January is often associated with resolutions……. The New Year is a marker in time that can inspire us to assess where we are and if there are any changes or new goals we’d like to incorporate into our lives. However, there is also an unspoken pressure to center those habits on productivity, as if we are solely a result of what we get done. But what about the things that bring us joy? The times that cause us to pause, take a look around, and appreciate all the current year is offering? Shouldn’t those things receive the same attention and planning? At The Dundee, we are here for helping you prioritize “planning for the joy” and making a habit out of getting to Wine Country. You are more than what you produce, and we hope you get to enjoy the memories that will fill your reflections of 2022 come January 2023.

1. January

When you think of wine country, January might not be the first month that pops into your head. But what many don’t know is that despite the shorter days and cloudier skies, January is a fantastic time to visit the Willamette Valley. It’s quiet and peaceful here in the winter, making it perfect for a mini-getaway. It’s often less crowded, which also means less pricey, and a silver mist covers the vines, making you feel as if you’ve stepped into a wine-focused Brigadoon. And nothing says starting the year off right like a weekend of wellness. Come eat local, organic, delights and catch up on your post holiday rest in our one-of-a-kind rooms. Partake in the first wine events of the year, from winemaker dinners and private tastings, truffle forays, and food/wine pairings. If you’re hoping to make a habit out of wine country, there’s no better start than kicking the year off with a bang at The Dundee.

January marks a new start- why not begin with a warm cup of coffee in the heart of wine country?

As the new year begins, so does truffle season! 

2. February

February in Oregon wine country is all about love. But while a romantic weekend away with your partner is always something to look forward to (look for our Valentine’s Day package, and year-round bubbly and flowers add-ons) we celebrate all kinds of love here in the Valley. Bring a group of girlfriends for Galantine’s Day and celebrate in our squad room. Bring your mother and reserve her a suite of her own. Perhaps you choose to celebrate love by treating yourself to a night away, or bringing along your four-legged friends. Shop local for the people on your mind, snuggle up inside with a cozy blanket and bottle of wine, or check out the chocolate and wine pairing events around town. There is no wrong way to celebrate love, and we’re here to help spread that love around!

We all know the way to someones heart can be a bouqet of flowers. Why not let us grab it for you? Check out our floral arrangement add-ons here

Here at The Dundee we LOVE love, and we want to make your future valentines stay as special as can be. 

3. March

We have a secret to confess… early spring is one of our absolute favorite times to visit the Willamette Valley. We always think of winter in Oregon as a brand new coloring book, but as spring arrives color starts to pop up, filling in the grey with brightness and vitality. March gives you the best of both worlds: the silver mists and gentle rains of cozy winter with the returning birdsongs and budding flowers of spring. This is a great time to check out some garden workshops at Red Ridge Farms, or the annual McMinnville Wine and Food Classic, which showcases dozens of wineries, local chefs, artists, and musicians. The glory of March is still relatively less known, so plan your trip here and enjoy the quiet calm before the bustle of the busier spring and summer months.

The Mcminnville Wine + Food Classic brings together dozens of distillers, brewers, chefs, and winemakers in celebration of local wine, food and beer to be shared with the community. For more information about this event, click here.

Durant at Red Ridge Farms hosts several workshops throughout the year for personalized experiences in the Willamette Valley. 

4. April

April in wine country is all about the flora! Say goodbye to the gray and welcome the intense pops of reds, blues, greens, corals, oranges, purples, and yellows as the wildflowers make their grand debut. Harvey Creek Trail is a great spot for wildflower viewing, as is Bell’s Up Winery. But our favorite choice for floral photography is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn. Spot the fields of rainbow colors as you drive up to acres and acres of tulip rows ready for viewing. Local vendors and artists often sell their creations at the festival (which extends throughout the month of April), and dogs are welcome on the property as well. There’s even a hot air balloon available for rides on weekends to help with that perfect picture, not to mention the out-of-body experience of soaring over one of the most beautiful farms in Oregon. Just make sure your cameras are fully charged and wear closed toe shoes, as it can get muddy!

Soar the skies in a hot air balloon ride over the Willamette Valley. Check out more information here

Harvey Creek Trail is a great forested hike nearby the hotel and a favorite among people and dogs! Ask us a bout a 5 mile loop starting at the hotel that provides sweeping vineyard views and a dip onto the Harvey Creek Trail.

5. May

If there’s anything we love more than wine here in the Valley, it’s dogs! And with May being national pet month, we hope you’ll come celebrate your furry friends with us at The Dundee. Check out our pet packages, our local dog-friendly restaurants, hikes, coffee shops, and of course the unending list of dog friendly wineries in the area. Keeler Estate specifically offers a Pinot and Puppies membership, where for just $5 each allocation you will receive an organic dog treat and a donation to Homeward Bound Animal Shelter. Check out our dog friendly itinerary and a full list of dog-friendly wineries.

At The Dundee, your VIP’S (Very Important Pups) matter to us! Every room at The Dundee is pet friendly!

Wanna bring your pup with you for the adventure? Don’t worry, many tasting rooms and vineyards in the Valley are pet friendly.

6. June:

June marks another time of transition in the Willamette Valley. No longer spring, yet not quite fully summer, this is a great time to take advantage of the warmer temperatures before the full force of the summer heat kicks in. Check out local relay races, biking events, winery dinners, and sunnier trails, all the while getting pumped up for the ultimate June celebration in the Willamette Valley: Wine Country Pride! Support your local LGBTQIA+ run organizations, from restaurants to wineries, shops, and farms. Remy Wines and Pollinate Flowers are two of our favorite great local businesses who are active in Pride! Check out our Pride 2021 highlights.

Remy Drabkin, founder of Remy Wines is also the co-founder of Wine Country Pride, an organization bringing pride celebrations to the Willamette Valley.

Pride Pinot Gris is a limited edition wine bottle specifically to raise funds for Wine Country Pride and our various initiatives. It was met with such popularity that currently the only way to get your hands on some is to join the Rainbow Quest and visit @remywines ????

7. July:

July means it’s time to visit the Willamette Valley in all of its summer glory. Stop by the wineries to find the clearest and most beautiful views, while allowing the gentle breeze to cool off the otherwise warmer days. Activities and events abound during the summer so you will find plenty to occupy your time, whether you’re here for a single night or a matter of weeks. Both group and private tastings are available, wine release events, Vineyard Hikes, Wine Master classes, horseback riding tours, hot air balloon flights over the vineyards, and much, much more. On weekends, we recommend checking out the live music at Methven Winery, and grabbing some Mexican food next door at Los Kopitos food truck, check out our recommended plan. No matter what you choose though, if you’re looking to see wine country at its liveliest, July is always a good bet.

Wine paired with refreshing live music and tacos? Sounds like the perfect summer day. Check out Methvens live music events throughout the summer here

There is so much to offer within just one mile of the hotel. Want to see it all? Check out walking maps placed all around the hotel or request one from the front desk. 

Looking to relax outdoors in the hot sun with stunning views of the Valley? Check out our friends at Domaine Roy and Fils, who host several tastings in their large outdoor patio, perfect for the hot summer season. 

8. August:

August is the perfect time for a full family getaway. Plan that last trip out of town before school starts back up again. Several wineries allow all ages on their premises (with Knudsen in particular offering a grape juice flight for those under 21) and in the summer, there is also plenty to do in the area that isn’t wine related. McMinnville’s Wings and Waves water park, the Evergreen Aviation Museum, local creameries for cheese tastings, the 99W Drive-In Movie Theater, plus several parks and trails can all provide entertainment for the whole family.  We also recommend exploring swimming holes, fishing at Red Hills Lake, or touring with a jet boat in Newberg, taking full advantage of what is likely the last swimmable month of the year. While most of our rooms have one King size bed, our special Squad Room with six luxury bunks is a fun adventure for the family, all the fun of a camp out, but in the most comfortable bunk you’ll ever sleep in!

Wine tasting doesnt have to just be for the adults anymore. Knudsen Vineyards offers a kid-friendly approach to wine tasting- juice flights!

With Hagg lake being just 35 miles from the hotel, you can enjoy many water activities and beautiful sights at this lake. 

9. September:

“September” means one thing in Oregon wine country: the HARVEST. There is never a bad time to visit, but if you’re interested in learning about wine making, September is the time to feel the electric energy and buzzing excitement of the season’s final yield. Take a tour of the vineyards, explore the cellars, and see firsthand how the wines are punched, sorted, and barreled before eventually transforming into that sensational flavor profile you experience on your palate. It’s especially fun to breathe in the air and take detailed notes about the weather, as it determines the direction each freshly harvested varietal will take. While we always recommend tours with the winemakers first, Oregon is full of experienced and knowledgeable guides. Check out our experience “working the harvest“.

As September approaches, harvest season is in full flight and several harvest events are hosted in the Valley.

Check out all of our harvest events in the Willamette Valley here.

10. October:

October is the time to see the Willamette Valley’s spectacular autumn splendor. Watch the leaves change color, bringing sensational views across the state (this is one of the rare times that green might not be the dominant color you see here). Live your best Fall-lives while putting on your coziest sweaters, beanies, and scarves before taking a crisp, clear fall walk across a vineyard, eventually settling down to taste a flight. Downtown Newberg often holds trick-or-treating events as Halloween grows closer, and for you book worms out there, nothing quite beats the sensation of tasting world-class wine by a fire, a book in hand, as the vast beauty around you further feeds your imagination.

Break out the cozy sweaters and embrace the fall season as October unleashes the true colors of the Willamette Valley. 

Calling all bookworms! Every room at The Dundee comes with a hand picked selection of books to cozy up with during your stay. 

11. November:

When it comes to planning your joy, a November trip to wine country can mean a time to center on gratefulness, thanks, and family (blood related or chosen). Several wineries hold Thanksgiving Dinners and events, but a trip to The Dundee can mean booking our squad room, ordering delicious food and wine to go, and playing games with your loved ones; taking the time to express gratefulness through the action of being present and absorbing the time that often goes by too quickly. If you’re traveling solo this year, one of our favorite Thanksgiving activities is to snuggle up in a cloud-like robe (don’t worry, The Dundee has them for you) and write a letter to someone you’re thankful for. Maybe it’s a close friend or family member, or maybe it’s a former teacher or boss. Or perhaps this year you’d like to focus on the act of taking time for yourself, which, we believe on its own is a gesture of gratefulness. It’s acknowledging the time you set aside for your own wellbeing. But whatever Thanksgiving means to you, there’s a room with your name on it here at The Dundee.

Several vineyards host thanksgiving dinners in the Willamette Valley to celebrate the season.

Give thanks this month by spending quality time with the ones you love most.

Celebrate friendsgiving at Domaine Roy and Fils!

12. December:

It’s the final month of the year, and that means time for reflection and rest. Check out our 7 Reasons to Visit Wine Country in Winter.  There is a specific peacefulness that can only come in the quiet of winter. Add on fewer crowds, discount prices, more opportunities for private tastings, seasonal foods unavailable during the rest of the year, and frost dusted vineyards that seem to effortlessly disappear into the silver mists of the PNW, and you get a rare opportunity to experience the Willamette Valley as locals do. This is the time to come when you wish to clear your head, to visit a winery and sip slowly, absorbing the calmness that has settled in the valley as the vines hibernate, gaining strength for their big debut in the spring. Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do! The Valley has a lot to offer when it comes to winter and holiday festivities, but when it comes to planning your joy, this is the time to take pause, carve out a moment for yourself, let everything unnecessary go, and just be.

Winter in wine country is a unique and beautiful sight. 

Winter in Wine Country is anything but dull, as wineries continue to host tastings rain or shine.

The vines in the middle of winter at L’Angolo Estate

So there you have it! A list of reasons to plan your joy, visit us each month, and make a habit out of getting away to wine country. We look forward to seeing you here and hosting you at The Dundee!