Maximum Attendance: 16
Tuesday – Thursday, August 3-5
About the Ribbon Ridge American Viticultural Area
The Ribbon Ridge American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established on July 1, 2005 and is a sub-AVA within the Willamette Valley. It is the smallest AVA in Oregon with only 500 planted acres and one of the most prestigious wine growing regions in the world.
Ribbon Ridge is the most decorated AVA with 90+ scores according to Wine Advocate. In 2017, 88% (or 29 of 33) of the Ribbon Ridge wines were rated 90+, 89% of which were pinot noir. In 2018, Ribbon Ridge continued to net the highest scores of all AVAs as rated by the Wine Advocate, with 87% of those wines submitted receiving 90+ scores (33 of 38).
Ribbon Ridge is a 3.5-mile long by 1.75-mile wide ridge that extends from the Chehalem Mountains. The ridge rises 683 feet from the Chehalem Valley floor, giving it an island-like appearance. Ribbon Ridge is typical of hillside sites with earlier starts to warming, less nighttime temperature drops, and clipped heat spikes in midsummer that provide a consistent climate for adequate ripening. These conditions allow longer, cooler growing seasons which are ideal for delicate varietals like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Ribbon Ridge’s island-like characteristics and the proximity of surrounding landmasses tend to shield and uniquely protect the viticultural area from many of the extremes that affect the other agricultural microclimates in the northern Willamette Valley. Air and water drainage exist on all sides. Low clouds tend to accumulate on the surrounding hilltops; fog tends to settle on the valley floor in the early and late parts of the growing season.
Transportation & Accommodations
You will be picked up at 2:00 PM at PDX on Tuesday, August 3. If you are flying to the airport you should book a flight that arrives by 1:00 PM. If you are driving to the pre-conference excursion, you can also choose to meet at your hotel.
On Thursday morning, August 5 at the end of the excursion we will shuttle to the Valley River Inn in Eugene for the start of the conference. You should book your return flights based on whether you are attending a post-conference excursion.
You have the option to stay at either of two properties for Tuesday and Wednesday nights:
- Best Western in Newberg: current rates $104 and $114 for King or King Suite respectively. Please call the hotel at 503-537-3000 (front desk manager is Kayla) and use the name Ribbon Ridge Pre-Conference to receive this rate. The rate expires at 3:00 PM PT on July 9.
- Yamhill Flats in Newberg: These are various rental units. Rates are $177.50 – $204 per night. The booking code is TASTENEWBERG. When making reservations online or by phone (971.832.3399), enter booking code TASTENEWBERG to receive a special welcome amenity.
What is Included
The cost of the pre-conference excursion is $25 and includes ground transportation starting from PDX and ending in Eugene on the first day of the Wine Media Conference, winery visits, tastings, and most meals. It does not include transportation to/from Oregon or accommodations.
Please note details may change.
Tuesday, August 3
2:00 PM We will pick you up at Portland International Airport (PDX) and transfer to our hotels in Newberg.
4:00 PM Arrive in Newberg and check into your hotel
5:00 PM We’ll depart for a driving tour of the Ribbon Ridge AVA to see the geography and receive an overview of the area; we might stop at a winery or two for a quick tasting or to meet a winemaker!
6:30 PM Winemaker Dinner at the Allison Inn: This will be a 3-course meal co-hosted by Taste Newberg and The Allison Inn & Spa, an Oregon Wine Country Resort, with wines donated by the Ribbon Ridge AVA. The wine pairings will be either Chardonnay or Pinot Gris for the starter, Pinot Noir for entrée, and dessert Riesling for dessert.
Wednesday, August 4
8:00 AM + Breakfast on your own in the hotel
9:00 AM Pick up at your hotel for a five-winery tour of the Ribbon Ridge AVA
9:30 AM We will start our day with a visit to RR Wines. With five decades of experience and the first vines planted on Ribbon Ridge, each bottle of Estate-grown Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Grüner Veltliner and Gamay Noir the winery crafts is reflective of the Ribbon Ridge’s reputation as one of the worlds truly special wine regions.
11:30 AM Second stop at Trisaetum Estate Vineyard and Winery, owned since 2003 by James and Andrea Frey. The Ribbon Ridge production facility actually produces wines for their 18401 Cellars (Walla Walla) and Pashey (Sparkling) brands. Here we will enjoy appetizers specially designed to pair with the wines we will be tasting.
1:30 PM We will head to our third stop at Utopia Estate Vineyard where we will tour the vineyard and have a sort of pre-dinner first course on the patio. Hands-on owner Dan Warnshuis is not only winemaker and vineyard manager but also a key leader of the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Lunch will include a selection of wines from Utopia and other Ribbon Ridge AVA wineries.
3:30 PM We will then head up to the top of Ribbon Ridge to Eminent Domaine for the main dinner event at Eminent Domaine’s outdoor kitchen while enjoying amazing vistas overlooking Ribbon Ridge AVA. Dinner will be accompanied with wine tastings featuring host winery Eminent Domaine and guest wineries from the Ribbon Ridge AVA.
6:00 PM Finally we will head a short distance down the hill to Styring Estate Vineyard and Winery for a dessert course and specially paired wines to top off our day. Styring Estate promises “Getting to Styring involves taking the road less traveled. Beautiful fields of green, rolling hills, and these wonderful little paths that make you feel you are going on a mini adventure instead of just tasting wine.” Dessert will be accompanied with wines from Styring and several guest wineries featuring the Ribbon Ridge AVA.
Thursday, August 5
7:00 AM + Breakfast on your own in hotel
9:00 AM Hotel pickup for transportation to Eugene for Wine Media Conference to arrive 11:00 AM.