Custom Tours

 

Exploring Oregon Wine

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Rates

Custom excursions starting at $95 per hour (6-hour min)

Experience a relaxed, informative day in Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country with an expert guide. We know the value of your time and take great care in planning every detail of your custom wine tour well in advance of your reservation.
  • Visit small, hard to find wineries with world-class hospitality and ultra-premium wine
  • Experience scenic travel throughout Willamette Valley Wine Country in a safe, comfortable late-model vehicle
  • Discover the history of the local wine industry through Oregon’s greatest wine stories and vine growing regions
  • Taste the subtle differences between our appellations and winemaking styles
  • Purchase exclusive wines at the source – enjoy local cuisine – join wine clubs – ship wines back home

What to Expect

Winemaker Tours will create a custom itinerary for your group ahead of the excursion – you are welcome to have as much or as little input as desired during the planning process. After you secure your booking by deposit, we email a brief survey – we strongly encourage you to answer the survey questions as thoroughly as possible – the more information you provide about your preferences, the better we will be able to match you with appropriate experiences and wines. We then set up a time to speak on the phone. We will book your appointments and email you a final itinerary prior to your tour.

We provide each guest with a wine country map and chilled sparkling and still water throughout the day.

Schedule

Your guide will pick you up outside of your Portland hotel, Wine Country accommodation, or other agreed upon location between 9:00 – 11:00am.  Please eat a substantial breakfast, as we will have a full day of wine tasting planned for you in the Valley. Expect to be dropped off at your starting location between 5:00 – 7:00pm.  These times are adjustable, and agreed upon by both parties.  Our day tour is typically 8-9 hours in duration, with pick-up and drop-off in Portland.

Lunch

We are fortunate to have world class cuisine and many regional dining options to choose from in the Willamette Valley.  Winemaker Tours supports a variety of local restaurants and catering companies who use fresh, seasonal ingredients of the highest quality from Pacific Northwest.

You may elect to enjoy:

  • Bistro lunch – Sit down and dine at a casual local eatery with gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, etc. ($-$$)
  • Cheese and Charcuterie – This is a great option for those with early dinner reservations. Cheese and Charcuteries plates may be shared by the group at a winery alongside your tasting flights. ($$)
  • Fine Dining Lunch – A premier dining experience at one of our highly-acclaimed wine country restaurants. ($$$)
  • Winery Lunch – A sit down tasting at a winery, with chef prepared food pairings ($$$-$$$$)

Tasting Fees

Nearly every winery in the northern Willamette Valley will waive tasting fees with a specified wine purchase. We encourage groups to purchase the wines they like from each winery to bring home, or have shipped. This is a great way to extend your tour beyond your wine country visit, and will alleviate tasting fees altogether. Wineries usually charge between $15-50 per tasting flight. You are welcome to enjoy your own glass or share a flight with someone in your group. Spitting (or pouring out) a sample is totally acceptable, as well. We would be happy to teach you our techniques!

Many wineries in the northern Willamette Valley are now offering Experience Tastings, by advanced reservation.  These private tastings are priced at $50-$100 per person, and include a seated tasting of wines paired to fresh artisan food products. These tastings are priced per seat, and cannot be shared.  We encourage booking one Experience tasting on your tour – this is often the tasting highlight of the day, and the wine education and memory is well worth the higher price tag.

You can expect to taste between 15-40 premium wines throughout the day.

Transportation

Your safety and comfort are our highest priorities. All transportation service is provided in clean, late-model vehicles, with professionally licensed drivers. Our tours often venture onto gravel roads in vehicles equipped to do so: comfortable seats, air conditioning, ample windows and accessible rows will allow for well appointed scenic travel throughout Wine Country.

Planning the Logistics

Ready to book? Please fill out our contact form to request a reservation. Once we receive the request, we will confirm availability and return your email (usually within 48-hours). If your desired tour date is available, we will require a refundable deposit of $100.00 to hold the reservation. An electronic invoice will be issued for the deposit, that can either be paid online or with us directly over the telephone. Once your reservation deposit is paid, we email our client survey and arrange a phone call to talk about your specific wine and touring interests.

If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to call or email us – we walk you through each step, and promise it’s really easy.

We will charge the remaining balance at the conclusion of your tour; parties may opt to split the bill between cards, if they wish.

Other Considerations

  • We can customize shorter or longer daily itineraries, as desired – keep in mind that it’s about 45 minutes to the first winery, and another hour+ from the last winery back to Portland, depending on traffic.
  • Please do not apply fragrant lotions, hair products or perfumes the morning of your tour! It is very difficult to taste fine wine with the competing aromas of ‘other’ strong fragrances in the room.  This will not only inhibit your ability to pick up on subtle nuances, but also disrupt the tasting experience of others around you.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes!  Many wineries will offer the chance to sneak back into the production area, or out to the vineyard – you will want to have full coverage shoes that are easy to walk in over uneven terrain.
  • Bring an extra layer! Even if the weather appears quite warm outside, many wineries will be brisk inside the production areas.
  • Eat a substantial breakfast or brunch before your tour. You are welcome to bring snacks, though we ask that you save them to enjoy only where outside food is permitted.