April 26th, 2024

Save the Date: 6 Willamette Valley Wine Festivals Not to Miss

A person standing in front of a wine barrel acting as a table talks to two guests with glasses of wine in their hands.  The table has wine bottles. It is a sunny day and there are a lot of people in the grassy background.
Vivianne Kennedy of RAM Cellars at Queer Wine Fest. Photo by Aly M. Winstead.

Summer in Oregon is for outdoor concerts, wildflower hikes, and wine festivals. A wine fest is a gathering of wineries, often with some music and food, where attendees can ask questions and taste through a selection of different bottlings from each winery. Attending one is a great way to learn what you like, meet winemakers behind your favorites, and try new things. Put these local wine festivals (listed chronologically) on your calendar now. 

Indie Wine Mixer

For the wine-drinker who needs to try the next big thing, the annual Indie Wine Mixer is a must-attend event. This is the place to meet the people behind 33 independent micro labels. These are wines made by winemakers with day jobs, bottles that reflect their passion projects and side hustles. Unless you’re already following them on social media, you’re not likely to be familiar with them, and as a result the Indie Wine Mixer is one of the most exciting events of the year. This year’s event will also have music and food trucks.

Who’s pouring? 

When: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, 2024 12-6pm
Where: The Bindery – 610 Northeast 4th Street McMinnville, OR 97128
Tickets: $50 single day, $85 weekend pass


AAPI Food & Wine Fest

A woman bends over to pour wine into a glass as she talks to two smiling guests.  There are several bottles of wine on the table and a dump bucket.
Renée Saint-Amour of Hundred Suns Wine at AAPI Food & Wine Fest. Photo by Joshua Chang, Foundry 503.

May is Oregon Wine Month and AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, so there’s no better time of year to celebrate AAPI-owned food and drink businesses. The second annual AAPI Food & Wine Fest in Dayton aims to do precisely that. It’s a collaborative party hosted by a bunch of beloved restaurants and beverage-makers. On each day of the two day event guests can taste a selection of wines and non-alcoholic beverages accompanied by bites from restaurants and food trucks. A nice option for those driving to Dayton is that there’s a limited number of  alcohol-free add-on tickets for designated drivers. 

Who’s pouring? 

Who’s cooking? 

When: Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, 2024 11am – 5pm
Where: Stoller Family Estate’s Experience Center – 16161 NE McDougall Road, Dayton, OR 97114
Tickets: General admission $75 per day and include a souvenir cup, passport to tastings, twelve bites from six chefs, ten wine pours from five wineries and two non-alcoholic mocktail tasters from Spirit of Sage mobile bar. Upon purchase, guests can select between 11AM-1PM, 1-3PM, 3-5PM tasting windows.  VIP Admission, which includes early entry and a Tournant Oyster and Snack Bar paired with sparkling wine, $125 per day


Queer Wine Fest

The Willamette Valley’s own Queer Wine Fest, founded by Remy Wines, was the world’s first wine event solely dedicated to highlighting wineries with LGBTQ+ leadership. Now in its third year, the event includes more than 15 wine producers from Oregon, Washington, and California. New this year, they’ve added an LGBTQ+ artist showcase and live art corner where guests can interact with artists as they create works inspired by the event. Renegade Mobile Kitchen is cooking, and the event includes a live new-wave pop stage show from Camp Crush. Host Remy Wines will also be debuting a new release wine called Unmet Desire, featuring label art by local queer artist Victoria Bradley.

Who’s pouring? 

When: Sunday, June 30 4 to 7pm
Where: Remy Wines – 17495 NE McDougall Rd, Dayton, OR 97114
Tickets: Tickets go on sale June 1


Three smiling women hold up stemless wine glasses with different colored wine in them.  Vineyards and tree lined hills are in the background.
Alt Wine Fest. Photo by Cheryl Juetten.

Alt Wine Fest

Oregon’s Pinot Noirs are celebrated the world over, but Oregon viticulturists grow more than 80 other grape varietals, too. The only rules at the down-to-earth Alt Wine Fest, hosted by Sunday School Wine at Abbey Road Farm in Carlton, are 1) no Pinot Noir allowed and 2) wines must be made only from Oregon grown grapes. This casual event is a chance to revisit old friends like Chardonnay and Gamay, and wildcards like Ehrenflsner, Huxelrebe and Garanoir. More than 30 wineries will be in attendance, and there will also be food and lawn games. It’s the must-attend wine fest for lovers of esoteric and creative Oregon wines! 

Who’s pouring? 

When: Sunday, July 14 1 to 5 pm, or 12 to 5 pm for VIP ticket holders.
Where: Abbey Road Farm – 10280 NE Oak Springs Farm Rd, Carlton, OR 97111
Tickets: General admission tickets are $75 and include a souvenir wine glass. VIP tickets, which also include early entry and a souvenir tote bag, are $125. ​​Designated driver tickets are free with the purchase of another ticket. 


Drink Pink Rosé Festival 

Come July, Youngberg Hill will host thirty area wineries at the eleventh annual Drink Pink Rosé Festival. It’s a chance for attendees to taste a variety of rosé wines made from several different grapes. The event will also include craft vendors, live music by blues artist Billy D and The Hoodoos, and food trucks including Los Kopitos. Another feature of the event is a raffle. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales will benefit With Courage, a Yamhill County-based nonprofit that supports local families impacted by breast cancer. 

Who’s pouring? 

When: Saturday, July 20, 2024 12-4pm

Where: Youngberg Hill Inn & Winery 10660 SW Youngberg Hill Rd, McMinnville, OR 97128

Tickets: $75 general admission includes a shatterproof wine glass and a voucher for a meal at one of the visiting food trucks; $125 VIP admission includes an insulated wine tumbler, a meal voucher, preferred parking, and access to exclusive VIP shaded seating area on Youngberg Hill’s porch


Rising Tide Wine Fest

Happening for the first time in 2024, Rising Tide Wine Fest is a one day gathering of mostly small production wineries, hosted in Gaston by Elk Cove Vineyards. Participating wineries largely represent labels without a tasting room of their own, so it’s a great opportunity to taste the work of small-production winemakers. The event’s organizers have promised food carts, DJ Jimbo spinning yacht rock, and nautical puns. Expect a smaller scale, more intimate wine fest atmosphere. A dozen wineries have signed on so far and the August event is still taking shape. 

Who’s pouring?  

When: Saturday, August 10, 2024
Where: Elk Cove Vineyards – 27751 NW Olson Road, Gaston OR 97119
Tickets: General Admission $50 per person, includes a commemorative wine glass


Emily Teel writes about cooking and dining and develops recipes on behalf of national brands. Mom to a toddler, she’s also an avid gardener and loves to forage for mushrooms in berries in the Pacific Northwest.