Willamette Valley Vineyards—the decades-old winery perched atop a hillside, overlooking I-5, just past Enchanted Forest—is making a big push to expand into the metro area over the next year.
This week, the Turner-based business announced plans to open three restaurants in Portland’s suburbs, starting with a Lake Oswego location on State Street that should begin operations this winter. In addition to Willamette Valley Vineyards’ wines, guests can expect Northwest-style cuisine, a trellis patio equipped with a fire pit, and a private dining room for events tucked away in a wine cellar. And for anyone who needs to release their inner Dionysus, you’ll be able to rent your own little wine locker right on the premises.
Following the Lake Oswego launch, Willamette Valley Vineyards plans to expand into the Vancouver, Wash. waterfront development in the summer of 2022. It would be the first Oregon winery to open along downtown Vancouver’s scenic strip of bars and restaurants.
A Happy Valley restaurant is slated to open later that year. Then in 2023, the company expects to grow east, and open a property in historic downtown Bend.
Willamette Valley Vineyards isn’t ending its growth spurt there. The winemaker—best known for its pinot noir—has nearly completed a sparkling winery in the Dundee Hills called Domaine Willamette. A new production facility on a nearby 40-acre plot just off Highway 99W is also in the works in order to supply the new restaurants.
“Our winery in the Salem Hills has served us well over the past 34 years, but we have simply outgrown its original design,” Bernau stated in a press release. “We produced 175,000 cases at this winery last year on site and are expecting continued increases in demand.”