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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Waterbrook Winery

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

  • 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...

  • Dusty Cellars Winery

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

  • Cardwell Hill Cellars

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

  • Sockeye Winery

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

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Ross Andrew Winery Glaze Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruit aromas with some phenolic notes up front and a touch of clay. A bit thin in the mouth with more clay and some floral notes with a perfumed finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Whole Cluster 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Light cherry aromas with soft notes of cinnamon. Bright and juicy in the mouth, with tons of fresh acidity, ripe red fruit flavors of cranberry and black cherry and raspberry. Finishes clean and light with some blueberry notes and tart fruit. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Raptor Ridge Estate Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Big bright sweet ripe cherries bursting through the nose with a touch of red licorice and floral notes of cherry blossom. Round and juicy on the palate and full of warm spice, this has a bit of a cooked jammy quality which is very pleasant and coats the mouth well, lingering for quite a while and continuing to impart creamy vanilla notes with br... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Sweet Riesling Harvest Select 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Sweet wet white wine with only the slightest bit of tart / dry in the finish. Agreeable, drinkable and stand alone, though would also pair well with a light dinner or cheese plate. A memorable treat with character that's likely to induce a craving every few months. Read More

    Wine review by Aegelis


  • House Wine Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Creamy vanilla and green apple notes on the nose. Nicely fruit forward in the mouth, with peach, melon and green apple flavors and nice medium plus acidity. Velvety in the mouth and well balanced. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Evolution 19th Edition

    Snoothrank:

    Sokol Blosser is known for its Dundee OR Pinot Noir, but the blends are fantastic values. This white has a panoply of white varieties such as Muller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and a host of others. The flavour tends to pear, peach and lychee - possibly suggestive of a goodly portion of Gewurztraminer. Fun stuff and good value. 87 po... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Gran Moraine Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Delicate violet and ripe black cherry aromas are bold and fresh on the nose. This is focussed and tight in the mouth, with cherry notes that open up well providing nice acidity and precise balance from the structure here. A nice range of flavors here with cherry, cocoa and violet mingling with some licorice and vanilla on the finish.90 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Columbia Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Dark fruits and a bit of cassis on the nose. Fruit forward with moderate acidity with a bitey tannic finish. P.S. Tannins smoothed out by the second day. Give it some air. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve Willamette Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Light cranberry and crushed violet aromas with dark cherry. Dark black cherry on the palate with an explosion of fruit up front that carries a floral note through with hints of poppy seed and cinnamon, very nicely integrated with a perfect acidic pop towards the finish, which leads the way for bright red fruit and a long finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Roco Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Bouquet, taste, finish were all fair. Nothing special. $29.99 at starrs Read More

    Wine review by tjjm


  • 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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