June 16th, 2023

Wine de Roads: Discover Local Pinot Noir by Bike

Three people ride bicycles along a road overlooking a vineyard.
Lisa Gilbertson leads Cathy and Scott Reeves between wineries during a Wine de Roads bike tour.
Photos by Dan Shryock. 

Cathy and Scott Reeves stand on the grass outside Eminent Domaine’s tasting room in the Ribbon Ridge region northwest of Newberg. They cradle glasses of pinot noir in their hands and listen as tour guide Lisa Gilbertson describes the distant hills. Slopes of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, she says, are to the left. To the right in the distance is the Coast Range.

The Reeves decided to visit Oregon wine country on a spring visit from Charleston, S.C., in large part because of their shared passion for pinots. There are seven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in Yamhill County, and the couple begins to grasp the local geography as they stand here looking across from one AVA, Ribbon Ridge, to another.

The Reeves recently discovered wine bike tours as “a great way to see smaller vineyards at a leisurely pace,” Scott says, and an online search led them to Wine de Roads, a Newberg-based tour company that showcases local wineries by bicycle. So, here they are on a blue-sky day sipping wine and admiring the scenery.

Two people sit in chairs while they sip on red wine.  Two other people stand as they are talking to the seated folks.  They are outside on patio furniture with a vineyard in the background.
Phil Amaya , left, and Lisa Gilbertson talk with Scott and Cathy Reeves at Eminent Domaine winery.
Photos by Dan Shryock.

Eminent Domaine is the first of three stops in the Ribbon Ridge and Chehalem Mountains AVAs during this bike tour. They will pedal to Anacréon Winery and then Domaine Divio. They will sample vintages, enjoy a box lunch, and spend their day meeting the people who make and pour the wine.

Lisa and husband Phil Amaya launched Wine de Roads in 2019 after cycling past vineyards during their own bike rides. They imagined how visitors would enjoy the same rides, so they created a six-hour Wine de Roads tour with bike rentals and van shuttles to and from area hotels, including the Atticus Hotel in McMinnville .

“We have found the experience people get at smaller wineries is something they often haven’t experienced before,” Lisa says. “People visiting the area are unlikely to find some of these wineries on their own because they are so small. It is always a treat for our guests to meet and possibly even taste with an owner or winemaker.”

Two people pose in front of an old fashioned red truck with the logo for Anacreon winery on the truck door.  The people hold glasses of wine.
Scott and Cathy Reeves visit Anacréon Winery during their Wine de Roads bike tour.

The tour arrives at Anacréon Winery after four miles of pedaling along quiet, rural roads. Owners Danell and Kipp Myers greet Cathy and Scott, ushering them to a table for two on their garden patio. The guests gaze across acres of vines in early bloom as they await their wine samplings. Good lunch conversation stretches for more than an hour as Danell and Kipp explain their wines, their mission, and their passion.

Bottles are purchased, which Phil will later retrieve and deliver as the cyclists continue to the final stop, Domaine Divio. In all, Cathy and Scott ride seven miles over six hours visiting three wineries.

“We try to provide some education at the wineries as well as helping the guests interact with the staff at the wineries, so we don’t want that time to be rushed,” Lisa says. “We can do longer custom routes for people who really want more mileage.”

Visit Wine de Roads online for complete information.

Dan Shryock

Dan Shryock regularly writes about McMinnville, travel, and cycle tourism.  See his work at danshryock.com.