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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Cloudline Cellars

    Cloudline Cellars represents a first for Dreyfus, Ashby—our own wine. Given our love for Pino...

  • Sockeye Winery

    In 2003, Andrew Browne launched Precept Wine Brands. He re-joined his partner Dan Baty from Corus...

  • Evening Land Vineyards/ONCE Wines

    Once a year our winemaker collaborates with America's best sommeliers to blend the exclusive wi...

  • Phelps Creek Vineyards

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

  • Stone Wolf Vineyards

    Stone Wolf has been producing wines of quality and flair since 1998. At what is now a memorable p...

  • Waterbrook Winery

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

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Remy Wines Sangiovese Kiona Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Nice enough sangiovese from Remy of McMinnville, Oregon. Fairly fruit forward and a bit tart on the tongue. Loads of bright red cherry, a hint of lime and mouth watering acidity. There isn't a lot of body here and the tannins are fairly light weight but this is a fun mid-week drinker, might be a bit on the pricey side. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Erath Vineyard Pinot Noir Oregon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Nice mix of old world and new. A touch of fruit with good acidity and light tannins. Would serve to guests. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Columbia Crest Merlot Columbia Valley Grand Estates 2012

    Snoothrank:

    $7 at Nugget Market in Woodland, CA this week. Strong nose, tones of almost vanilla extract. Deep, bold, cherry-juice and vanilla flavors. Very buttery and smooth mouthfeel followed by a bright finish, very low acid. I actually found this too intense to drink with dinner - it's almost more of a dessert wine for me. Great for drinking on its own ... Read More

    Wine review by laebrown


  • Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Floral aromas are touched by orange blossom, peach nectar, honey and a light tropical note as well. Silky and smooth in the mouth, with an excellent approach of peach and ripe apple and a creamy note on the long finish that is just tart enough to contrast against the creaminess. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • JD, have to say that the '04 Medici pinot was pretty stellar, next up would ... (in that order). The 2012 Oregon vintage has been raved about in all the publications and what we tasted was fantastic. The 2011 Stoller pinot was more subtle, less fruit forward and more lean, with a finer cut of acid. Our tasting host described it as being more "e... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wineries to visit in Newberg, OR


  • RBA, that Liquid Farm is not cheap but IMHO is definitely worth a taste (or ... we just got back from our Oregon trip very late the night before and it still kind of felt like the end of a weekend. Not sure if there are any wine shops in VA that carry the LF but you can always click on your link above and hit 'add to cart'   ; )Mark, interesti... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Ghost Hill Cellars the Spirit of Pinot Noir Rosé Bayliss-Bower Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This Rose' of Pinot Noir has been one of my favorites for some time. Completely dry and heavy on minerality. It can pair with a variety of meats, fowl and veg dishes. Read More

    Wine review by Carl Giavanti


  • Got in (very) late last night, flying from the west to the east coast isn't ... and I had a great time in Oregon. Us, both of our (grown) kids, F-I-L, son's girlfriend and her mother converged on Newberg for the weekend. Drove in on Friday and visited the Dark Horse Wine bar, where they were pouring some Medici, Ferraro Cellars and Sineann. One... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wineries to visit in Newberg, OR


  • Of course, Greg, Sonoma has some of the best New World PNs. Think I was ... as ... as well as further south. Oregon has its own issues, but also some good PN. I've lusted after the rare-perfected CA pinot for decades, and only had Graff-era Chalone for solace early on (not that all their production was perfect but it was well on the right road... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot Noir throwdown


  • D - Chardonnay with lobster is perfect. I guess they suggested PN because that ... ... had a drinkable one from Oregon. It's just that whenever I drink something like that, I wonder how much better a Syrah would be from the same vineyard. But next month I'm going to a PN tasting, many dozens from around the world, so we'll see. Germany has bee... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot Noir throwdown


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