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 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...

  • 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

  • Girardet Wine Cellars & Vineyard

    Philippe Girardet was born and raised in Switzerland near the headwaters of the Rhone, a French-s...

  • Silvan Ridge Winery

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

  • Wine by Joe

    Yes, there really is a Joe! Joe Dobbes is the man behind your bottle of Wine By Joe. As the sole ...

  • 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...

  • EIEIO

    At EIEIO & Company we make the best possible wine we can without compromise. To date, this is a ...

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