In recent years, the Oregon Pinot Noir grape has produced wines that compete with some of the top French Burgundy wines. Though the Oregon Pinot Noir industry is less than 40 years old, it is developing a respected place in the international wine community.
Every year, Oregon wines are awarded higher and higher ratings. Recent years have shown the Oregon Pinot Noir surpassing some highly-respected French wines, no doubt giving French wine producers something to talk about.
It would seem that, as with a good red wine, the Oregon Pinot Noir grape will only continue to improve with age.
Oregon is located at 45° North latitude, parallel with Burgundy, France.
Oregon is home to some of the best wine growing areas in the world. Its location along the 45° North latitude, as well as its maritime weather, have produced a growing climate extremely similar to Burgundy, France, a region well known for its Pinot Noir.
As a result, Oregon’s top wine crop has become – you guessed it – Pinot Noir.
In recent years, the state has received growing attention from the international wine community, as Oregon Pinot Noir ranks right up with the best wines coming out of Burgundy.
The industry has grown in stages, and like any industry, has a rich history. The Hudson Bay Company established Oregon’s first vineyard in Fort Vancouver, around 1825. Pioneers planted vines in Oregon in the mid-1800s. Some of the oldest Zinfandel vines can be found near Hood River, in the Columbia Gorge, and were planted well over 125 years ago. The first winery opened in 1855. The first commercial winery opened in 1883. Present-day wineries in Oregon were first established in the late 1950s, and their numbers increased quickly in the 60s and 70s. Oregon’s wine industry typically looks to the 1960s as its birthyear, despite the state’s lengthy history.
As of 2016, Oregon has 424 wineries.
Oregon produces more than 39 different varietals.
(Source: the Oregon Wine Advisory Board)