6 | YAMHILL VALLEY VISITOR GUIDE | 2021/2022 BY YVVG STAFF O f the 908 wineries counted in the 2019 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report (OVWR), 597 thrive in the northern Willamette Valley; of the state’s nearly 1,297 vineyards, 764 are located in the same area. e majority of these wines and vines call the Yamhill Valley home. In an increasingly diverse industry, the wineries are spread across the country- side and clustered in towns, particularly McMinnville, Carlton, Amity, Dundee and Newberg. ese locations feel like slices of small-town America, former logging outposts and farming communities that welcomed and grew with the burgeoning wine trade. Tasting rooms have become gathering places in downtowns, bringing together locals and visitors for sipping, conversation and entertainment. Despite the wine industry’s ve decades of development, the region has remained refreshingly unpretentious. e situa- tion is changing, however, as some of America’s largest wine companies continue investing in area wineries and vineyards. ere’s now a broad range of wineries and tasting rooms — from ex- pansive corporate ventures to humble mom-and-pop shops — all within miles of one another and o ering a truly unique wine country experience. In the Yamhill Valley, Pinot Noir is still king — according to OVWR, 57% of the state’s production — yet Pinot Gris and Chardonnay also have established names at the international level. Local winemakers explore and champion additional varietals — Syrah, Ries- ling, Melon de Bourgogne, Tempranillo and others. ey also like to experi- ment in the cellar; the area’s sparkling scene has grown exponentially over the last few years, adding to the region’s exploding portfolio. When you step into a tasting room, be sure to ask the sta about the brand’s farming practices, winemaking methods and history, too. You’ll be amazed at their eagerness to share their knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you’re an oenophile, a foodie fanatic or simply a casual visitor; all “levels” are welcome to explore Oregon wine. As you venture into the vineyards, you’ll discover a common theme: Owners, winemakers and growers take pride in the product they create here, and their camaraderie de nes the character of Oregon wine. • WINE Welcome to Wine Country Vibrant vineyards, world-class wineries make the Valley home PHOTO BY ANDREA JOHNSON ABOVE: Guests and a four-legged friend at Penner-Ash Cellars.