How tiny can you get? Tiny is as tiny does? Or does the idea of tiny reside in the spirit of the adventure, the act of squeezing in a moment as it is available to you? Is it a back-room counter with two glasses and a bottle? Is it a smallish tasting room with a personal guide through the latest releases from a micro-winery?
Here’s the real skinny: You know that small often means special, and these six tiny tasting rooms in and around McMinnville are settings for big ideas in Oregon wine, beer and spirits.
The newest addition to the world of tiny wine, family-run Suzor just launched a weekly speakeasy out of the back of Yamhill Valley Dry Goods in McMinnville (look for the Oakhill Organics sign). We expect big things from this stylish and distinctive wine duo. Tiny tip: We have put one of their high tea events on our calendar.Suzorwines.com
For years the property in Dundee that Alit calls home was an abandoned gas station primed for reinvention. The world heaved a collective hurrah when that happened. Now, it’s a sweet tasting room hosting a collective of winemakers making naturally fermented, transparently-priced wines in several categories. Alit.wine
Sometimes tiny is a room within a larger property. Linga Franca, in the tiny town of Hopewell, a winery known for its sustainable methods and attention to the vineyard’s ecological biome, holds tastings in an on-site yurt. Linguafranca.wine
Ransom Wine Co. & Distillery Tasting Room
Right on Third Street in downtown McMinnville, Ransom Wine Co. & Distillery Tasting Room hosts guests in a shared space with Pierano & Daughters Italian speciality shop. It might be the best meeting of tasting room and food under one roof, a chance for an aperitivo or to choose from a full menu of wines, spirits, grappa, vermouth and specialty cocktails. Ransomspirits.com
R. Stuart & Co. (pictured)
More intimate than tiny, the public-facing location of the of the widely-distributed Big Fire serves a number of tiny-production wines at a lovely tasting space right on Third Street, including its exceptional Autograph, a signature blend of the winery’s best pinot lots, produced at just 100 cases a year. Rstuartandco.com
You could fly right by the Blacktail Vineyard Tasting Room of Siltstone Wines on Hwy 18, but that would be a big mistake. The sweet, vineyard-side tasting room is the perfect drive-by stop on the way to the Oregon Coast and a chance to partake in the Myers family’s decades of experience producing Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Rose. Siltstonewines.com
Here’s a small tasting room with big prospects. The gluten-free beer brewing operation in a tiny house just off 99W showcases a range of possibilities for the nascent industry. Also, homemade GF baked goods like donuts and pretzels appear like magic doughy life rafts for the spirit every weekend. Bierlybrewing.com
Learn more at Visit McMinnville.