Downtown McMinnville

Oregon's Favorite Main Street

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For more photos, travel tools, and ideas for visiting McMinnville, the heart of Oregon's wine country, follow this link to Visit McMinnville

The Region

Mar 11, 2014

Taken from


McMinnville AVA Map

Location: McMinnville is a sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA that sits just west of the city of McMinnville, approximately 40 miles southwest of Portland and extends 20 miles south-southwest.

Wine history: McMinnville has a long farming history that dates back to the mid-1800s when berry fields, tree fruits and livestock dominated. All that began to change when, in 1970, one of Oregon's winemaking pioneers, David Lett, bought an old turkey processing plant in McMinnville to house his winery. Soon after, winegrowers began planting vineyards and establishing wineries in the area and, in 1987, McMinnville held the very first International Pinot Noir Celebration. Held every July since, it's a wildly popular three-day event where winemakers and enthusiasts from all over the world congregate for Pinot noir tastings, winery tours, and seminars. The McMinnville AVA was established in 2005. Today, the area continues to sprout more wineries and tasting rooms. 

Climate: McMinnville sits in a protective weather shadow of the Coast Range. As a result, the primarily east- and south-facing vineyards receive less rainfall (just 33 inches annually, as compared to 40 inches in Eola-Amity Hills) than sites just 12 miles to the east. Those vineyards situated on the more southerly facing sites take advantage of the cooling winds from the Van Duzer Corridor, a break in the coast range that allows cool Pacific Ocean air to flow through, thus dropping evening temperatures in the region, which helps to keep grape acids firm. Compared to surrounding areas, McMinnville is, on average, warmer and drier, consisting of higher elevation vineyards (up to 1,000 feet) that are resistant to frost.

Soils: The soils are typically uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silts, with alluvial overlays. As compared to other appellations in the Willamette Valley, these soils are uniquely shallow for winegrowing with low total available moisture.

Topography: McMinnville's elevation levels range from 200 to 1,000 feet, and the area encompasses the east and southeast slopes of the Coast Range foothills. Geologically, the most distinctive feature in this area is the Nestucca Formation, a 2,000-foot-thick bedrock formation that extends west of the city of McMinnville to the slopes of the Coast Range. This formation contains intrusions of marine basalts, which affect the region's ground water composition, resulting in grapes with unique flavor and development characteristics.

Predominant varieties

  • Pinot noir
  • Pinot gris
  • Pinot blanc

While you're here...

Historic downtown McMinnville is home to urban wine tasting rooms, top-notch restaurants serving the finest examples of Oregon's bounty, charming clothing boutiques, galleries, live music, theaters, ice cream shops and breweries.  Nearby is the Evergreen Aviation Museum, which is home to Howard Hughes' world famous Spruce Goose, a gigantic WWII seaplane (also known as the Flying Boat).

The McMinnville Downtown Association works to promote and enhance our historic downtown as the economic, social and cultural heart of the community.

Upcoming Events



Come join us for an informative talk about initiatives affecting the downtown over breakfast! 





Please spread the health: The SNACK Program, Yamhill County Health Department, and Oregon Oral Health Coalition are co-hosting Toothtastic Vax-A-Palooza, a dental screening and immunization clinic for kids and families in Yamhill County. The event will take place on Friday October 28th from 2-7 PM at the Public Health Department (412 NE Ford Street). This is a great opportunity to get up to date on ...



"Night at the Museum" Halloween Trick or Treat at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center Museum! Trick or Treat at the museum where history comes alive!  (Not super scary, but children must be accompanied by an adult.) FREE admission with food donation to YCAP.  For more information please visit: or call 503-434-0490 Yamhill Valley heritage Center 11275 ...



What would Halloween be without costumes and treats?!



The Yamhill County Historical Society presents a special Veteran's Day display.  Come Tour a special exhibit honoring the Veterans of Yamhill county and our community!  November 11th & 12th from 10 am - 3pm.  Free admission! Donations gratefully accepted.  For more Information, please visit: or call: 971-570-2664



Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20

11 am to 5 pm



Doors open at 5:30 pm, Music at 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 19



Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 25, 26 & 27

11am to 5 pm



Start the holiday off right with Santa's Parade in downtown McMinnville!



Support your local businesses by participating in Small Business Saturday! Head downtown on Saturday, November 28th to check out some great deals and sales.



Course: Verbal excellence (Leading - Persuading - Defusing)

When: 12/09/16 8:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Riley Hall, room 201 at Linfield College

Cost: $99

Register at:

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