June 13th, 2023

Design lovers visiting Oregon wine country, STOP HERE

Heading to Oregon wine country but looking for a taste of design while you’re at it? Stop at these design-forward locales where the space is often as interesting as the grapes.

A smiling man pours wine into a glass at a table where two women sit across from each other, smiling.
Photo: Cheryl Juetten

Taste: Arborbrook Vineyards, Newberg

Just last year, interior designer Max Humphrey, known for his book Modern Americana, transformed the new tasting facility in a 1910 barn at Arborbrook Vineyards, a project by Cooper Mountain Vineyards. The property in the Chehalem Mountain AVA has a sweet minimal schoolhouse vibe that respects the building’s history without feeling old-fashioned. Look for benches by woodworker Nathan Dinihanian as you taste full-bodied Oregon Chardonnay or an estate Pinot noir. 

A large room with glass walls revealing sprawling vineyards. Modern white furniture and glass tables are placed throughout.

Taste: Furiouso Vineyards, Dundee

People who love glass houses should plan a stop at the modern tasting facility and winery for Furioso Vineyards, a master class in positioning a building to connect with the landscape. The facility by Wachter Architecture, which replaced a collection of utilitarian spaces in 2019, has unobstructed views on four sides and lends visitors the feeling they are hovering within the vineyards. Plush bucket seats look out over the winery’s 30-year-old, self-roote Pommard clones. Try the 2021 Pietro Pinot Noir, with ripe, black fruit notes.

A circular raised garden bed with a lot of plants in and around them.
Photo: Zach McKinley

Taste: Domaine Willamette, Dayton

Design lovers will adore the landscaping and gardens at Domaine Willamette, the first tasting sparkling room in Oregon to have an on-site aging cellar. Biodynamic farming – where a farm is conceived as a living organism with its own cyclical processes – has been a hallmark at Willamette Valley Vineyards for a long time. But it gets a symbolic representation in the winery’s regenerative gardens – with tiered seating areas, cascading waterfalls, gathering pools, and pristine views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. It’s a delightful place to stop and celebrate with a glass of bubbly while you’re traveling 99W towards McMinnville. 

A hotel room with 4 bunks built into the wall, two easy chairs, a table with a book and a glass of wine.
Photo: Greg Kozawa

Stay: The Atticus, McMinnville

Designer Christina Tello, working with architect Nathan Cooprider, put together the engaging, comfortable, and upscale look behind the Atticus, in a style she calls “Oregon Romanticism.” in an age when so many hotels try to look the same, the Atticus is an example of how to incorporate the local ethos into a look that feels like a welcome. Modern lighting, lush fabrics, art painted by local artists, and custom bath products give everything a bespoke touch. Plan to play a board game in the secret library off of the main entrance, or book the bunkhouse for a master class in pattern mixing.

A large quartzite bar with green tile below.  Chairs span the bar and pendant lighting hangs over it.

Eat/Drink: Humble Spirit, McMinnville

Design isn’t necessarily the first reason you reserve a table at Humble Spirit for dinner. Far more likely you’re here for the farm-raised meats, delicate takes on valley produce, and pitch-perfect approach to seasonality by Chef Brett Uniss. But design lovers should not miss what I like to think of as a destination bar counter – with its natural stone Patagonia Quartzite made for cocktail selfie dreams. Holly Freres at JHL Design pulled together the restaurant’s homey, upscale look with white oak, brass accents, and millwork by Jamison Sellers of Bolster Furniture & Design. Is it worth driving to McMinnville just to drink a lemon and thyme gin and tonic on a slab of quartzite? Yes – yes it is.

Illustration of writer, Emily Grosvenor

Emily Grosvenor is the author of Find Yourself at Home: A Conscious Approach to Shaping Your Space and Your Life, and editor of Oregon Home magazine.