De Ponte Cellars Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Tucked into the heart of the Dundee Hills is De Ponte Cellars. It’s not as fancy as some of the other wineries out there – I’m talking to you Sokol Blosser and Stoller. But, the wines are just as good, if not better than those of the popular kids.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

De Ponte doesn’t have sweeping, floor to ceiling windows, an expansive patio, or a massive tasting room. Rather, you’ll find it tucked away, amongst the vines in a nondescript small red building. Once inside, you’ll notice the adobe tiled floors, leather couches and small-ish tasting bar. You may not know what you’re in store for.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

You’ll notice immediately that it’s a much more personal tasting experience. Because you’re removed from the crowds, the staff has much more time to talk about the wine making process and vintages. They’ll even make time to pet your dog – Sammie is always welcome. The best part? They’ll greet you with their signature wine, the Melon de Bourgogne.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

The DFB Melon de Bourgogne ($25), is especially unique. I’ve not seen it poured anywhere else. This wine has a bright acidity and a mineral, salty characteristic. Notes of mango and banana mingle with floral aromas. This wine would be amazing with seafood. We’re always certain to bring a couple bottles home with us.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

As a fan of lighter Pinot Noirs, I’m a huge fan of their Clay Hill. It’s nicely balanced, easy to drink and incredibly food friendly. The 2013 vintage is sold out, but be on a lookout for the 2014, being released Memorial Day weekend!

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Moving on to the bigger, bolder Pinots, be on a lookout for the Dundee Hills Pinot Noir ($44) and the Estate Pinot Noir ($60).

The 2012 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir has refined tannins, hints of toffee and plum, and an elegant finish. Super food friendly from the offset, it will continue to develop over the next several years.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

The 2012 Estate Pinot has a much deeper color, along with soft, rich flavors of chocolate, cherry and baking spices. Be sure to set aside a bottle of this one for aging another 8-10 years.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

I highly suggest visiting this hidden gem in the Dundee Hills for some truly amazing and unique wines. Their tasting room is open 7-days a week from 11am – 5pm. Tasting fee is $15.

Looking for a place to stay? Their vineyard retreat, which is located onsite, features 4,500 square feet of living space with 3 king bed master suites, a deck overlooking the Willamette Valley, sauna and gourmet kitchen.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Interested in visiting other local wineries? Be sure to check out Lange Estate, Alexana Estate, and Argyle Winery.

A special thanks to Portland photographer Deann Orr for the amazing photographs used in this post. Be sure to check out her site for more of her stunning photographs.

NOTE: I am a member of DePonte Cellars’ wine club, and I pay for that membership out of my own pocket. I was not compensated in any way for this post. 

16 comments

  1. Erin

    That is definitely one of my favorite wineries to visit in the Willamette Valley!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Totally agree Erin – The tasting room staff is always so welcoming and informative. Plus, the wines are great (and reasonably priced)!

      Reply

  2. Meredith {MarthaChartreuse}

    Life standard: always great people at the door with a glass of wine!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Couldn’t agree more Meredith!

      Reply

  3. Michele

    oh, we love DePonte too! If you like Melon, you should also try Helioterra’s- which I think was just bottled last week and available for release very soon.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I do love the Melon – I’ll have to check out Helioterra soon – Thanks for the tip Michele!

      Reply

  4. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    Great winery with lovely wines! Lovely photos, too.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      My friend Deann does such an amazing job on the photographs. I love these shots too!

      Reply

  5. Brianne Limani

    I’ve actually never been to De Ponte Cellars, but it is now on my list. The photos make it look amazing! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you’re able to make it Brianne – It’s such a lovely space. They have an awesome picnic table which is amazing for summer picnics as well!

      Reply

  6. Ali

    I’ve had their wine before and agree- it’s lovely! Great pictures and great write-up too.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Isn’t it great Ali? I’m a huge fan of their Clay Hill Pinot and their Halsey Pinot as well!

      Reply

  7. Create/Enjoy

    What a gorgeous place!! I love getting out to that part of the region. Your pictures are awesome!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Aren’t the pictures amazing Suzannah? They were taken by my incredibly talented friend Deann.

      Reply

  8. Holly

    These photos look like they should be on a postcard! They’re beautiful. This winery sounds delightful. I love hidden gems like this.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Aren’t they great shots Holly? My friend Deann is such an amazing photographer!

      Reply

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