Tasting Room – Dundee, Oregon
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- Hawkins Cellars Dundee Tasting Room: Travel and Leisure
- Best Wine Tasting in Dundee Oregon
- Our Dundee Oregon Wines – Discover Your Next Favorite Wine at Hawkins Cellars
- Our Winemaking Style – Willamette Valley, Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley
- Site Selection and Harvesting – Dundee Vineyards
- Oregon Wine Country, AVA & Fun Facts
Hawkins Cellars Dundee Tasting Room: Travel and Leisure
Travel + Leisure recognized Hawkins Cellars as the top rated winery in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the twenty best wineries in the country!! Savor our award-winning wines in our intimate, welcoming Dundee Tasting Room on the edge of Dundee. Relax and enjoy a tasting flight of stellar white and red wines in our secluded courtyard (complete with pond), surrounded by lush flowers and trees. And if you’re looking for some snacks to accompany and enhance your wine tasting, we offer charcuterie and cheese plates. You are also welcome to complement your wine tasting with small bites brought in from nearby restaurants — or bring your own picnic!
Wine Tasting in Dundee Oregon
Dundee is an ideal town in which to start your Willamette Valley wine-tasting tour. You can walk the “main drag” and stop in at any of dozens of tasting rooms — some of them representing the original vineyards that put Oregon on the map for its Pinot Noirs. From Dundee, you can head east to Newberg or west to McMinnville to continue your sampling of the Willamette Valley wines.
Dundee, OR 97115
Current Tasting Room Hours:
Our Dundee Oregon Wines – Discover Your Next Favorite Wine at Hawkins Cellars
Our Dundee tasting room is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, renowned worldwide for its production of elegant Pinots. Hawkins Cellars offers a deep, fruit-rich Pinot Noir, a bright and crisp Pinot Gris, and a stunning Pinot Noir Rose, all crafted from grapes grown in the Willamette Valley. Our daily wine-tasting menu features a selection of our current vintages of these and other varietals, including a multi-talented Viognier, our popular big, bold Caldera Red Blend, a dark-fruited Syrah, and a luscious, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. We also produce small batches of other varietals – such as Mourvedre and Grenache – available only to our Club Cuvee members.
The Willamette Valley’s cool and wet climate is an ideal place for Pinot Noir to thrive — indeed, 71 percent of all vines in the Willamette Valley today are Pinot Noir. Just like Burgundy, France, the Willamette Valley is located on the 45th parallel. The 45th parallel is a rich line that travels through Italy’s Piedmont region; the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux in France; and the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
The majority of the Hawkins Cellars Pinot Noir vintages use grapes from the Methven Family Vineyards in the Eola Amity Hills AVA. Benefiting from steady coastal breezes that flow into Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the fruit is cooled in the evening from the afternoon heat, preserving the grape’s natural acidity. The result is a bright fresh wine with a deep ruby color and complex flavors that wake up those with “Pinot Fatigue’”! In 2015 we produced several different types of Pinot Noirs from the different sub AVA’s in the Willamette Valley: Eola-Amity Hills, Yamhill Carlton, and Chehalem Mountain.
The celebrated Willamette Valley Pinot Noir grapes can also be found in our Rosé of Pinot Noir. We source fruit for the Rosé from the Stormy Morning Vineyard in Banks Oregon, located in the north Willamette Valley, an area known for austere and structured Pinot Noirs. Nestled between the Cascade and the coastal Mountain ranges, Banks is situated perfectly to produce a cooler climate Pinot grape with higher acidity, making it the perfect choice for Rosé. With just a touch of sweetness and high-toned notes of ripe strawberry that smack of summer.
The Willamette Valley is also known for producing distinctive Pinot Gris, which is second only to Pinot Noir in production in the Willamette Valley. We source most of our Pinot Gris from Methven Family Vineyards and Calamity Hill Vineyard of the Eola-Amity AVA. Blended with 5% Viognier, our signature Gris has tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut while also possessing sharp citrus notes of key lime.
Our Winemaking Style – Willamette Vally, Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley
Hawkins Cellars owner and winemaker Thane feels fortunate to live in a place where you can experience an incredible array of wines and styles, and has developed his methodology through visits up and down the Willamette Valley, the Columbia Gorge, and the Columbia Valley. Thane has also taken extensive trips to the Rhone and Burgundy regions, and experienced the very different approach to winemaking and viticulture that the French practice. As a result of his studies, experiences, and finely honed instincts, Thane has developed a vision for Hawkins Cellars: To create approachable, affordable, food-friendly wines that are long on freshness and backbone.
Site Selection and Harvesting – Dundee Vineyards
Hawkins Cellars has worked with dozens of different vineyard sites over the years. Since recent growing seasons in both Oregon and Washington have been on the warm, we have sourced our Pinot Noir grapes from sites that are further north in order to retain freshness, austerity, and what we consider to be true Pinot Noir characteristics. We tend to harvest fruit on the early side in order to retain more of the fruit’s natural acidity. Why do we want the acidity? Because to us, acidity equals freshness in wine and gives our wines more balanced flavors and structure.
You may be wondering why we source our grapes from so many sites. We work with a lot of different vineyards because we believe each vineyard site produces unique qualities in its grapes that we want reflected in our wines. Maybe site A grapes have a wonderfully earthy component, and site B’s have great structure. By sourcing from multiple sources, we have the luxury to create a chemical reaction that results in something special. And this is where we get to bring our creativity and instinct into what is essentially a scientific process. Finding that je ne sais quoi is our constant endeavor, and is what makes us so interested in and passionate about winemaking!
Oregon Wine Country, AVA & Fun Facts
Today, the Willamette Valley is synonymous with Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir put the Willamette Valley on the map because of the area’s ideal climate and diverse terroir. Because of this diversity, you can find six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) – a term used in the United States to designate specific wine grape-growing regions that are distinguishable by geographic climate, soil, and elevation. Here in the Willamette Valley we have different sub AVAs: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. Each AVA’s distinctive climate and Geographical make up will be a contributing factor to producing Oregon style Pinot Noir.
Willamette Valley EST. 1983
Willamette Valley & its Sub AVAs
- Established in 2006 The Chehalem Mountains AVA extends 20 miles in length and 5 miles in range, stretching from southeast to northwest. It includes several hills, mountains and ridges.
- Elevation: The highest point within the Willamette Valley is the Chehalem Mountains’ Bald Peak (at 1,633 feet). This elevation is one of the biggest variables that differentiate this AVA from others.
- Soil composition: basaltic, ocean sedimentary and loess (blown lake bed sediment),
- Planted Vineyards: 1,600 acres of grapes, grown in over 100 vineyards, and 31 wineries.
- Established in 2005: The Dundee Hills AVA is approximately 30 miles to the southwest of Portland and 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, with protection from the ocean climate provided by the higher Coast Range of mountains. Dundee Hills is the first AVA with planted vines. It is also the most planted region in the valley and state. Well known for producing a light & elegant Burgundian Pinot Noir.
- Soil Composition: Jory Soil, the basalt-based volcanic soil found in most vineyard sites in the Dundee Hills.
- Planted Vineyards: more than 1,700 acres of grapes, grown in over 50 vineyards, and 25 wineries.
- Established in 2006:The hills alongside the Willamette River make up the Eola Hills AVA. Two of the predominant influences on the characteristics of wines from the Eola Hills are shallow soils and the Van Duzer corridor. The Van Duzer corridor provides cool ocean winds to flow, dropping temperatures dramatically (especially during late summer afternoons), which helps to keep acids firm.
- Soil Composition: Jory Soil (Volcanic basalt) & Willakenzie Soil (marine sedimentary rocks). Willakenzie Soil allows for better drainage which in turn produces small grapes with great concentration, hence a bolder Pinot Noir.
- Planted Vineyards: 1,300 acres of grapes, grown in over 95 vineyards, and 26 wineries.
- Established in 2005: The McMinnville AVA extends approximately 20 miles south-southwest toward the mouth of the Van Duzer corridor, Oregon’s lowest coast range pass to the Pacific Ocean.
- Soil Composition: The soils are primarily uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silts, with a base of uplifting basalt. The soils are uniquely shallow for winegrowing.
- Rain Fall: Rainfall is lower than on sites to the east. The primarily east- and south-facing sites take advantage of the drying winds from the Van Duzer corridor.
- Planted Vineyards: 600 acres are currently planted.
- Established in 2005: Ribbon Ridge is the smallest AVA in Oregon and is entirely contained within the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Ribbon Ridge stretches between the towns of Newberg and Gaston.
- Climate Region: Maritime.
- Soil Composition: unique ocean sedimentary soils.
- Planted Vineyards: Approximately 500 acres are currently planted on the ridge, within 20 vineyards.
- Established in 2005: The Yamhill- Carlton AVA is located north of McMinnville in the foothills of the Coastal Range. This AVA covers nearly 60,000 acres.
- Soil Composition: Willakenzie Soil. The Marine sediments native to the area are some of the oldest soils in the valley. These soils drain quickly and help produce a smaller more concentrated fruit.
- Planted Vineyards: 1,200 acres of vineyard are currently planted.
Fun Willamette Valley Facts
|Typical Summer/Winter Temperature
June-August high/low: 78.3/52.2ºF
December-February high/low: 47.6/35.1ºFTypical Monthly Rainfall
June-August rainfall: 1.02″
December-February rainfall: 6.4″Typical Annual Rainfall
Portland: 39 inches
McMinnville (wine country): 29 inchesTypical Rainfall
June-September total: 3.27″ (0.8″ per month)Typical Growing Season Weather (McMinnville)
June-September high/low: 79/50ºF
June-September days > 80ºF: 60
June-September days > 90ºF: 18
Total Geographic Area
100 miles long and spanning 60 miles, 3,438,000 acres
Total number of:
Vineyard acres planted: 21,793
First Pinot noir planting
David Lett, The Eyrie Vineyards, 1965
Marine Sedimentary: Willakenzie
Volcanic (Basalt): Jory, Nekia
Windblown Loess (Silts): Laurelwood
Willamette Valley % of Oregon production
72% of planted vineyard acreage
72% of wine production
81% of Pinot noir production
Come Visit Oregon Wine Country
In addition to producing world-class Pinot Noirs that can be sampled in 500-plus tasting rooms, the Willamette Valley is also a beautiful place to visit for a day or a weekend. Explore the dozens of unique towns across the landscape and discover hidden treats like llama farms, hiking trails (some through vineyards!), artisanal chocolates, and farm-to-table restaurants serving some of the most mouth-watering meals in the area. Check out attractions like the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (and Waterpark) in McMinnville and the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood; build your biking muscles with a climb to Bald Peak; search out antique and thrift stores; or just stroll the pedestrian-friendly sidewalks of Dundee and Newberg and get the vibes of the towns!