The origin of the county’s name is uncertain, but Oregon Geographic Names (Oregon Historical Society), attributes it to an early explorer’s name for a local tribe of Native Americans who lived in the Willamette Valley. Wagon trains traveling the Oregon Trail in 1843 and 1844 brought the first large influx of settlers into Yamhill County, and by 1849 — when the Territory of Oregon was created by the US government — the majority of tillable farm land in the county had been homesteaded, claimed, or purchased.
Until the first group of intrepid winegrowers arrived in the 1970s, Yamhill County was known for its orchards, sweet Brooks prunes and turkey farms. Today, its fields and hillsides are famous for nurseries, vineyards and wineries. Some 80 wineries and 200 vineyards now call the Yamhill Valley home. The Sokol Blosser Winery is located near the historic Yamhill County town of Dayton.