Oregon wines, specifically Willamette Valley Pinot noirs, made a very strong statement in the April 2018 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine. As well as a five page article on Oregon Pinot by publisher and editor Joshua Greene, for its annual restaurant poll, wine buyers from 231 restaurants across 27 states (16 of those 231 are in Portland + 1 more is in Dundee) responded to the poll, which determines the most popular wines ordered by diners at American restaurants based on sales. Now in its 29th year, the top US restaurants are polled each January, with wine directors reporting on their best-selling wines October through December.
Cristom Vineyards took the #1 position for domestically produced Pinot noir. Wrote the magazine’s associate publisher Samantha Johnson in a recent press release, “… it’s Oregon pinot that’s making a splash, earning half of the Pinot noir spots on respondent’s top-ten lists. For the first time, an Oregon Pinot noir producer—Cristom—has risen into the ranks of the Top Ten Most Popular Restaurant Brands.” Oregon, in total, holds seven of the top 10 Pinot noir spots and 12 of the top 20. Of the entire top 30 list, Oregon holds 18 of the spots, or 60%!
On a similar note, the highest rated Pinot gris is from King Estates of Oregon. Eight Oregon winery brands among the overall Top 50 Most Popular Wines in America’s Top Restaurants (not specific to any varietal). With far less than 1% of the world’s acreage planted to fine wine grapes, Oregon has 16% of the spots on this global list.