November 19th, 2018

Tiny Travels: Thanksgiving in McMinnville brings plenty of tastings, holiday markets and charm

Wine lovers and visitors to Oregon look forward to Thanksgiving weekend all year round, a time when everyone from the state’s largest producers to the tiniest, by-appointment cellars open their doors for fresh, fun events celebrating the latest releases of the season. But it’s also a time to experience the classic small town charms of McMinnville at events celebrating the spirit of the season.

In other words, come for the dozens of wine country experiences, stay for the delight of experiencing the holidays rife with nostalgia, charm and small town conviviality.

What’s happening at the wineries:

For a full list of happenings at North Willamette Valley producers, pull up the full guide of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (PDF) here.

Food & Wine

Who is doing food alongside wine? Try paired bites, artfully created hors d’oeuvres, light snacks, cheeses and other bites alongside the latest releases at Antiquum Farm, Beckham Estate Vineyards, Bella Vida Vineyards, Bergstrӧm Wines, Brooks Winery, Cana’s Feast Winery, Domaine Trouvére, Siltstone Wines, Lange Estate, Soléna Estate, Soter Vineyards, Methven Family Vineyards and Winery, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, and Yamhill Valley Vineyards. Left Coast Estate is going big with a culinary experience every day of the weekend at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Call the wineries

Art & Wine

Give me some eye candy with that stemware. For Thanksgiving weekend, Aramenta Cellars hosts a striking array of metal sculpture, Elk Cove Winery is throwing a reception for Wallow Gallery artists, Trisaetum Winery has an entire on-site art gallery with regular exhibitions. Saffron Fields has a regularly rotating exhibition of contemporary art in a stunning modern setting.


What style of music pairs perfectly with Pinot? All of them. Make it musical at Elizabeth Chambers Cellars, Franny Beck, Furioso Vineyards, and Stoller Family Estate, recently named the #1 Tasting Room in the U.S. by USAToday.

Holiday Markets

Willakenzie Estate’s beloved holiday market is back while Stoller Estate hosts a market of local vendors at its Thanksgiving celebration. Also, the McMinnville Holiday Market is back at The Bindery with a host of local artisans and vendors selling products you simply can see or purchase anywhere else. New this year is a McMinnville Night Market on Friday November 23, an event with live music, food trucks and drinks in a fun industrial setting.

Many tiny wineries host guests by appointment throughout the year, but Thanksgiving is the time to show up and get cozy. Try Newberg’s boutique Bells Up Winery, tiny Iota Cellars, Martin Woods Winery, open only twice a year. Or, if you want to taste small producers in one spot, head to Dominio IV Winery, where a small producer speakeasy brings together Project M, Matzinger Davies, and Résonance Wines.

Small-town highlight
The annual Tree-lighting Ceremony and Santa’s Parade happens on November 23 this year in downtown McMinnville. The old-fashioned parade travels a route down a star-lit, twinkly-lighted Third Street.

Emily Grosvenor is the voice behind Tiny Travels and the Editor of Oregon Home magazine.