The Willamette Valley, outside of Portland, Oregon, offers many options when it comes to visiting vineyards. But, the very best in this beautiful valley, 30 minutes from downtown, is the incomparable Domaine Drouhin. This vineyard is the outpost of a family legacy started in Burgundy, France more than 100 years ago and is headed, currently, by fourth-generation winemaker, Véronique Drouhin-Boss. Having learned and inherited the meticulous process from those in the family before her, Véronique shuttles between France and Oregon to ensure that only the best comes from her vineyards.
In Oregon, the estate is said to have “French soul with Oregon soil” – this couldn’t be more true. Their incredible pinot noirs and chardonnays are considered some of the best in the state and, for some, the country, due to Véronique’s varied processes implemented and executed by herself and her staff. The Willamette Valley in Oregon is known for excellent pinot noirs as the area’s line of longitude also runs through Burgundy, France, another well-known area for the wine variety. From the most recent vintages to those that have come years before, every glass tasted in the beautiful tasting room of Domaine Drouhin exceeds expectation.
Véronique came to Oregon in the late 1980’s with her family to help establish the vineyard and they produced their first vintage in 1988. Since then, the family has been credited for aiding in putting Oregon wines on the international wine map. And, visiting the vineyard is an incredible experience as you can witness the beautiful vines, firsthand, as well as tour the facilities. You’ll see the innovative four-story gravity flow winery, taste a few varieties and, if you’re lucky, get invited down into the depths of the establishment to see the pinot noirs aging in beautiful wooden barrels imported from France.
The property itself is stunning and guests are encouraged to relax and truly enjoy the experience. Out on the deck you can sip a nice chardonnay while looking-out over the valley towards the sea. It’s a little piece of heaven on Earth. If you’re looking for a special experience near Portland and care about the history and legacy associated with wine-making, Domaine Drouhin is the best. But, a word of warning, step one foot on their property and you won’t want to leave.