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

  • Silvan Ridge Winery

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

  • Chateau Bianca

    Chateau Bianca Winery is a family owned and operated winery established in the mid-1980’s. The an...

  • Viridian Wines

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

  • A to Z Wineworks

    A to Z Wineworks' partnership blends unique skills. Bill Hatcher brought an extensive backgrou...

  • Territorial Vineyards

    Locally owned, locally grown, locally vinified and locally rockin,' Territorial wines are certifi...

  • Cliff Creek Cellars

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

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