ATV guests pause for sustainable education and a tasting during the tour. ##Photo by Valerie E. Rogers
A WillaKenzie ATV rests while guests check out vines and wines. ##Photo by Valerie E. Rogers

Tour à la ATV

WillaKenzie revs up ATV sustainability tour

By Valerie E. Rogers

For those wanting to rev up their wine country outing, one winery has the perfect proposition: Hop on the newest sensory tasting experience, the ATV Sustainability Path Tour at WillaKenzie Estate.

Partnered with a guide, two to four guests at a time enjoy an educational wine tour around select sections of the vast 420-acre estate outside Yamhill — helmets required.

The adventure starts with a pre-ride tasting, introductions, safety instructions and a discussion about the 734 feet in elevation guests will be exploring. Since WillaKenzie’s founding in 1991, the property has evolved over time to encompass seven vineyards on one site.

There’s a lot to see, discover and discuss, such as the winery’s cold storage, which can chill grapes two degrees per hour, and the field of solar panels creating renewable energy for the winery. Riders explore the different blocks and varietals, tasting wines from the surrounding vines as the tour continues down dirt roads and through fields filled with Longhorns — lucky guests might see the young calves.

There’s so much to learn on this tour, but WillaKenzie wants to keep the focus on its sustainability, renewed ecosystems, land stewardship, and LIVE and Salmon-Safe certifications, as well as the resulting wines made by winemaker Erik Kramer, who joined in 2017 and continues his passion for terroir-focused, site-specific wines.

The top of the experience, and possibly the highlight, stops at a viewpoint overlooking two blocks of vines and beautiful views of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Emery Vineyard and Triple Black Slopes Vineyard cascade down the hillside. The two wines enjoyed at this stop are from these blocks, enriching the riders’ sense of connecting place with palate.

At the end of the tour, the guide slowly leads the group back to the tasting room with a recap of the wines enjoyed, questions answered, an opportunity to purchase and, most likely, a rush to share fantastic photos on social media with the hashtags: #ATV, #WillaKenzie and #sustainability.

For more details, contact or 503-662-1012

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