casual bar service with appetizers and a multi-course seated dinner.

“We are extremely flexible. The template is just a place to start,” Vancouver Tasting Room Lead Linde Brown said. “It’s easy for us to cater to individual needs.”

Anyone considering hosting a private event at one of Willamette’s locations can reach out to the individual locations through a contact form to learn about food and wine minimums, deposits, pricing and other details. Advance notice is appreciated at all locations.

Time Posted: May 6, 2024 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Host Your Next Event at a Winery or Tasting Room Permalink
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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