Knowing something his peers didn’t, David Lett spent his honeymoon planting Pinot Noir cuttings in the rich, volcanic soil of the Dundee Hills. That was 1965, just a few short miles from the Atticus Hotel.
Lett, and other pioneers like Charles Coury, Dick Erath and David Adelsheim, would go on to publicize the potential for Willamette Valley wine, winning esteemed international competitions with their formidable cellar work and capturing the full attention of established regions like Burgundy, the Napa Valley and beyond.
Today, the Willamette Valley is Wine Enthusiast’s 2016 Wine Region of the Year. More than 700 vineyards and 530 producers are spread among the Valley’s six American Viticultural Areas, which vary in terms of climate, soil type, elevation and the character of the resulting wines. Front and center is Pinot noir, a notoriously temperamental grape that, when treated carefully, yields medium-bodied magic in the glass.
Pinot noir is the dominant varietal here, but as one of the most expressive wines in existence, no two are exactly alike. Willamette Valley wine country is also increasingly known for its remarkable:
- Pinot Gris
- Gamay Noirs
About the only thing rivaling the quality of local wine is the hospitality; inviting by nature, eclectic in personality, and decidedly Oregonian.
Many of the Willamette Valley’s oldest, most famous wineries are right in our backyard. Some 200 are within a 20-mile radius of the Atticus Hotel alone. We can set you on your merry way, whether it be to a casual tasting at the Granary District a few blocks away or a private barrel tasting hosted by the winemaker. The possibilities are endless but we are here to make your wine country excursion as tailor-made and memorable as imaginable.
The Willamette Valley is home to six unique American Viticultural Areas: