March 22, 2021 / 

Willamette Valley Wineries Rejoice as the “Seasons” Change

Fall is turning to Spring, and Willamette Valley Wineries are rejoicing as these seasonal changes offer some relief from pandemic limitations.

Here in Oregon, the state recently opened tasting rooms to allow indoor and outdoor seating options. Previously, we were only allowed to do outdoor wine tastings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the wet and cold weather, many Oregonians still enjoyed winter wine tastings.

The local appeal is apparent, and despite some people criticizing Oregon’s winters as being comparable to London, winter wasn’t gloomy. Oregon is beautiful during the winter; there’s always green, and the weather remains somewhat temperate. Even though it gets a little chilly, it never gets unbearably cold, especially compared to other places in the country.

This winter season, many people were outside doing wine tastings, enjoying Oregon’s goodness in the winter, and making the most of what was available. The limitations had everyone outside appreciating all that we have. While we missed the glorious fireplaces and coziness of the indoor tasting rooms, winter wine tastings were still very enjoyable. However, we’re all excited to begin planning for warm-weather wine tastings.

As we begin planning for the seasons to change, we need to keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way wineries operate. Before the pandemic, Oregon’s wine country promoted walk-ins and didn’t require reservations. But now, reservations are required, and this means everyone needs to plan ahead.

Oregon has limited capacity rules in place for restaurants and wineries. This means limiting the people allowed at each table. Most wineries are allowing around six people to sit at each table.

We’re also seeing wineries shifting towards becoming less family-friendly. Bringing children out to a winery during the pandemic is no longer encouraged, which is unfortunate, especially when considering that this used to be the norm.

For now, we’re excited to see what happens as we draw nearer to the summer season. The main issue is the capacity rules allowing only 25-50% capacity, which means we have to plan in advance. But tastings will continue, and wine lovers will still have the opportunity to attend multiple wineries with us at NW Wine Shuttle with these three primary services:

Wine Shuttle

During our Wine Shuttle, you’ll get to choose three wineries from a list of six wineries. We’ll make the reservations for you, you’ll have a dedicated table, and we’ll transport you to all three wineries over five hours throughout the day. You’ll also have safe transportation and hospitality from a dedicated host/driver, as well as complimentary water.

The Wine Shuttle operates on Fridays and Saturdays, offering semi-private tours for groups of two to four people. However, if you’re interested in planning this tour for a group larger than four but less than six, feel free to contact us to check if we can get you into the route for your preferred tour date.

Wineries Could Include:

Laurel Ridge Winery

Résonance Wines

Flâneur Wines

Carlton Winemakers Studio

Abbey Road Farm

Dominio IV

Bonus: Following your tour, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know the Great Little Town of Carlton, including shops, coffee, tasting rooms, and restaurants.

Private Tours

Group Wine Tasting, Ken Wright Cellars, Carlton OR

Our Private Tours are perfect for groups with fewer than eight people. These tours include a private van and driver, single pickup/drop-off location within Yamhill County or Washington County, a complimentary concierge to help with winery selection and reservations, five hours of transportation, a wine bottle check, and complimentary water.

Private Tours offer an intimate, custom experience. The tours operate Monday -Thursday, and Sunday, offering a totally customized itinerary for groups of one to eight people. However, these are most cost-effective for groups of four to eight people. We’ll make all reservations that support lunch, and sometimes we’ll even pick up lunch.

Our private shuttle will drive you to the wineries and pick you up from a location you determine. Then, we’ll drop you back off at that location.

NW Wine Shuttle’s DIY Tour

Our DIY tour is an unpaid service. We’re providing a list of wineries and routes that have been pre-curated. You can create your own itinerary with our DIY Itinerary Planner for free here.

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