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Oregon Wine Region

With a Range of World-Famous Wines

Oregon, which is a U.S. state, is lying in the Pacific Northwestern region of the country.

This state is known to have a global reputation for its wines with its history of winemaking dating back to the 1840s.

Yes, it’s one of the youngest wine regions of the world and was first placed on the global wine map only during the late 1960s.

But, since that time, the state is continuing to be in a strong position by showing steady improvements in the production of wines.

Wine grape varieties

Now, let’s see the status of vines and wines in this important wine state here…

Story of Oregon Wines

As I mentioned above, the story of wines in Oregon was started in the 1840s.

The first vine plants of the region were planted in the year 1847 at Oregon Territory.

The first recorded winery of Oregon is the Valley View.

During the 19th century, the state had an experiment on various vine varieties. After some years, the wine production in Oregon came to a halt with the Prohibition in the country.

It was only after the three decades of dormancy; the wine production was revived in the state.
As I mentioned earlier, it was only during the 1960s that the wine production started to rebuild the state.

Since then, the state has seen continuous improvements in the wine industry and now, the state of Oregon has as many as 702 wineries.

The current vineyard area of the state is found to be around 8,500 hectares out of which almost 60% of the total area is dedicated to the cultivation of Pinot noir grape variety alone.

At present, the Oregon is the fourth-largest wine producer in the country.

Important Wine Producing Regions in Oregon

When it comes to American Viticultural Areas of Oregon, we can see that there are three major non-overlapping AVAs in Oregon. They are namely:

Willamette Valley AVA
This is the wine region that is encompassing the Willamette Valley and is found to be containing most of the wineries in Oregon.

We can see that this region is further divided into five nested American Viticultural Areas, which are:

  • Chehalem Mountains AVA
  • Dundee Hills AVA
  • Eola-Amity Hills AVA
  • McMinnville AVA
  • Yamhill-Carlton District AVA

The total viticultural area of this AVA is found to be around 13,500 square kilometers.

Southern Oregon AVA
We can see that this AVA is formed by the union of two already existing AVAs:

  • Rogue Valley AVA
  • Umpqua Valley AVA

The Southern Oregon AVA was formed in the year 2004 to enable the above two AVAs to carry out the marketing together. However, the two regions wines are being examined separately.

Columbia Gorge AVA
This AVA is encompassing the Columbia Gorge region. As this is straddling the Columbia River, this is found to be present in both Oregon and Washington. However, this is considered to be the AVA of Oregon.

Other AVA’s
Apart from these three AVAs, the state of Oregon is found to have some overlapping AVAs like Walla Walla Valley AVA and Snake River Valley AVA. In total, the state has as many as 17 AVAs and sub-AVAs.

Wines and Wine Grapes of Oregon

As mentioned above, Pinot Noir is the most important grape variety of Oregon and we could see that the Pinot Noir wines from Oregon have a good reputation in the world wine market.

Followed by this, Pinot Gris has an important spot in the vine cultivation of Oregon.

Syrah is another popular variety here. Not only red varieties, we can also find some white varieties in Oregon. The popular white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling.

Apart from these major varieties, there are other grape varieties which are being produced in smaller quantities. They are:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Tempranillo
  • Viognier
  • Pinot blanc
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Cabernet franc
  • Zinfandel
  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Sauvignon blanc
Alcohol and Distilleries

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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