Wine and Wineries

Oregon's six wine appellations stretch from the arid, windswept cliffs of the Columbia Gorge to the lush vineyards of the Rogue Valley. Each appellation carries its own distinctive qualities and favored wines, although Oregon is best known for its robust Pinot Noir, a specialty of the Willamette Valley, near Portland. With the exception of the Walla Walla Valley and the Columbia Valley appellations (whose boundaries are shared by both Oregon and Washington), Oregon's wineries and vineyards are all located relatively close to Interstate 5, Oregon's main north-south corridor.

Oregon produces more than 30 wine varietals, ranging from the spicy red Cabernet Merlot of the Columbia Valley, to the fruity white Arneis of Willamette Valley. This diversity is due to Oregon's incredible range of climate zones and elevations, which extend from the wet but temperate weather of the Willamette and Umpqua Valley regions, to the warm, dry climes of the Rogue and Applegate Valleys to the even drier, elevated plateaus of the Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys.

Most of Oregon's wineries are small, family-run enterprises that are scattered along the western base of the Cascade Mountains. Quality, rather than volume has become the hallmark of Oregon's wine industry, which prides itself in select, limited editions of finely crafted vintages. And sometimes small is what is needed: Oregon's wines have been continually awarded for their excellence and their ability to capture the subtle palate of flavors, hues and aromas that define the Pacific Northwest.

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