September 1, 2015

Renowned Willamette Valley winery uncorks new tasting room in Dundee

by Jon Bell

An Oregon winery renowned for its sparkling wines may now become just as well-known for its new tasting room in Dundee.

Argyle Winery, founded in 1987, has opened its new Tasting House at its original winery location at 691 Highway 99W, right along the main drag in Dundee. The winery partnered with SERA Architects and contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis on the project, which was an extension of Argyle’s existing tasting room and former winery.

The new space features a contemporary design and was configured to encourage visitors to taste, linger and learn. There is flexible indoor and outdoor seating, and year-round, hosted tasting service is available for guests, as are guided educational experiences for larger groups.

A climate-controlled wine library in the new facility showcases more than 4,000 bottles from vintages dating back to Argyle’s founding in 1987, while the tirage library displays vintage sparkling wines still aging. In addition, the Argyle Reserve Cellar is a retail space that displays the full line of Argyle’s wines available for purchase.

“We wanted the end result of this project to be the must-do experience for every visitor to Willamette Valley wine country,” said SERA project manager Steven Ehlbeck, in a release. “From the initial design competition, our goal has always been to create a unique and memorable place that meets Argyle’s reputation for innovation and quality.”

During the restoration, 100 percent of the concrete and steel was recycled, while siding, roofing and fixtures were repurposed as primary design features in the new space. Native Douglas fir, found in existing structures during deconstruction, was used to make all of the new shelving, tables, paneling and the Tasting House Bar.

“Before becoming the Argyle Winery, our home in Dundee had a famous past life as a hazelnut processing plant,” said Chris Cullina, Argyle’s director of sales and marketing. “This latest chapter follows our tradition . . . of rehabilitating our existing buildings. The Tasting House leverages the original character and structural elements of the barrel room and cellars, making this new space truly one-of-a-kind in Oregon.”

West Coast native plants are the main feature of the landscaping, which was designed by Sean Hogan, owner and principal designer of Cistus Design and Nursery. Designed to be a template for low-impact Willamette Valley gardens, the new landscape uses 80 percent less water and is more expansive than the previous garden.

Plants from the winery’s original English-style garden were donated to the Chehalem Park & Recreation District and placed at various community venues including the Chehalem Cultural Center, Herbert Hoover Park and in various meridians and turnabouts in the local area.

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