Memorial Weekend is one of Willamette Valley’s premier wine tasting weekends. Almost every winery has something special to offer guests. Obviously, this is no ordinary day of wine tasting. If you don’t plan ahead, you could get stuck with high entry fees, parking struggles and have unrealistic expectations for how many wineries to visit.
Here are the top three tips to ensure a delightful time wine tasting on Memorial Weekend.
1. Plan Ahead
While most wineries offer special wine tasting, food, and music, you don’t want to be surprised by entry fees. It’s usually well worth the price, however, you’ll want to make sure to choose a winery wisely. Decide what sorts of festivities mean the most to you. Also, while a typical flight tasting lasts about 45 minutes on a normal weekend, plan on spending a minimum of 1.5-2 hours at each winery on Memorial Weekend. This is a weekend where lingering is encouraged. Memorial Weekend is one of two popular weekends where wineries offer special discounts on wine purchases, as well as hand out commemorative wine glasses. Be prepared to come home with wine and other goodies.
2. Don’t Drive
For a number of reasons you’ll want to hire transportation. The first being the overcrowded parking lots. While the wineries do a wonderful job staffing-up for these events, their parking can’t grow magically overnight. This can end up being stressful, and put a damper on your mood. Also, it’s very common to have a glass of wine while enjoying the music and food offered. This means you’ll likely consume more wine than a typical tasting, which is a great reason to hire a designated driver.
3. Enjoy the Festivities
This is a time where you’ll want to take full advantage of the winery festivities. Each winery has its own special spin on the weekend. It’s a time to enjoy the tasting room, the pairings, music, and landscapes. Plan on visiting no more than three wineries, and be sure to taste and enjoy at your own pace. When you plan ahead, and hire a driver, enjoying the festivities is automatic.
If you want a guaranteed great time over Memorial Weekend, consider riding a totally new wine tour service, NW Wine Shuttle. For about $49.99 per person, you’ll have all day transportation (10am – 5pm) and access to 13 of Dundee’s top tasting rooms. The shuttle arrives at each winery every 30 minutes, so you can hop-on and off as you please. The shuttle zips right through the parking lots, with nearly front door drop offs.
If you’re enjoying yourself, stay a little longer, or hop on and enjoy the next event.
May 26–28 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Roaming Vertical: special library flight in coordination with McMinnville Foothills Winegrowers. Each winery features a different vintage. Fee: $15.
Vista Hills Vineyard
May 26–27 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) We’re offering a spread of European cheeses paired with our new 2016 Pinot Noir, plus the Rumble Seat Rosé, a skin-fermented Pinot Gris “orange wine” that boasts flavors of bourbon, almond brittle and dried peach. Vinyl will be spinning on the turntable. Fee: $25.
May 26–27 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) In addition to our standard wine flight, Durant Vineyards will be offering a special holiday horizontal wine flight. For the first time ever, we will be featuring five single-vineyard, 100-percent estate-grown Pinot Noirs that show a true expression of place and vintage. Fee: $25.
Stoller Family Estate
May 26–27 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Who doesn’t love rosé poured from magnums? Taste our newly released wines while relaxing on the lawn listening to live music. Lunch will also be available for purchase. No reservation required. Fee: $25 (logo glass included).