Next in our series on Snooth Vintage, Winery, Wine Region, and West Coast Wines of the Year is Winery of the Year. First, let's narrow it down to which region the winner is in: Oregon.

Oregon is going through some very exciting times this year. With back-to-back vintages that express the range of styles the finest vineyards are capable of expressing (2007 being rather more classic, lean and elegant; while 2008 is decidedly more fruit-driven and opulent) it’s a great time to be trying, and buying, these wines.

The industry as a whole is also going through a transition as wine producing takes on a more important and larger scaled role in the region’s economy. Sounds like a recipe for doom? Nah, it’s just a natural progression. What would be a recipe for doom would be if all the pioneers were no longer to get the attention they deserve once the “wine industry” completes its move in.

The truth is there are many family-run wineries in Oregon producing great wines. This past August I met so many lovely people, each touting their neighbors’ wines even more highly than their own, that I was taken aback by the friendly, collaborative nature of the Oregon wine scene. When I decided to name a winery of the year I knew it must be one of these very worthy wineries. But, which one?