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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

Subregions of Oregon

  • Columbia Gorge

    The Columbia Gorge AVA is an American Viticultural Area which includes land surrounding the Col...

  • Willamette Valley

      The Willlamette Valley region in Oregon has a wine-making history that dates back to th...

  • Willamette Valley AVA

      The Willlamette Valley region in Oregon has a wine-making history that dates back to the 1...

Popular Wineries in Oregon View all

  • Coelho Winery

    Coelho Winery is a small family-owned winery located in Amity, Oregon. Our vineyard was planted ...

  • Waterbrook Winery

    Waterbrook Winery in the heart of Walla Walla, Washington is known for producing highly acclaimed...

  • Phelps Creek Vineyards

    A small, artisan producer focused on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer grown within the C...

  • Ayoub

    After a long and careful search to find the best site possible to plant Pinot Noir, Mohamad “Mo” ...

  • Carabella Vineyard

    All Carabella wines are sourced from our 58 acre site in Oregon's Chehalem Mountains. We produce ...

  • Dusty Cellars Winery

    Small family owned and operated winery on Camano Island, WA. Committed to quality hand crafted wi...

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Oregon on Snooth

  • 14 Hands Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • Elk Cove Pinot Noir Oregon Estate 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Now I'll admit I had a hard time finding this wine today, I tore the cellar ... The nose is just a rush of Oregon Pinot memories, rustic earthy elements of peat, leather, blackberries and fresh herbs. The taste is a burst of fruit, plums, black cherries and cassis, all of which blend together for some earthy mineral notes of limestone, cedar... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Ryan Patrick Rock Island Red Columbia Valley 2010

    Snoothrank:

    The color is a nice deep garnet in the glass. The nose is quite pleasant with notes of ripe, candied fruit, plums and cherries and marionberries, with a hint of cocoa powder and some faint floral notes. The taste is not at all what I expected, rather than a rush of jammy fruit I was hit with some smooth cherry cola and vanilla notes overlaid wi... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • King Estate Pinot Noir Signature 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhat translucent muddied garnet color in the glass. Opens with smoked strawberry, herbs and bing cherry, blueberry, lavender, and moss and mint. Silky mouthfull, with a long finish. Soft and balanced tannins and acidity. As it opens more in the glass, hints of milk chocolate, mint and more earth and sage. Seems like it still needs a few year... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Northstar Merlot Columbia Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass, with a center that borders on indigo. The nose is an interesting combination of mocha, dark chocolate and raspberry over a subtle base of earthy minerality. The taste is very nice, a blast of fruit up front, tart cherry, raspberry that transition seamlessly into some vanilla bean and toasted oak midp... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Col Solare Red Bordeaux Blend Columbia Valley Shining Hill 2006

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is a deep purple color with ruby along the edges and somewhat opaque. The nose is actually surprisingly fruity, with aromas of blackberry, plum and cassis overlaid with some lovely baking spice and mineral notes. The taste is quite fresh with some blueberry and blackberry up front that easily transitions to some cherry cola and mint m... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • I thought it was comparable with several Pinot Noirs we've tasted from ... ... ... the Willamette Valley in Oregon a bit more.  Tonight with dinner we have a very tasty house wine that is a Cabernet Sauvignon blend.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Domaine Drouhin Edition Rose of Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Really nice Rose of Pinot Noir from Domaine Drouhin. Crisp bright red cherry, a touch of melon, some not too ripe strawberry, a good hit of acidity and a medium finish. Last of all of our 2013 rose, good way to end the vintage. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Good thing you left my name out of it he would have charged you double! I ... Berserker Day from The Great Oregon Wine Co. I purchased my wine and it was delivered a couple weeks later. About 6 weeks after that I get a phone call telling me they were ready to ship my wine. I explained to them that I had already received it months prior. Thanks... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyards Ribbon Ridge Oregon Gruner Veltliner 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Cream Soda, peach, bright acid, fresh cut grass, citrus, hints of lemon grass and sage. Really well balanced. Favorite vintage yet Read More

    Wine review by anchca


  • 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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