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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Wine by Joe

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

  • Dusty Cellars Winery

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

  • Viridian Wines

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

  • Evening Land Vineyards/ONCE Wines

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

  • Carabella Vineyard

    All Carabella wines are sourced from our 58 acre site in Oregon's Chehalem Mountains. We produce ...

  • A to Z Wineworks

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

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Erath Pinot Gris 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Binny's 12/2014. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Eyrie Vineyards Dundee Hills Pinot Gris 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Just a fantastic Willamette pinot gris! First hint is of apricot which is quickly followed by not so ripe peach. Nice acidity carries some lemon lime to the mid and back of the tongue. Fairly complex for a pinot gris, one of the all time QPR leaders. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Hawks View Reserve Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Chehalem Pinot Noir Reserve Ridgecrest Vineyards 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Csm Syrah Reserve 2000

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • This week has shown some progress with Sandra's mother and her hospital ... (the winery is located in Oregon however) and it tastes like a Zinfande Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Ponzi Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Reserve 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Nice but not great Willamette pinot. Plenty of vibrant acidity and loads of ripe red cherry and cranberry but it seems a bit flat, the body is light and the finish is short. Possible that this is in its dumb stage and needs another year or three to come back around. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Kudos Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Nice, light to medium bodied Oregon pinot noir. Decent acidity, good black cherry, rhubarb, dark plum and dried prune overtones with a fairly long finish. Good but not great in that there aren't a lot of layers, just a straight forward dark fruit front end. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Oak Knoll Winery Niagara Mcminnville American Niagara NV

    Snoothrank:

    Actually the bottle says produced by Korpi Inc in Hillsboro. I do not know whether it is actually McMinnville or Hillsboro, but I do know I like this semi-sweet white wine. Read More

    Wine review by KnotBeak


  • 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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