For new versions of Willamette Valley wines, visit Portland’s newest urban tasting rooms

In and around Portland, Oregon, a new crop of urban wineries and tasting rooms opened this year, offering wine lovers new ways to sample the city’s Willamette Valley. From a gleaming, state-of-the-art cellar perched high in the West Hills, to an Irvington tasting room that deftly blends pinot and riesling with single-source chocolate – plus a suburban dining venue with plenty of flight options along the Northwest. Pacific cuisine – these are the newest destinations to enjoy Willamette Valley wines without the car to wine country.

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Amaterra Urban Cellar

Prepare to be wowed by the scope and scale of Amaterra Winery, a modern wonder perched high in Portland’s West Hills. This ambitious project – which took many years in the making – not only includes an urban winemaking facility, but also a 12-acre vineyard, high-end restaurant, wine and cocktail bar and event space with lush, expansive gardens. Also, it has views for days.

Is it a waterfall you see trickling down the sloping hills? And are there lawn games being played on the lawn? Because yes. Are these the coastal mountains you see in the distance? On a clear day, yes. And this is a proposal happening on the lawn? Definitely. Everything seems totally removed from the city, but it is only 15 minutes from the city center.

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Visit Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm, for wine flights ($25) from Amaterra and its sister brand, 51Weeks Winemaking, along with small bites. The current tasting flight includes a Rosé of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Éclater from the Willamette and Columbia valleys.

After 4:30 pm, book a table for dinner and enjoy a glass, bottle or tasting flight alongside Executive Chef Jami Flatt’s elegant New American cuisine. Must-try dishes include Swede Hill meatballs (a tribute to the Scandinavian immigrants who populated the area in the 1800s), grilled scallops, vegetable risotto from the market, and any of the salads featuring local, hyper-seasonal produce. All desserts are also winners.

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Amaterra’s latest addition, L1 Bar & Terrace, also offers a rotating cocktail and G&T, plus picnic boxes for two.

Reservations on Amaterra are strongly recommended. Book one by becoming a wine club member or paying a one-time $25 membership fee, which can be applied on your first visit to two bottles of wine to go or refunded if you join the wine club.

Bons Amis Wine + Chocolate Tasting

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Bons Amis (“good friends” in French) is a new experimental tasting room from Willamette Valley-based Brooks Wine and Portland’s first chocolate maker, Woodblock Chocolate bean-to-bar. The Oregon-based duo of makers teamed up to highlight the parallels between the estate’s growing grapes and artisanal, single-source cocoa chocolate — and how they can taste together when deftly combined.

Located in Woodblock’s French-inspired cafe in its bright and airy Irvington factory, the tasting room cafe marks the first time Brooks, based in the Eola Amity hills, has brought its biodynamic wines to Portland.

The signature pairing ($30 per person) features a quartet of Pinot Noirs 2018 by Brooks with distinctive chocolates from Ecuador, Peru, Tanzania and Madagascar. The salé/salty pairing ($30) features the 2016 Extended Tirage Sparkling Riesling and four savory snacks such as goat cheese with cocoa topping. And the sucré/sweet option serves a semi-sweet Riesling Cahiers 2018 alongside milk, dark milk, malt and coffee varieties.

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There’s even an option for beer lovers: the apéro tasting ($15) includes a chocolate-infused drink from local favorites like Wolves and People, plus savory salted cocoa beans and cocoa-dusted nuts.

No reservations required, so go to Bon Amis on Fridays from 3pm to 7pm, Saturdays from 12pm to 7pm and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Lake Oswego Tasting Room and Restaurant

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WVV has been making classic Oregon pinots since 1983, and their latest expansion is a tasting room and satellite restaurant on State Street in Lake Oswego. The sleek, elegant space features an impressive glass wine wall, wine cabinets, and a latticed patio with outdoor fire pits.

It’s a charming setting to savor WVV’s sustainable Oregon bubbles, chardonnay and pinot alongside Chef Cory Rom’s Pacific Northwest-inspired dishes. Opt for a set seasonal flight or go the self-healed route ($20-25).

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There’s also a seasonal three-course tasting menu with wine pairing ($96), or you can order entrees like Sockeye Salmon with Meyer Lemon Mousseline or Carmen Ranch Beef Rib à la carte and have wine pairings customized for the day. your order for an additional $36.

The WVV Lake Oswego Outpost is open Wednesday to Friday from 4pm to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 9pm.

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