Traveling to a wine region to visit the local vineyards is a wine lovers dream. And the more we’ve gotten into wine over the years, the more we’ve realized there are SO many more wine regions than the popular spots in California, France, Italy, and Spain, for example. Last year we traveled to Oregon for wine tasting in Dundee, which is within the Willamette Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). Dundee is specifically in the Dundee Hills region of the AVA and is known for its pinot noir.
You can check out our two-day Dundee itinerary here. In this post, though, we wanted to share some of our top tips for planning your trip for wine tasting in Dundee.
Our Top Tips for Wine Tasting in Dundee, Oregon
1. Get Your Wine Back Home for FREE!
The first time we went wine tasting in California, we didn’t think about how we’d get our wine back home! We squeezed several bottles each into our suitcases between clothes and hoped for the best. Fortunately, they made it back home safe and sound. Now that we have some experience, though, we always plan ahead for transporting our wine purchases. And what we learned after wine tasting in Dundee, is there are ways to do it for free!
- Southwest Airlines is a great option whether you’re wine tasting in Oregon or anywhere else in the U.S. You receive two free checked bags on Southwest so we always like to bring an empty suitcase with packing materials on our way out. You can bring wine shipping boxes or bubble wrap, whatever works for you. On the way home, we already have everything we need to safely pack it up and check the bag for free.
- Alaska Airlines has a “Wine Flies Free” partnership with wine tasting regions across the U.S. west coast! The program allows Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ members to bring home a whole case of wine with no baggage fee. There are 32 “Wine Flies Free” participating airports including Eugene, Medford, Portland, and Redmond in Oregon. BONUS: You can also get free tastings with your Alaskan airlines boarding pass! You can click here to find out if the wineries you plan to visit participate.
2. Don’t Drink & Drive! Hire a Driver in Advance.
The wineries in Dundee area aren’t necessarily far from each other but the roads are windy and – of course – you’re going to be drinking. Ubers and Lyfts are a great way to get around these days. However, they’re not always reliable when you have reservations and need to be at a winery at a specific time.
For these reasons, whenever we do wine tasting trips, we like to hire a driver so we don’t have to worry about transportation. Having a driver is beneficial for a few reasons:
- Most obviously, you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving.
- The driver can help keep you on track so you make all your reservations on time.
- Many drivers will help you plan your schedule in advance, or at least provide suggestions (if you’d like them).
- Drivers often have inside scoop and connections.
- Some drivers will make a lunch run for you if you need a to-go order picked up.
For wine tasting in Dundee, we used Main Street Drivers.
3. Plan Ahead for Dinner.
Ubers, at least in the Dundee area, are very hard to come by. And after a day of wine tasting, it’s unlikely you’ll want (or be able) to drive yourself to dinner. There also aren’t very many late night restaurants in Dundee. For this reason, you may want to pick accommodations that are walking distance to restaurants, or make sure there are delivery options nearby.
We stayed at the La Bastide Bed & Breakfast and we can’t recommend it enough. The bonus of this B&B is a delicious breakfast cooked to order for you in the morning. But when it comes to dinner, you’re on your own. We walked to La Sierra Mexican Grill after our first day of tasting which is about an 11 minute walk. The second night we walked to Lumpy’s Tavern.
4. Book Your Tastings in Advance
Needing a reservation for wine tasting is true for almost all wine regions. But, we specifically want to mention this for Dundee because some of the tasting rooms are fairly small. Also, some of the wineries only offer tastings on particular days of the week. Make sure to plan ahead, and we’d recommend no more than three winery visits per day taking into account driving time.
If you decide to stick with just the tasting rooms in downtown Dundee, you may have a better chance of walking in for a tasting without a reservation. You may also be able to squeeze in more than three tastings if you’re staying in downtown.
Other helpful resources for wine tasting in Dundee
Need more inspiration for your your next wine tasting trip?
Check out these blog posts to help you plan your trip:
- Two Days in Oregon Wine Country
- The Cost of Wine Tasting in Palisade, Colorado
- California Wine Country: Hits & Misses in Sonoma/Napa Valley
- Sunset at Santo Wines
- Wine Tasting in Santorini: Estate Argyros
- Where to Stay in Dundee, Oregon