Planted to only few vineyards prior to the 1960's, many at the time thought Oregon was too wet for wine production . However, thanks to a few pioneering farmers, in a matter of a few decades, this region has become widely known for producing incredible Pinot Noir. There are four main sub regions within Oregon, but the Willamette Valley is the primary spot and accounts for two thirds of overall wine production. While a few other varietals are grown, Pinot Noir is the driving force. Today, smaller AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) within Willamette have been broken down to further distinguish differences in the wines. These include Eola-Amity Hills, Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, and Yamhill-Carlton to name a few.
Generally cooler and wetter than the nearby California or Washington wine regions, the climate is certainly challenging. The Coast mountain range protects the Willamette Valley from excessive rains from the West coast and the long cool growing season allows grapes to ripen slowly which is perfect for Pinot Noir. Vineyards typically sit above the lush valley floor starting at 200 ft or above. These cool-climate wines typically show new world fruit with an old world restraint.
Aside from Pinot Noir, other red grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Gamay (as you will see in our flight). On the white side, Pinot Gris has always been a fun playful wine, but Chardonnay is rapidly becoming a serious player as the global demand for more restrained styles of Chardonnay is on the rise. Also look for dry Reisling when you can!
It is remarkable that in just over 50 years time, Oregon has secured its status as one of the premier places in the world for Pinot Noir. The region as a whole truly speaks of nature and farming. There are no large châteaus or mansions with vineyards, this is rustic wine country. As with so many great regions, the wines have come to reflect their place of origin.
The Tasting Room Flight
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Our tastings are a great way to explore wines that are new to you or indulge in some of your favorite regions. Whether you are looking to learn or to simply relax, our team has you covered.