September 3rd, 2021

Fall Colors Through Art: Finding your palette in Oregon wine country

Greens… oranges… yellows… you must be in the heart of Oregon’s wine country experiencing harvest  around McMinnville, Oregon. Or are you? 

Perhaps you are falling in love with McMinnville’s art scene also located in the heart of Oregon wine  country. Many local artists capture the majesty of the vineyards in their art whether it be watercolor or  oil or mixed media. So where can you discover these masterpieces? 

Take a walking tour along our beautiful historic 3rd Street and enjoy art galleries and wine tasting… this itinerary is going to provide you many opportunities. 

A painting of yellow leafed vineyards with a red barn in the background.
Mt Hood Festival of Wine by Terry Peasley.

Stroll Through Art & Wine 

As you arrive into town, be sure to make your first stop at The Gallery at Ten Oaks to kick off your adventure while catching your breath from travel. You will be greeted with a complimentary splash of Bjornson Vineyard’s sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir bubbles to enjoy as you browse. Located approximately 5 blocks off 3rd Street and across from Linfield University, the gallery is located in an historic 1908 Craftsman home with two floors of art from 40 artists. 

Next, head to your home-away-from-home lodging at the lovely Douglas On Third. If you are arriving on a Friday evening, you’ll enjoy their complimentary wine tasting. Is it the 3rd Friday of the month? Enjoy McMinnville’s 3rd on 3rd from  4:30 pm until 8 pm to meet local artists, taste through wine, dine, and enjoy Historic Downtown  McMinnville. Purchase a 2-bottle Event Wine Bag for just $5 or make a donation (suggested $5 per  person) to benefit arts education in Yamhill County. 

After a good night’s sleep, you are ready to explore! Breakfast at nearby Community Plate will give you  energy to stroll through art and wine. Keep an eye out for McMinnville’s public art along the way  including local favorite Ben Franklin!

The front of Currents Gallery
Photo courtesy of Currents Gallery.

First up, Currents Gallery and right next door is R. Stuart & Company Wine Bar. Currents Gallery is owned and operated by a small partnership of local artists and represents more than 70 additional artists with shows changing monthly. The variety and high quality of the art brings visitors back to visit whenever they are in wine country. R. Stuart is the perfect break to enjoy a taste of Big Fire Pinot Noir or Love, Oregon Chardonnay before continuing on. 

A couple blocks away is the Marilyn Affolter Fine Art Gallery where you will explore fine art photography  and a beautiful curated collection of art by some of Oregon’s most talented artists. Lunch at McMenamins Hotel Oregon not only feeds your body but feeds your soul with the wonderful art throughout the building.

Cross the street to visit John Stromme Art Gallery and chat with John about his wide variety of styles. If  John isn’t there, look for him downstairs at Pinot Vista Tasting Room where he may be visiting with good  friend and Pinot Vista owner Rich Washburn.  

Wrap your day at Left By West where art, clothing and curated goods are combined for your enjoyment. Artist Zach Hixson and his wife Meg have created a lovely shop to browse. Head back to your room to freshen up before enjoying a delicious meal at Thai CountryBistro Maison, or Two Dogs Taphouse

It’s your final day to pack in the fun before heading back home. Brunch at the quaint Crescent Café where you can have a fresh-squeezed blood orange mimosa is a  must. Then stroll down to Willamette Valley Vineyards’ tasting room where a rotating guest artist will have art on display. Lovely wine to sip on as you browse the collection of art on the walls. 

As you head back home, you already start planning for your return, knowing new art will be delivered to  the galleries and new vintages will be in the tasting rooms. Unlock your senses through art and wine in  McMinnville.

This article was created in partnership with The Gallery at Ten Oaks, and was written by gallery owner, Nancy Morrow.