Free Spirit Wines – Willamette Valley Wine Education —

Willamette Valley Wine Essentials


Willamette Valley Wine Essentials

“Willamette Valley Wine Essentials” is the first and only wine education program designed specifically for visitors to the Willamette Valley wine country! Through my previous experience as a winery tasting room manager and private tour guide, I saw first-hand how education enhances the experience of tasting wine and visiting winery tasting rooms.

This two-hour casual and interactive class provides general education on our region and wines that will give you confidence and a solid foundation on which to formulate questions as you journey through wine country. I welcome visitors with all levels of wine knowledge and experience!

Together, we will cover topics including:

  • How to Taste Wine – And, yes, we will taste wines from local producers!
  • Brief History of the Willamette Valley Wine Industry
  • Today’s Industry in Perspective
  • Willamette Valley AVAs (American Viticultural Areas)
  • Why all the Pinot Noir?
  • Let’s Get Dirty! (Soils)
  • Current Vineyard Update
  • Winemaking Basics
  • And more!

We will also cover practical tips on visiting winery tasting rooms:

  • General Tasting Room Visit Tips
  • Tasting Fees and Purchasing
  • Making Appointments and Confirming Your Visit
  • How to Get Your Wine Home (Shipping Options)
  • And more!

You can also get the full-color, 48-page companion book. Pick it up in class or have in shipped to you in advance. See sample pages below and order your copy here.

Willamette Valley Wine Essentials is currently available as a private class. Learn about custom classes or contact me for details!

View sample pages from the “Willamette Valley Wine Essentials” book.

Contact Me

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Thank you!

May 27, 2013 by Jason B.

My wife and I really enjoyed the class! Your recommendations were spot on, they were easily our favorite on our tour yesterday. We are taking a case of wine back home to Louisiana! Our first trip to The Valley has been truly spectacular, everything we expected and more! Thanks for helping us obtain a deeper appreciation of the region, will let you know when we're coming back (because we DEFINITELY will). Also, will point any friends planning trips in the future in your direction. Thanks again!


Aug 13, 2012 by Matt

Her passion for wine is infectious and her knowledge of the Willamette Valley is unmatched. You will love this class!


Aug 06, 2012 by Angela A.

As a winemaker who has made 3 vintages from Pinot Noir grapes grown in Oregon, I can definitely say Ms. Nelson knows her stuff. She will help you understand why you like what you like. She has an understanding of the geology and the geography of the wine. For example she can explain why the terroir of the Dundee Hills is such an important player in the making of a great Pinot. I took two of her classes and it became obvious that Ms. Nelson has traveled the world tasting and enjoying wine, she could work as a sommelier in Paris if she wanted, so as a student you know you are in good hands. I have spent years reading about wine but really this two hour class will tell you everything you need to know and more to sound like a wine expert and impress your friends – seriously. Finally, Ms. Nelson is not a wine snob and this is the most important thing because you can ask anything and not feel stupid. After all folks its just wine!


Jun 07, 2012 by Gretchen B

This is a fun class, appealing to all levels of wine enthusiasts. The wine tasting tips are excellent, and her information about the Willamette Valley AVAs is phenomenal.


Jun 01, 2012 by Leo D.

Mich takes the phrase "passionate wine expert" to a new level. As anyone who has spent two minutes with her knows, her enthusiasm is larger than life and utterly contagious! Mich is all heart and 100% down-to-earth. Jump at the chance to share a glass with her and soak up all that knowledge and infectious zeal!


Jun 01, 2012 by Crystal S.

Mich has a great passion for wine and it shows in her knowledge and her willingness to share this knowledge with others. Mich makes wine understandable and accessible for all levels of wine enthusiasts.


Free Spirit Wines , USA 5.0 5.0 6 6 My wife and I really enjoyed the class! Your recommendations were spot on, they were easily our favorite on our tour yesterday. We are taking a case of wine back home to Louisiana!