The annual harvest is rapidly approaching, and with it, the never-ending change in season. It provides us a chance to look back and consider all that has changed through the years.
You may have noticed a new look on this web site. After five years, we felt it was time to add a fresh look to the site. Did you realize this? That is has been more than five years since OregonWines.com began. In that time, we have witnessed a rapid growth of new wineries and vineyards across the state. Along with that growth, we have consistently added new services to this site to better help you connect with your favorite Oregon wineries.
When we first published this web site back in July 2002, there were fewer than 200 commercial wineries in production. Current counts put the number at more than 350. At the same time, the industry is maturing in quantity, quality, and diversity of product. Many new varietals have been introduced to the state since 2000, and some grapes which once were a rarity are now commonplace. Mediterranean varietals such as Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto are now produced by dozens of artisan wineries.
Additionally, yields of flagship crops such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay are in such plentiful supply that many new craft winemakers -- who grow no grapes and instead purchase them from area vineyards -- have sprung up in just the past three years alone.
With these changes, so have we at OregonWines.com worked to consistently improve our service to all Oregon wine enthusiasts. Our most recent addition of WineNav, the interactive winery touring service that was developed in the fall of 2005, has been a big success.
Still, there is always room for improvement. To that end, we have just released an updated version of WineNav that incorporates driving directions and scaled maps directly onto your itinerary page, and enables you to navigate to any number of destinations, now with estimated driving time, mileage, and complete directions to and from your starting point, and between each winery along the way.
Yet, even now there are newer improvements underway that will let each of you personally compose your own touring route, share it with others, and add it to a growing list of featured routes to be commented on and enjoyed by other readers.
Many things have changed over the years, but the best things of all have stayed constant. Among them are the commitment of Oregon's craft winemakers to produce superior wines for your enjoyment, and our commitment to consistently improve OregonWines.com to deliver the highest quality of content we can about the Oregon wine industry. We hope you enjoy this site and welcome your feedback.