Seven Things I love about Oregon Wine

7. It is made in Oregon

What could be better than that?

Scattered with 16 diverse and sprawling wine-growing areas, Oregon produces world-class wine throughout the state. From red to white, dry to sweet, flat to sparkling, Oregon has it all. Did you know it would take you nearly a year – stopping at one winery a day – to taste the sweet sips of all of Oregon’s varied wineries?

With Oregon wine I will never have an empty – or boring, glass.

6. It is close and accessible

Wine country is right outside my door step in Eugene making visiting an easy and fun escape from the city. I can spend a half day popping from one winery to the next or just swing by a tasting room after work to relax with a glass of Pinot Noir.

TRIP TIP: Follow highway 99 from Eugene north through wine country for a fantastic day drive featuring wineries down every dusty country road. Just remember no matter how close or how far you travel to taste to always have a designated driver.

5. Huge variety

It’s not just Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in Oregon – though the state highlights some of the best of both in my book. According to the Oregon Wine Board, 72 grape varieties grow around Oregon. However 97 percent of Oregon’s acreage is focused on 15 particular varieties including Merlot, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon blanc and Viognier to name a few.

For a full list and descriptions, check out Oregon Wine Board’s website. Two of my favorite Oregon varietals are Syrah and Pinot Noir.

4. High quality for the cost

Many of the wineries and tasting room around the state offer wine flights for a low price ($5-$20) and some are even free. For less than the cost for two to see a movie, I can tour 3-4 wineries and spend a quality afternoon with my family and friends. The low cost for tasting also translates to lower prices per bottle on average – but no quality is sacrificed. Enjoy local hand-crafted wine for around $15 – $40. Join a wine club or buy by the case to receive incentive discounts for delicious wines.

3. Small town, big wines

Escape the pretentiousness of wine country in Oregon. With many small, family run wineries, I enjoy the down to earth, informal and relaxing wine experience offered in Oregon. On average, Oregon wineries produce just 5,000 cases a year as recorded by the Oregon Wine Board. With small batch production, I find that the wineries are able to focus on quality and create unique bottles.

Additionally, the tasting rooms are personable and friendly – you don’t need to worry if you are a newbie to wine or a long time connoisseur – all will feel welcome. Plus as an added bonus you never know who might be pouring the wine. I have tasted at several boutique wineries where the winemaker with soil still on his/her hands came right out of the vineyard to serve our group.

2. Green is Hip

From regulating the run-off to be salmon safe to installing solar panels to reduce energy waste, many Oregon wineries focus on sustainability. The winemakers savor and protect their soil as stewards of the land. Some wineries even go a step further by cultivating organic or biodynamic vineyards to allow the grapes to flourish naturally and acquire the true characteristics from the land. As a green conscious consumer, I appreciate and love that green is in for the wine biz.

1.  It is delicious!

Why drink wine that doesn’t taste good?!

What do you love about Oregon wine?


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ravyn says:

    As a new Oregon resident, I am really excited to read more of your posts! My husband and I take several little getaways each month, and wine country is definitely on the list!

  2. sipwithme says:

    Eight things: “What’s not to like?” Great post Kelsey!!

  3. #4 is proof you’re from Eugene. Everything in upper Willamette Valley is price-y! Would love to have access to the wineries you live by. Cheers!

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