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

Julia Crowley

Award-winning Wine Writer. Publisher/Creative Content Producer of TheRealWineJulia.com. Snooth Contributor & Pro Wine Judge. Charmed by the Willamette Valley's earthy, elegant Pinot Noirs with a true zeal for Oregon Chardonnay, Riesling & Sparkling Wine.

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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...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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

  • Dusty Cellars Winery

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

  • Chateau Bianca

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

  • Purple Hands Wine

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

  • A to Z Wineworks

    A to Z Wineworks was started in 2002 by four friends, Oregon wine industry veterans, Deb Hatch...

  • Panther Creek Cellars

    Panther Creek wines are Oregon's most beautifully packaged and also the most concentrated and age...

  • Waterbrook Winery

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

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Tonight we dined in the district again, this time at Grillfish prior to a ... ... cheesecake with a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir from Erath Vineyards.  Sandra suggested that we switch our dessert drinks as the Patron was a better pairing to the cheesecake and I agreed.  That Pinot was good though, as was the Sancerre. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • What a cool event. Wasn't so long ago both Greg's would be game for such an event. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oregon Pinot - Kelley Fox Wines


  • DM, thanks for the info!  We get out to Oregon a lot more often than NYC. We'll be heading to the Northwest again in July which I'm hoping is a fairly quiet time for winemakers and should be easier to schedule tastings. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oregon Pinot - Kelley Fox Wines


  • Vino, I've been extolling Soter on these boards this whole decade. Good ... ... and biophysics from Oregon State University, Kelley decided to pursue a career in winemaking before finishing her doctorate in biochemistry. Learning directly from Oregon winemakers (including the legendary David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards), she learned that observat... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oregon Pinot - Kelley Fox Wines


  • Those vines are further along than the vines we saw in Oregon a few weeks ago.   Read More

    Forum post in the topic What Day Is It? (Besides hump...


  • These are definitely some of the best wines we own - meaning our collection of ... ... do love those high-end Oregon Pinot Noirs from Willamette Valley though. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Cameron out of Oregon is a great source for dry farmed, sustainable wines.cameronwines.com Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Ah, my first weekend following that wonderful vacation in Oregon.  So what do we do?  We go out just about every day it seems with all the events Sandra signed us up for.  Yesterday I spent four hours cleaning the ceiling and walls of our dining room (starting back into getting the dining room painted after doing the doors and windows earlier in... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • V V - If you wish to visit with Kelley Fox, you need to e-mail her and see what can be arranged.  She was topping her wine barrels anyway on the day we wished to visit, so it worked out well for us.  She doesn't have a tasting room and you can't buy bottles from her directly.  You can only buy them online.  We were lucky to schedule a visit / ta... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oregon Pinot - Kelley Fox Wines


  • Al, very nice write up on your web page!  You have me getting anxious about our upcoming Portland trip to see our son in July. I'm already working up an itinerary, looks like I'll be adding Kelley Fox and Soter to my list.Seems like you enjoyed the McMinnvile B&B, when we've stayed there we've rented a VRBO in town and were able to walk to tasti... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oregon Pinot - Kelley Fox Wines


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