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...

  • 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...

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

  • Purple Hands Wine

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

  • Dusty Cellars Winery

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

  • Territorial Vineyards

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

  • Viridian Wines

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

  • Sockeye Winery

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

  • Silvan Ridge Winery

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

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Underwood Cellars Pinot Noir Wine In a Can 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Strawberry and raspberry on the nose. Light bodied with raspberry on entry, ... ... entry level pinots from Oregon. Think I'll keep a can or two aroun Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Vineyard Columbia Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Well balanced fruit and acid. Have a cold and taste buds are off a bit but this sure hit the spot. Will try another bottle later. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • I think we need to visit Stags Leap the next time we get down to Napa Valley. ... Washington (Walla Walla) and Oregon (Willamette Valley).  It might be a few years before we return to the San Francisco area, but we do love it there.Today I was much better.  We started out by heading into the district to attend an Opera at The Kennedy Center, b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Skyfall Columbia Valley Red Blend 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Decent enough for the price point with red berry fruits - cherry mainly - and a touch of blueberry. Earthy notes add to relatively mild tannins and good acidity. 87 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Corvidae Wine Company Riesling Ravenna 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Antiques To Uniques


  • Fullerton Five Faces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Expressive ripe cherry, tea leaf and cola aromas with mixed berry spice and floral violet notes along with some earthiness. Tart and flavorful, this provides excellent structure and is well balanced, with cool blueberry and black cherry fruit mixing with an herbal, earthy menthol and licorice note and finishing with good minerality and a pile of... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Cloudline Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2004

    Snoothrank:

    imported from danceforme but uncertain 3-3.5. Read More

    Wine review by salomogt


  • Ryan Patrick Redhead Red 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Perfumed aromas of violets, ripe cherries and strawberries. Unassuming and simple on entry, this has a pleasant chalky earth that brings strawberry, cherry syrup and cranberry fruit and finishes with a sticky resinous smoke. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • A To Z Pinot Gris 2015

    Snoothrank:

    I love Pinot Gris from the US. It has much more body than the same varietal from other parts of the world. Except Italy of course. This one is well made. The winery really gives it lots of fruit, balanced citrus and a little left over sugar as a treat. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • Resonance Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton District Domaine Jadot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    We really enjoyed this wine on my 51st birthday. Light flavorful and east drinking. Read More

    Wine review by socalgary


  • I have been reading in Wine Speculator about all the vineyards around Portland. Our son lives there, however when we go to visit, we never get to see any. Next time we will.

    Comment by 1013283cience7 1013283 cience7


  • I will be in Oregon for a family reunion at the end of July, which wineries are too good to miss. We will be planning a tasting day for 8 people. Susy

    Comment by 610070Susy Stone 610070 Susy Stone


  • Sloppy spelling. It is Hood River, McMinnville, and Willamette. Those are just three mis-spelled places with regard to Oregon. How many other sloppy spellings are there on the site?

    Comment by 814949zbarnett 814949 zbarnett


  • I drank a wonderful Reisling from Oregon, the name was Next. The restaurant is no longer in business and I do not know the vineyard that produced it. Any help out there?

    Comment by 121273Pat Smoot 121273 Pat Smoot


  • I enjoyed one of the most wonderful Cameron Wines. It was a 2008 Abbey Ridge. Such a beautiful glass of sunshine

    Comment by 137527Glendamcd 137527 Glendamcd


  • Left Coast Cellars produces true, authethentic Pinot Noir with power & delicate style.Try the Cali's Cuvee" 2005. I'd also like to reccomend the Left Coast Cellars Chardonnay complemented with just the right amount of subtle oak.It's balance and complexity rivaled some solidfrench (domaines as well as village wines)burgundies I tasted just days ...

    Comment by 509794wineinsiderone 509794 wineinsiderone


  • Big fan of Willamette Valley Vineyards. The terroir and techniques produce amazing Pinot Noir!

    Comment by 182332The Corkscrew Diary 182332 The Corkscrew Diary


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