4 Wineries You Must Visit in McMinnville AVA

November 13, 2022

Planning a visit to the Willamette Valley or more specifically, are you intrigued by the amazing McMinnville AVA located just west of McMinnville in the Coast Range foothills? 

Back in 2017, April and I were at a wine tasting at Johan and began a conversation with their assistant winemaker at the time.  We asked him to provide a recommendation on an up-and-coming, or somewhat unknown Willamette Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) because we were very interested in purchasing land to build a vineyard and eventually, a winery.  Without hesitation, he directed us to the McMinnville AVA.  He told us to start by visiting J Wrigley and continue on to Coleman Vineyards. 

We took the advice, and about 45 minutes later, we arrived in Sheridan at J Wrigley.  Amazing wines, but more on that later.

We continued on to Coleman, and started a conversation with one of the owners, Kim.  We asked if she could recommend an area within the AVA to purchase land, and she directed us to a small vineyard planed on 88 acres of land.  The rest was history, as we purchased the property within the year.  Not only did Kim introduce us to our future estate vineyard, but she also introduced us to my (Brian’s) now-favorite single clone wine.  Again, more on that in a moment. 

Without further ado, April and I would like to share a few recommendations for those visiting the McMinnville AVA and in search of amazing wines.  In no particular order….

J Wrigley

As the crow flies, J Wrigley is less than a half mile from Violet Vines’ estate vineyard and literally across the street.  We share Gopher Valley!

Visit J Wrigley, enjoy the sights, but most importantly, ask for the bubbles and for Pinot noir lovers that are interested in a fairly rare varietal, asked for the Single Clone 828.  You won’t be disappointed, and as a side note, our Clone 828 experience was the catalyst for our 2020 planting of the same clone, which will begin producing in 2023!

Visit Website


Not only is Kim and Randy’s vineyard a sentimental favorite, they are located super close and consistently produce amazing wines.  As alluded to above, ask for the Deer Run 115.  This wine was also a personal inspiration, as it led us to plant two more acres of Clone 115 in 2020 and we also bottled our first Pinot noir Single Clone 115 from our estate vineyard in 2021.  Few wineries bottle Single Clone 115, but in our neighborhood, there are two worth trying!

Visit Website

Brittan Syrah

Syrah in the McMinnville AVA?  ABSOLUTELY!  Even before we discovered Robert’s McMinnville AVA Syrah in late 2022, we had committed to planting three acres of Syrah because of the amazing potential of cooler weather Syrah.  We stopped by the tasting room in McMinnville and were truly impressed.  Although there’s more to Brittan Vineyards than Syrah, be sure to ask for this wine. 

Visit Website

Youngberg Hill

Well before Violet Vines and before we lived in the area, April and I joined Youngberg Hill’s wine club.  We never had the opportunity to stay at the winery, but their wines were consistently great.  During your visit, ask for the J (Jordan) Block Pinot noir.  We found each vintage had its own unique characteristic, but no matter what, it was our favorite.  Natasha’s not so bad either!

Visit Website

During your next visit to the area, we strongly recommend visiting each of these wineries, and be sure to contact us for a visit too.  Seasonally, we’d love to host you in our “tasting outlook” tucked in between our Pinot noir 115 and Albarino vines, overlooking the Cascades.  And in November, we can’t wait to invite you into the winery, library tasting room, and the “tasting cavern”.

PS.  Looking for a place to stay nearby? Our top two recommendations based on personal experience are:

  1. The Bella Collina – Seriously, everyone needs to stay here at least once in their lifetimes!
  2. The Atticus Hotel – Right in the heart of downtown McMinnville’s historic district.

Cheers, hope to see you soon!

Violet Vines VIneyard
Share This Post
Newsletter Signup