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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Alexana Winery

    Alexana Wines was born of Dr. Madaiah Revana’s love of the great wines of Burgundy. In the spring...

  • Cardwell Hill Cellars

    Along the southernmost slope of Cardwell Hill, the vineyard encompasses a total of 57 acres. Thi...

  • Ayoub

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

  • Waterbrook Winery

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

  • Purple Hands Wine

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

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Oregon on Snooth

  • I know what I like and know something about wines but still have quite a bit to ... and seeing that when not in Oregon you live in Cathedral City, I would not discourage you from continuing your investigation of French and Oregon wihite wines.  As a Californian, I, of course, would not suggest that you shy away from California exampl Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Welcome, Michael. Oregon whites on the Oregon Coast. A nice summer thought for me, and reality for you. Which part of the coast?And why are whites acceptable but reds not for you after the stroke? Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • My name is Michael King--micking--and I've just joined.  I call myself ... have recently began to enjoy Oregon whites, as I have a summer place on the Oregon coast...Cheers,Micha Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello 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


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