Oregon Wine

The history of Oregon wine-making dates back to the mid 1800s. Horticulturalist Henderson Luelling is credited with planting the first grapes in 1847 in Willamette Valley. His son-in-law, William Meek, won a medal in the 1859 California State Fair for wines made from the Isabella grape (an American hybrid). By the 1880s, vineyards began to take shape throughout the Willamette and Umpqua valleys, with Vitis vinifera stocks imported from Europe for the first time. 

But as with California, the Oregon wine industry was all but wiped out during the Prohibition from 1919 to 1933. In the era following the Repeal, the government allowed fruit-based wines (mostly from berries and Concord grapes) with licenses to “Farmer’s Wineries.”  A handful of vintners worked with vinifera-based wines, but with only a modicum of success. 
 
By the early 1960s, California oenologists at UC Davis became interested in Oregon terroir, even though studies had determined the climate to Read more »

Mentor for Oregon Wines

Craig Donofrio

Craig Donofrio is an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has worked and consulted for some of the nation's top restaurants. He is chief food/wine photographer at Grapevine Studios (www.grapevinestudios.blogspot.com).

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Popular wines made in Oregon under $20

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Varietals Produced in Oregon View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Pinot Grigio

    History of the grape: Pinot Gris was planted in Burgundy, France as far back as the 1300s. It then spread through Eur...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of Oregon

Popular Wineries in Oregon View all

  • Stangeland Vineyards and Winery

    2500 case winery specializing in Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley and Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Al...

  • Purple Hands Wine

    Purple Hands is owned and operated by Oregon winemaker and oenophile, Cody Wright. Cody grew up i...

  • Viridian Wines

    ROLLING HILLS, FERTILE VALLEYS and lush stretches of green as far as the eye can see, describe th...

  • Cliff Creek Cellars

    Cliff Creek Cellars is owned by the Garvin Family LLC. The Garvins grow all of their own fruit a...

  • Silvan Ridge Winery

    : Silvan Ridge-Hinman Vineyards was established in 1979 and is the oldest winery in Lane County....

  • Wine by Joe

    Yes, there really is a Joe! Joe Dobbes is the man behind your bottle of Wine By Joe. As the sole ...

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series 2010

    Snoothrank:

    The wine itself is a lovely deep, inky purple at the center that melds into a bright ruby along the edges. The nose just seems to grab you by the collar and really let's you know that you're about to sip something truly sublime, with rich black fruit notes, leather and cedar all dancing in your mind. The taste is wonderfully complex, with some... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Primarius Pinot Noir Oregon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Agreed on strawberries and a dusky but delicate wordiness. Quite bright for a domestic Pinot, but tasty. Read More

    Wine review by dutchpet


  • Revelry Reveler Columbia Vly 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by nikkivines


  • Welcome to Snooth Douglas.This is one if not the best website for all of us ... ... from wineries in both Oregon and Washington and have taken self guided and professional tours to many Vineyards. I absolutely love living here as the weather is so much more comfortable.  Enjoy Snooth and all of the exceptionally wonderful people here !LeftyTh... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Douglas in Chicago!


  • Domaine Drouhin Arthur Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Chehalem Pinot Noir 3 Vineyards 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Nemarniki Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Oregon 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Cloudline Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Beckham Estate Vineyard Olivia's Pinot Noir Rose Chehalem Mountains Oregon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Rainstorm Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Not the most approachable of pinots I've had, but this cherry- and starwberry- forward pinot will win you over. Read More

    Wine review by matthewjk


  • I have been reading in Wine Speculator about all the vineyards around Portland. Our son lives there, however when we go to visit, we never get to see any. Next time we will.

    Comment by 1013283cience7 1013283 cience7


  • I will be in Oregon for a family reunion at the end of July, which wineries are too good to miss. We will be planning a tasting day for 8 people. Susy

    Comment by 610070Susy Stone 610070 Susy Stone


  • Sloppy spelling. It is Hood River, McMinnville, and Willamette. Those are just three mis-spelled places with regard to Oregon. How many other sloppy spellings are there on the site?

    Comment by 814949zbarnett 814949 zbarnett


  • I drank a wonderful Reisling from Oregon, the name was Next. The restaurant is no longer in business and I do not know the vineyard that produced it. Any help out there?

    Comment by 121273Pat Smoot 121273 Pat Smoot


  • I enjoyed one of the most wonderful Cameron Wines. It was a 2008 Abbey Ridge. Such a beautiful glass of sunshine

    Comment by 137527Glendamcd 137527 Glendamcd


  • Left Coast Cellars produces true, authethentic Pinot Noir with power & delicate style.Try the Cali's Cuvee" 2005. I'd also like to reccomend the Left Coast Cellars Chardonnay complemented with just the right amount of subtle oak.It's balance and complexity rivaled some solidfrench (domaines as well as village wines)burgundies I tasted just days ...

    Comment by 509794wineinsiderone 509794 wineinsiderone


  • Big fan of Willamette Valley Vineyards. The terroir and techniques produce amazing Pinot Noir!

    Comment by 182332The Corkscrew Diary 182332 The Corkscrew Diary


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