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

Julia Crowley

Award-winning Wine Writer & Publisher/Creative Content Producer of TheRealWineJulia.com. Snooth Contributor & Professional Wine Judge. Completely charmed by Oregon's earthy, elegant Pinot Noirs.

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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...

  • 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...

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...

  • Silver Falls Vineyards

    ilver Falls Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery located in the mid-Willamette Valley ...

  • Milbrandt Vineyards

    Farming is in our blood. Our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all made their living workin...

  • Cardwell Hill Cellars

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

  • Territorial Vineyards

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

  • Bishop Creek Cellars

    We believe that the art of winemaking starts with quality fruit. Planted in 1988, our grapes come...

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Oregon on Snooth

  • Browne Family Vineyards Tribute Red Blend 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Had this at lunch at Marcello's. Nice little number with plenty of complexity from the Blend. Soft and round with the spice and dark berry flavors of the Malbec and Cabernet and cocoa and dark chocolate. Long finish that turns surprisingly a bit too dry. Nevertheless pretty darn good. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Milbrandt Traditions Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Bright red fruit on the nose, mostly raspberry and cherry but a touch of plum and a hint of vanilla. A little thin in the mouth, with more acidity than structure and a fair bit of red fruit driving. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Abacela Albarino 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Mineral, flinty notes of citrus and peach on the nose with a hint of green apple as well. Good fresh acidity and a zesty character in the mouth, with notes of green apple, tangerine, lemon and peach, finishing long with an extra mineral finish. Excellent wine to bring to the raw bar. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Abacela Grenache Rose 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh watermelon, herb and mineral notes on the nose with pale cherry aromas and a bit of hay. Bursting with cherry and watermelon flavors, there's a good zestiness to the palate and a touch of cream to round it out, a very clean and easy drinking wine with a zip of perceived sweetness coming from the ripe fruit and zesty mouthfeel. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Left Coast Cellars Chardonnay Willamette Valley Truffle Hill 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Clean peach, honey and lemon aromas. Full of buttery toast flavors, green apple, lemon and honey with a touch of orange and vanilla creme. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Grower Series 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is a light, patio-style PN from Argyle - a reputed Dundee OR producer. Not being a reserve wine, it does not have the bold delivery and extraction of other offerings, but has a wonderful wild strawberry nose and a creamy, smooth effect on the palate - like a mildly tannic strawberry water infusion. Finish is medium to short but somehow sa... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • EM - You will be even happier to hear that not only could we purchase wine on ... ... one of our wine clubs in Oregon (J. K. Carriere) and yes, it's a very nice rose type of wine.I was stuck home for six hours this morning while we had a deck / patio door replaced.  This is a Pella door and it was not cheap.  There was a bit of dry rot from th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Battle Creek Cellars Unconditional Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Light cherry aromas with a bit of forest floor funk and some touches of cranberry and rhubarb. Round and smooth in the mouth with just a touch of acidity and a hint of medicine. This ripe red cherry Pinot has an interesting rustic, smoky character to it with a bit of wet wool on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • I recommend trying to taste wines at three wineries per day.  They usually ... made our way up to Portland, Oregon.  Pictures here.  I hope you have a great time.  We love tasting wines in Nap Read More

    Forum post in the topic Going to Napa and Sonoma -...


  • Good for you, Lefty. Looking forward to hearing more from you about whites from Oregon (right across the river), Washington and maybe even British Columbia (hey it was named after the same tall ship that 'discovered' your river, so it can't be that far away!). Read More

    Forum post in the topic A new love for the whites


  • 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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