JUST THE BEGINNING
While the first grapes were planted in Oregon in the 1880s, it took almost a century for vintners to discover just how special their region could be. In 1979, an Oregon Pinot noir blew away the historically staunch competition in the Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiads. As a result, the eyes of the world were opened at last, and wine connoisseurs began to flock to the Pacific Northwest.
UPHOLDING THE IDEAL
Many of Oregon's winegrowers operate independently-owned, small-yield vineyards, and use only their own grapes in the creation of their wines. In fact, the majority of Oregon wines are limited to 5,000 cases per vintage. This kind of micromanagement ensures a higher quality product, and better tasting wines. On any given day in Oregon wine country, be it Willamette Valley, Columbia Gorge, or even the far-west Snake River Valley, the vintner will be the person to introduce you to his or her wines.
WINE AND THE LAND
Oregon winegrowers' adhesion to smaller, boutique vineyards also promotes environmental scruples within the industry. These people live off their land, and they protect it, too. A large majority of Oregon vineyards are maintained under sustainable, organic, or even biodynamic principles.