The southern Willamette south of Eugene has a special place in my heart. My first visit was in 1992 when I house-sat for friends on the mid-Oregon coast in Florence. I took a day trip inland and just for fun decided to drop down south and check out the wineries. My expectations were not high. At that point, I was still a bit of a California snob.
Living here in Seattle, I admit I’m among the many that are proud of our famous wine regions and wines. Since I love to vacation on the Oregon coast, I find myself in the upper Willamette/Yamhill AVA a couple of times a year. This area is conveniently located along Route 18, the road leading from Portland to the coast, and it’s easy to hop on and off the freeway to visit a variety of wineries.