The Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region, has two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is home to more than 700 wineries. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir producing areas in the world. If you’re a wine traveler with an appreciation for lush green landscapes, speckled with vineyards that are producing some exceptional cooler climate varietals, then the Willamette Valley wine region is sure to accommodate your oenophile travel desires.
When it comes to discovering more about what the Willamette Valley has to offer, there are a lot of small towns in the region that make a convenient and fun home base while you see, hear, smell and taste your way through this popular wine region. In June I made my first return trip to the Willamette Valley in almost 3 years, so when it came to finding my home base during the first two days of the trip, the choice was easy, Newberg.
Having stayed in Newberg on previous visits I was excited to see what had changed since the last time I was there and I couldn’t wait to explore some new local businesses, wineries and restaurants.
Before I get started, I encourage you to visit Taste Newberg to help with your vacation planning.
Newberg, Oregon – A Great Place to Grow!
Photo Credit: City of Newberg
First Some Newberg Facts:
Newberg’s charming, relaxed and walkable downtown is dotted with owner-operated restaurants, cafés, galleries, and shops, as well as the Chehalem Cultural Center, George Fox University, and the Hoover-Minthorn House, the only presidential site in Oregon.
Newberg made it to the top ten in USA Today’s 10 Best Small Town Food Scenes in 2021!
Celebrating the local art community, Newberg also has a First Friday Art Walk from 5-8 pm monthly on the FIRST FRIDAY of the month except January and July.
Just one of the beautiful murals found in Newberg.
Newberg is a place that shares a mixture of “things to sip, savor and enjoy,”
As you ease into the rhythm of this historic small town, you’ll discover it has its own sense of place and plenty of local favorites to uncover. Here are some of the spots to visit that will make your visit to Newberg Wine Country, your all-time favorite getaway.
The cheese case is filled with wedges and entire wheels of cheese, waiting to be sliced and wrapped to order.
Located in Newberg, Good Company Cheese Bar & Bistro is manned by professional cheese mongers who can offer great suggestions for any comforting cheese dish or made-to-order charcuterie.
The shop has a European vibe, so you’ll find plenty of products from there, as well as local Oregon favorites including Briar Rose Creamery in Dundee, Rogue Creamery in Medford, Face Rock Creamery in Bandon.
Inside the store shelves are loaded with wine, jars of jam and honey and an assortment of crackers.
In the shop you’ll find everything you need to build-your-own take along picnic basket. If you want something that’s assembled for you, ready-to-go charcuterie and cheese boards are also available.
Although Good Company is primarily a cheese shop, you can also sit down for a meal. On the menu there’s something for everyone who loves food, especially cheese!
In addition, they offer nice selection of craft beer, cider, a wide variety of wines, a full bar, and a variety of non-alcoholic options.
I opted for a glass of Crémant d’Alsace as part of their Fizzy Friday Special.
A specially made cheese plate and a Pâté Trio served with Dijon, pickles, and crostini made the perfect late afternoon snack.
In Newberg each day, can be a new tasting experience.
I’m going to be honest here, Honey Pie can be a little hard to locate at first, my best advice, Follow Your Nose. I could smell the woodfired pizzas before I found this “speakeasy” type space tucked into an alley behind the shops on College Street.
A favorite place to stop for a pie by locals, Honey Pie is serving up Artisan New York style pizzas and salad bowls. Seating is available, but be warned it is ‘first come, first serve’ and in the outdoor only eating area, space is limited.
Honey Pie also offers Takeout and delivery.
Experiencing the sights, smells and flavors of the Newberg food scene is reason enough to stop and spend some time there.
Owned by four locals, Honey Pie seeks to create tasty pie for all people, made with local ingredients and Love. Honey Pie Pizza is proud to function as a community space in support of local schools, farms, and nonprofits.
Feeling hungry from a day exploring Newberg, my husband and I ordered the BIANCA with garlic cream sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, Calabrian chili, and kale. As well as the PIG & PINEAPPLE red sauce, mozzarella, pork shoulder, and pineapple. Both were delicious.
Call me crazy, but I think that the cold hard cider and two unique Honey Pie pizzas was even more enjoyable on a rainy Oregon evening.
Downtown Newberg might be small but it is rich with offerings, especially when it comes to quaint places like Chapters Books and Coffee.
This cozy independent bookstore and coffee shop, Chapters has a curated selection of used and new books, as well as a lovely coffee area that serves up local beans with a selection of fresh baked goods.
Perfect for a leisurely morning and fuel for the rest of the day’s adventures.
Chapters has an open and airy ambiance, with high ceilings, brick walls and plenty of well-spaced tables alongside couches and chairs to sit and rest for a spell.
A great place for a cup of Joe or a latte anytime. Chapters has a relaxing atmosphere that seems to say, “stay as long as you like!”
I enjoyed a White Mocha Latte with a delicious Marionberry Scone.
Newberg has a local go-to for all the important things in life — like delectable pastries!
Who wouldn’t want a Sprinkle of Joy in their life?! When I saw the name, I just had to stop in and see if there were some sweet treats to take with me to enjoy later in the afternoon.
Sprinkles of Joy is a place to find an experience in flavors!
Mother-daughter team Karen and Kelly Pratt opened the Sprinkles of Joy Bakery to bring joy to people with their edible creations.
Located at 621 E 1st Street, just across the street from Chapters Book and Coffee, is a commercially based bakery that makes custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.
While in Newberg, if your sweet tooth eventually overpowers you, finding joy in the little things, like a scrumptious cupcake, is easy to do at ‘Sprinkles of Joy’.
With such a wonderful selection of treats to choose from it was hard to pick out a delicious baked good, or three, to enjoy with an afternoon cup of coffee.
The experience of flavors, the ambiance of the surroundings is what makes Newberg a unique destination.
Newberg is the northern gateway to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the first town on Highway 99W when driving from Portland, a popular route to hundreds of vineyards and wineries. In and around Newberg itself there are over 65 wineries, including wineries with countryside estate vineyard sites and seven downtown tasting rooms all within walking distance of one another.
The city of Newberg is the gateway to Oregon wine country where new flavors and experiences await!
Once you’ve gotten your morning coffee and pastry fix done, downtown Newberg has a few more tastes for you to scout out in multiple local wine tasting rooms.
Et Fille, means “and daughter”
I think any visit to downtown Newberg should include a visit to Et Fille Wines which has a lovely tasting room on First Street. This modern space is bright and inviting, filled with wonderful family photos and geographical information of the vineyards that grow Et Fille’s grapes. The tasting room’s aura sets the stage of Et Fille which was started in 2003 as a father-daughter project of Howard and Jessica Mozeico.
After Howard died in 2017, Jessica kept the winery going and carries on her dad’s legacy by producing delightful elegant wines that perfect expression of the region. Et Fille sources their grapes from L.I.V.E. Certified sustainable vineyards in multiple Willamette Valley sub-appellations including Eola-Amity Hills, Yamhill Carlton, Dundee Hills, and Chehalem Mountains.
Et Fille’s tasting menus provides proof that magic grows from the soil in the Willamette Valley—and this talented winemaker knows just what to do with it.
Before I share my notes, I have to add Jessica’s Winemaker Notes for her Et Fille 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir as they are spot on and express this wine so perfectly:
“Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re in Provence. Each bottle is a transporting vacation with its pale hue, carefree drinking, and softness. The aroma is white floral, orange blossom, and strawberry, followed by watermelon Jolly Rancher on the palate.”
This is a 100% Pinot Noir from the Palmer Creek Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA and I loved it! Which in all honesty is not something I say about a lot of Rosés.
The luminescent pinkish-salmon hue really catches your eye, and the engaging aroma of strawberries and flower petals kissed by the sun escape from the glass without even a swirl. On the palate, flamboyantly fruit-focused flavors of Rainier cherries, wild strawberries with a hint of lemon balm and minerality float together in perfect harmony. I loved the delicateness of this well-balanced yet crisp with acidity Rosé. Such a refreshing Summer Sip.
In addition to the Rosé, Et Fille produces a number of Pinot Noirs, including this Gabriella, named after Jessica’s daughter.
Et Fille also makes a Sparkling wine and a Viognier which during my tasting were sold out.
I had such a wonderful conversation with Jessica during my visit to Et Fille, I learned so much about her family history, winemaking style, her generous nature and how she is always giving back to her community. I hope to share more of this visit soon.
A thing to remember is that many wineries are only hosting tastings by appointment, so schedule online or call ahead to make sure a place is saved for you.
For such a small town, Newberg offers a plethora of local flavors with plenty of variety to chose from.
If you’re a foodie hoping to stay up with the latest trends, Newberg offers a variety of tasty flavors. This includes a number of restaurants offering menus that change with the season and who are focused on using locally sourced ingredients, like the Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen.
Recipe is located in an authentic vintage Newberg home that has been tastefully transformed into a quaint, comfortable restaurant.
This was my first-time dining at Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen and I had heard many accolades about their thoughtfully prepared wine country cuisine inspired by the seasons. All those accolades were definitely well deserved. Although we had picked out some dishes to try, our friendly and knowledgeable server made some great suggestions for our table.
The sumptuous dinner at Recipe began with the soup of the day and a salad of baby arugula with pumpkin seeds.
Wanting to sample as many dishes as our stomachs would allow, we shared the Bucatini-Cacio E Pepe, A reimagined Shrimp & Grits, and Wagyu Beef Coulotte Steak. All of which were fresh, flavorful and fantastic! We did however make sure to leave room for dessert and loved this amazing almond cake with strawberries.
Although Recipe has an incredible wine list, a local wine with dinner just felt right. What better to go with such a wide selection of dishes than a 2019 Seven Springs Gamay Noir from Evening Land Vineyards.
Bright fruit on the nose with layers of earth and spice this Gamay Noir was delicate and silky on the palate with vibrant bursts of raspberry, rose petal and a lively acidity. A wonderful dinner companion.
If you are looking for local ingredients, carefully prepared and served in a relaxing environment, then I highly recommend Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen.
Newberg small town feel delivers big flavors.
When it’s time to call it a night, let me suggest The Newberg Wine Country Suites; Rose Room nestled in downtown Newberg. The one-bedroom suite, has a great location with plenty of dining options, and winery offerings within walking distance.
This spacious suite is the ideal base camp for your Newberg touring, with a a big couch for long conversations and a well-supplied kitchen for preparing a quick snack or a quiet dinner in.
Rose Room is ideal for two people with 1 plush King bed, but the additional Sofa bed, which sleeps 2, makes it the perfect accommodations for a family of four or a girl’s weekend getaway.
In this designer suite you will find everything you need to enhance your wine country holiday.
I also have to mention that this thoughtful bottle of Oregon bubbly, a charcutier board in the fridge, and a package of local coffee along with some regional wine reading material was a nice welcome when arriving in the ‘Rosé Room’.
An evening glass of wine by the fire, from a local winery, like Ayres Vineyard can be a memorable way to sit back reminisce about your time in Newberg.
Locally owned and operated, Lifestyle Properties is the area’s premier, professional vacation rental management company, you can learn more about the Rose Room and their other properties on their Website.
Before heading home, I had one more “must” stop to make, Caravan Coffee. I first discovered Caravan Coffee about 4 years ago and each visit to Newberg requires a return stop by. I enjoy the atmosphere at Caravan and of course the coffee. Plus, bringing home some bags of coffee beans is a great reminder of my time in Newberg.
Now is the perfect time to experience all the local flavor this small town has you offer. Newberg beckons you to come stay a while and experience the laidback charm of its Downtown. However, there is much more to this area than just it’s charming small-town vibes. Newberg is also home to fruit orchards, hazelnut farms, fruit orchards, flower farms (including numerous u-pick lavender farms), and dairies. Within the surrounding area of Newberg, you’ll discover peaceful, picturesque surroundings that can be enjoyed on vineyard tours, paddling down the river, hiking, playing golf, cycling, on a scenic drive, or just a
simple picnic in the park.
Newberg is one of those destinations that you can return to again and again, all the while discovering new places and revisiting old favorites. You can read more about some of my other favorite places in Newberg on my previous article A RENDEZVOUS WITH WILLAMETTE VALLEY.
On an upcoming blog post ‘A Must Sip Guide to the Willamette Valley‘ I will share a deeper look into more wineries in the area surrounding Newberg.
Cheers and Thanks for reading everyone.
My trip to Newberg was part of a media trip and I was hosted by Taste Newberg and Lifestyle Properties during my stay. While it has not influenced this article or any reviews, as a writer I believe in full disclosure.
All images and content copyrighted by Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.