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Oregon Wine Backgrounder
Since the first grapes were planted in the state 50 years ago, Oregon is now recognized as one of the world’s elite winemaking regions. With 19 designated wine growing areas located in five diverse regions, Oregon boasts more than 793 wineries producing wine from over 82 grape varieties.
Oregon’s wines have benefited from the state’s varied but accommodating climate and unique terroirs. Most of its wineries are small and family owned, many producing fewer than 5,000 cases annually. They can be found sprinkled along country roads, tucked into mountain foothills, situated high above vineyards with breathtaking views of the landscape and now in downtown storefronts on historic main streets.
Oregon has more than 500 wine tasting rooms and are worth the pilgrimage.
All of this made wine touring one of Oregon’s top draws. In 2016 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), wine-related tourism contributed almost $787 million to the state, up from $295 million in 2013, a 162% increase over three years.
According to a study by Longwoods International and released by Travel Oregon in 2016, 11% of people visiting Oregon statewide participate in winery tours and wine tasting. In the Willamette Valley, that number rises to 17% and is the #3 activity of special interest following visiting historic places.
Oregon wines are available online, at restaurants and from fine wine stores throughout the U.S. and around the world, but there are many small-batch offerings only available at the wineries’ tasting rooms.
Here is our story.
When Oregon’s wine pioneers looked out across the state’s varied landscape, they saw what others couldn’t: a perfect place for wine.
They understood that Oregon’s northerly latitude meant grapes would get extra growing season sunlight for long, even ripening, and that crisp, cool nights would help grapes retain their freshening acidity. Such a combination meant Oregon grapes would naturally achieve mature, balanced flavors and full varietal character. The resulting wines, they surmised, could be sustainably grown and made without dramatic manipulation to be naturally fresh, lively, and have true-to-the-fruit flavors.
They were right. Today, the suitability of Oregon for great wine is unquestioned. There’s a home in Oregon for any wine grape, from Arneis to Zinfandel.
In the marine-influenced Willamette Valley, cool-adapted grapes such as Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Riesling and Chardonnay ripen to perfection, producing elegant wines with a global reputation. In the warm, high-elevation vineyards of Southern Oregon and the Walla Walla Valley, heat-loving varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah and Viognier are crafted into head-turning wines earning top scores from national critics. And in the Columbia Gorge and Eastern Oregon, varied microclimates allow winemakers and growers the luxury of working with the widest range of grape varieties of anywhere in the state.
If you were a wine grape, you’d want to be planted in Oregon.
In Oregon, it’s all about the wine, not the image. Oregon’s winemakers wear jeans, not chinos; boots, not boat shoes. They speak more of sustainable farming than creative branding, of biodynamics instead of market dynamics. They are an unpretentious and independent lot who are as committed to the pursuit of their entrepreneurial wine vision as they are to the collaborative protection and advancement of Oregon wine quality.
It’s always been that way. Oregon’s wine community was founded by free thinkers who stubbornly planted Pinot noir where accepted wisdom said the grape would not grow – because they were convinced they could make their greatest wines only in Oregon. They were right.
Since then, second-generation and new wave Oregon winemakers continue to build on that heritage. They established the toughest wine labeling laws in the nation and imported never-seen-in-the-US grape clones to ensure they could continue to craft the best possible wine quality. They still pioneer new wine grapes for North America, including Tempranillo, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Lagrein and Vermentino. And they have established Oregon as a leader in sustainability, setting new standards for organic, biodynamic, and eco-sound vineyard and winery practices.
Above all, they maintain the primacy of quality: lower yields in favor of quality are embraced; excess fruit is stripped from the vine so what remains will ripen better; just-picked grapes are inspected to eliminate substandard fruit; native yeast fermentation helps keep the character of the terroir. Nothing is spared to create quality wines; Oregon’s vines are hand-tended, the wines hand-crafted.
Eccentric? Perhaps. Uncompromising? Definitely. Oregon? Absolutely.
Oregon wines taste of the land. The French call it terroir. We call it delicious.
A Pinot noir from the Dundee Hills has lean ripe cherry and strawberry notes, reflecting the iron-rich redness of its volcanic soil. A sophisticated Syrah from the Walla Walla Valley shows swaths of minerals and herbs, reminiscent of the cobblestone ground where the vines grow. A suave Viognier offers creamy touches of apricot and honey, conjuring images of summer sun and wildflowers in Southern Oregon vineyards.
Oregon wines taste this way on purpose. A key Oregon principle is to match the grape variety to the place where it will grow best, not just where it is able to grow. That’s why Willamette Valley Pinot noir is so wonderful: a cooler climate is best for that grape; and why Tempranillo from the Umpqua Valley is so full of character: that variety prefers warmer temperatures.
Oregon winemakers also know that to get the best from the grape, they must get out of Nature’s way. The majority of Oregon’s vineyards are organic, many are biodynamic, and the prevailing winemaking philosophy is “nonintervention,” meaning do as little as possible to manipulate the wine − let nature do it naturally.
The result is wines that have a genuine freshness, balanced fruit, and true varietal flavor: wines that taste of the place they were grown. And in a place as pristine, natural and diverse as Oregon, you might expect our wines would show the same qualities. You’d be right.
From sprightly sparklers and jaunty rosés, to minerally Rieslings and peachy Viogniers; from elegant Pinot noirs and sumptuous Syrahs, to classy Cabernets and dulcet dessert wines, Oregon’s wine variety will satisfy anyone’s palate.
Oregon’s wine-producing regions are unique in geography, climate, varietals and winemaking styles.
Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley
Mt. Hood and the cliffs of the Columbia River look down on waterfront towns, countless waterfalls and the world’s best windsurfing waters. This brewpub mecca and up-and-coming wine region is also the home of the Hood River Fruit Loop driving trail.
Located in the Hood River area, the Columbia Gorge AVA’s climate varies widely. From the high desert-like east to the cooler, wetter west, a range of grape varietals − Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, among them – thrive in this region.
While much of the arid Columbia Valley AVA is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, a number of new, innovative Oregon wineries are making Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and a host of other wines in The Dalles area.
With orchards and vineyards set against alpine meadows, crystal-clear rivers and lush valleys, this rugged, diverse region is home to Crater Lake National Park.
Oregon winemaking originated here when the first wine grapes were planted in the 1800s. Today, new vineyards and wineries are reigniting the established wine culture by producing top-notch wines. Comprised of 170 microclimates, Southern Oregon is the state’s largest warm-climate growing region.
With five Sub AVAs − Umpqua Valley, Red Hills Douglas County, Rogue Valley, Applegate Valley and the new Elkton – in addition to the Southern Oregon AVA, and more than 65 wineries, it’s one of the most diverse winegrowing regions in the world. Cooler areas produce Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Sauvignon blanc and more. The warmer, arid regions ripen Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah and others.
The spirit of the West is alive and well in Eastern Oregon, where visitors can take in rodeos, fishing, hunting, snow sports and incredible wildlife viewing. Orchards, wheat fields and vineyards dot the countryside graced by the Blue Mountains on the horizon.
Located in northeastern Oregon eight miles south of Walla Walla, Wash., this region is open, spacious and home to vineyards along the Columbia River. Diverse soils form the basis of distinctive Walla Walla AVA terroirs: silty, sandy earth from the Missoula Floods, basalt cobblestones and fractured basalt bedrock.
Earthy and spicy, full-bodied Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Semillon, Pinot gris, Chenin blanc and Syrah produced here are easily recognized for their distinctive minerality.
More than 50% of Walla Walla AVA wine is made from grapes grown in Oregon.
The Snake River Valley AVA straddles the Oregon-Idaho border and is one of the state’s newest. Currently, there are no wineries in the Oregon portion of the AVA.
With its namesake river running through it from Portland to south of Eugene, the region of more than 500 wineries is protected by the Coast Range to the west, the Cascades to the east and a chain of hills to the north. The Willamette Valley is the heart of Oregon’s agricultural production with farms growing everything from fruit and nuts to Christmas trees and flowers, and, of course, wine grapes.
In addition to the Willamette Valley AVA, Sub AVAs include Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton District, Ribbon Ridge, Dundee Hills, McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills.
Wet, cool winters and warm, dry summers make this an ideal climate for Pinot noir and other cool-climate grapes, including Pinot gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Food and Wine
What grows together goes together.
Oregon wines are made for the table.
Before Oregon became famous as a foodie haven, Oregon winemakers were creating food-friendly wines. Because of the natural refreshing fruit flavors inherent in Oregon wines, they make easy and memorable matches for a wide variety of ingredients and cooking styles.
Matching food and wine: At its best, Oregon wine is paired with the season’s freshest ingredients grown from nearby farms or drawn from Oregon’s rivers and coast.
The subtle earthiness of a Willamette Valley Pinot noir is perfectly matched with fresh-picked wild mushrooms from the forest, while the wine’s dry fruit flavor wonderfully complements the richness of wild-caught Pacific salmon. The notes of spice and fruit in a brisk Pinot gris pair well with native hazelnuts and farm-fresh cheeses. Steely dry Riesling and crisp Chardonnay easily enhance oysters from the coast or free-range heritage turkey.
A hearty Umpqua Valley Tempranillo seems made-to-order for a roast of hormone-free Oregon lamb, while a silky Syrah from the Walla Walla Valley has a delicious affinity for elk loin and other game meats. The soft succulence of a Columbia Gorge late harvest Viognier marries with a dessert of Hood River apples, while a compote of Southern Oregon peaches is a wonderful foil to a zesty blanc de blancs.
Whatever your palate preference, there’s an Oregon wine to make the perfect pairing.
Oregon is now home to 19 American Viticultural Areas. Below is a timeline of when each AVA was established.
Walla Walla Valley
Red Hill Douglas County
Snake River Valley
The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
Van Duzer Corridor
The Dirt on Oregon Soil
Applegate Valley: soil types are typically granite in origin, and most of the area’s vineyards are planted on stream terraces or alluvial fans, providing deep, well-drained soils that are ideal for high-quality wine grapes.
Chehalem Mountains: a combination of Columbia River basalt, ocean sedimentation, and wind-blown loess derivation soil types.
Columbia Gorge: soils are generally silty loams collected over time from floods, volcanic activity and landslides.
Columbia Valley: roughly 15,000 years ago a series of tremendous ice age floods (dubbed the Missoula Floods) deposited silt and sand over the area. These deposited sediments, along with wind-blown loess sediment, make up the area’s present-day soils, which are well drained and ideal for grapevines.
Dundee Hills: known for its rich, red volcanic Jory soil, which was formed from ancient volcanic basalt and consists of silt, clay and loam soils. They typically reach a depth of 4 to 6 feet and provide excellent drainage for superior quality wine grapes.
Eola-Amity Hills: predominantly contain volcanic basalt from ancient lava flows as well as marine sedimentary rocks and alluvial deposits at the lower elevations of the ridge. This combination results in a relatively shallow, rocky set of well-drained soils, which typically produce small grapes with great concentration.
McMinnville: soils are typically uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silts, with alluvial overlays. As compared to other appellations in the Willamette Valley, these soils are uniquely shallow for winegrowing with low total available moisture.
Red Hill Douglas County: soils are iron-rich, red volcanic Jory soils, which were formed from ancient volcanic basalt and consist of silt, clay and loam soils. They are mostly deep, well-drained to the 15-foot depth, and considered premier wine grape growing soils.
Ribbon Ridge: primarily sedimentary soils that are younger, finer and more uniform than the alluvial sedimentary and volcanic soils of neighboring regions. These moderately deep, well-drained silty-clay loam soils are part of the Willakenzie soil series and are of low fertility and ideal for growing high-quality wine grapes.
Rogue Valley: soil types are many and varied, including mixes of metamorphic, sedimentary and volcanic derived soils ranging from sandy loam to hard clay.
Southern Oregon: soils are varied and complex, though generally derived from bedrock, specifically from the 200 million year old Klamath Mountains, which are comprised of sedimentary rocks, to the west.
Umpqua Valley: soils are as varied as the climate. Generally, they are derived from a mix of metamorphic, sedimentary and volcanic rock; though more than 150 soil types have been identified in the region. The valley floor levels have mostly deep alluvial or heavy clay materials, while the hillsides and bench locations have mixed alluvial, silt or clay structures-all typically excellent for winegrowing.
Willamette Valley: an old volcanic and sedimentary seabed that has been overlaid with gravel, silt, rock and boulders brought by the Missoula Floods from Montana and Washington between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. The most common of the volcanic type is red Jory soil, which is found above 300 feet elevation (as it had escaped the Missoula Floods deposits) and is between four and six feet deep and provides excellent drainage for superior quality wine grapes. Anything below 300 feet elevation is primarily sedimentary-based soil.
Yamhill-Carlton: comprised of coarse-grained, ancient marine sedimentary soils, over sandstone and siltstone that all drain quickly, making them ideal for viticulture. Grapes grown in such soil often result in wines lower in acid than those made from grapes grown in basaltic or wind-blown soils.
COVID-19 Media Info
Access our industry COVID-19 toolkit here.
Additionally, here are some creative measures are Oregon winemakers taking in response to the Executive Order to close tasting rooms, except for take-out and delivery:
Oregon wineries are enhancing connections with club members, wine drinkers, and changing the dialogue:
- Oregon wine drinkers will be rewarded with Oregon Vine Perks, a new loyalty program launched by the Oregon Wine Board during Oregon [Inside] Wine Month. The Oregon Vine Perks program is simple; spend $250 or more on Oregon wine between May 1 and July 1, 2020, upload your receipts here, and you’ll receive an Oregon Vine Perks Pass in the mail. The pass will unlock two-for-one tastings, discounts and VIP benefits at participating wineries across the state once they reopen, and will be valid through April 30, 2021.
- With Oregon tasting rooms closed right now, Yamhill-Carlton AVA has created a new section of the AVA website to feature wineries offering curbside pick-ups and shipping specials: https://yamhillcarlton.org/curbside-pickup/
- “Doost” is the Farsi word for “friend,” and as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolded, Maysara noticed that the impact was not solely limited to the local Oregon wine industry but experienced by friends in wine industries in all corners of the U.S. They’ve partnered up with five other wineries to create Doost Community Package, a collection of twelve wines from: Gruet Winery, Hedges Family Estate, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Maysara Winery, Smith Devereux Wines, Stoller Family Estate.
- Copa Di Vino of The Dalles is now bringing the tasting room to living rooms with home wine tasting kits. Each $10 kit will include 2-ounce pours of 5 different varietals.
- Flaneur Wines: “Showcasing a variety of AVAs, vineyard sites, and winemaking styles, we chose to collaborate with three wineries that we love: EIEIO, Bethel Heights and Eyrie. On top of putting together this collective case of wines, the winemakers will be putting on two Zoom tasting sessions, giving you the opportunity to pop open a couple of bottles, taste along, and ask questions.”
- Tasting rooms are calling and emailing their members. Dobbes Family Estate says: “Because human connection is so important right now, we have our full-time tasting room staff reaching out to our consumers over the phone and via email.”
- Raptor Ridge Winery reports: “Our membership and events manager, socially distanced and working from home, has been personally calling all of our existing wine club members (Because we are Raptor Ridge we call them Flight Club members – – note the L in Flight Club), checking in on them, offering locals personalized delivery or pick up by appointment.”
- Stoller Wine Group is launching its own channel, “which will be a collection of short videos and social meet-ups that allow our valued guests a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking and vineyard process, taste virtually with our winemakers and tasting room team, learn how to cook at home with our culinary director Becca Richards and our vice president of winemaking Melissa Burr, hiking with our dogs in nature, and of course doing virtual tastings/meet-ups for newly released wines. Everyone has a work-life balance, and we want to share those stories. Even when we get past this virus and can feel comfortable in a traditional tasting again, people want an experience.”
- Donna at Winderlea: “We’ve been actively working to make those in the hospitality industry aware of openings that wineries may have with things such as bottling or part time/full time jobs in other industries. For example, I sent a notice to this group that Amazon is hiring 100,000 people to help with deliveries right now. Bill and I hosted a little industry forum (restaurants, inns and limo drivers) at our home last week to discuss what we could do to help each other during the next couple of months. With that, we’ve maintained an active dialog of ideas, leads, legal and regulatory updates to best assist each other.”
- Eola Hills Winery: “Nothing beats being able to talk and connect with someone face-to-face. However, I think it is pushing our industry to adapt to new ways of working, which can only make us better at reaching more audiences to share our story and wine with.”
- Hannah at Antica Terra: “We see our business not only adjusting but expanding to a broader understanding of how we engage and deepen our relationships with our audience. If we are to be honest, we should have been operating this way already. Our whole business depends on intimacy. It’s how we make our wine, it’s how we work with our team, it’s how we treat and talk to our guests…it’s everything. Taking the conversation online represents a much more direct, immediate way to build that intimacy, not only with the people who have taken the time to come and see us in the tasting room, but people who might never have made it to Dundee at all. We decided pretty quickly that we weren’t going to recreate the tasting experience, that we were going to reimagine what we had to offer and what we wanted to share. There is infinite space when you take away the boundaries of geography. There is a grand opportunity for us to share all of the enlivened thought and discussion that has happened behind closed doors, to wrap in our incredible talented friends, colleagues, and inspirations. It’s going to look really different from here on out…and we think that’s a good thing.”
- Anne at Domaine Serene: “As with most wineries, we are heavily based on face-to-face visits to our Clubhouse and Lounges. Fortunately, we do have a thriving distribution side of our business as well, and a great team nationally supporting us.”
- Seufert Winery: We are offering complimentary shipping on six bottles or more, we are including recipes and hand-written notes thanking them for their support.
Oregon wineries are combining their outreach efforts with food:
- Domaine Serene will be on site at three different hospital locations this week to donate gourmet pizza for hungry and overworked first responders to show gratitude for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19. The mobile pizza oven makes up to seventy-five individual pizzas an hour.
- Alloro Vineyard: Wine & Produce Packs delivered to your door. As part of our Community Supported Agriculture program, we’ve partnered with our friends at Pacific Coast Fruit to offer a selection of fresh produce paired with Alloro wines. Each pack includes 3 Alloro Estate wines a produce box with 18-20 pounds of various fruits and vegetables with items changing weekly. Produce Packs include complimentary local delivery (Portland Metro, Northern Willamette Valley, and Salem) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click HERE to reserve your Wine & Produce Pack today.
- Willamette Valley Vineyards: “Wine & Food Pick-Up & Curbside. Also our winery Chef has created some recipes with ingredients commonly found in everyone’s pantry that we will be sending out with recommended wine pairings. Our Estate Tasting Room and winery kitchen are open daily 11 am – 6 pm for wine and food pick-up orders to go, including curbside assistance when requested. Enjoy the Mid-Valley’s favorite burger paired with our Whole Cluster Pinot noir while supporting Wheels on Meals. We will donate $3 for every burger sold to assist with the well-being of seniors and disabled adults in Salem and Keizer during this challenging time.”
- Dobbes Family Estate is hosting virtual tastings with Tasting Room Manager and Andy, as well as content that our employees are putting together from their homes. Content so far has been around cooking and wine-tasting, but we’re planning a lot more virtual events in the future.
- Solèna Estate and Hyland Estates are partnering with Carlton Farms “to help provide those in our community with food and wine during these trying times. Since we’re not able to host you in our tasting rooms, we would love to offer and deliver a special package of meat and wine while raising money for Oregon Food Bank and will be donating 10% of all purchases to the Oregon Food Bank. Wine orders of 12 bottles or more will receive a discount of 25%. Customers have the option to forgo the discount and we will donate the additional savings to the Oregon Food Bank. There is no minimum wine purchase. If customers only want to buy meat, we are still here for you. The deliveries will go out in a refrigerated van. We are rolling this out in Yamhill County now and we hope to expand the reach soon.”
Julia at Soter Vineyards and Mineral Springs Ranch: “We are excited to introduce the MSR Marketplace, a local delivery or pick-up grocery service. Local guests can stock up their pantries and fridges with delicious foods from our culinary team, like MSR pork sausages and skillet corn bread, or kitchen basics like organic flour, cheeses, and jam. This is a way we can keep our Chef and Sous Chef employed at the moment.”
Oregon wineries are using this time to build, clean, learn, catch up on wine shipments:
- Tumwater Vinyeard: “We have created a special discount to help sales, club members get their case discounts on 6 bottles or more and nonmembers receive a 15% discount on 4 bottles or more. We are delivering for free in the PDX metro area. We are also dropping off old wine shipments as well so they can enjoy at home.”
- Paul O’Brien Winery in the Umpqua Valley: “We have committed to our winery and tasting room employees to keep them employed through this difficult time. We are doing a lot of spring cleaning around the winery as well as some cross training. We have tasting room employees who always wanted to learn how to drive forklift so they can offload deliveries when cellar staff is not around. This has also been a great time to have tasting room staff help out in the vineyard.”
- Antica Terra: We are planting gardens and building chicken coops. We are articulating plans for our future, and making a roadmap to bring it to life.
- Carlton Cellars: “Our hours available are way down but we are keeping them engaged and busy. Shipments are up, virtual tastings to be filmed as well as other ‘catch-up’ work are being provided to keep employees busy in this slow time.”
Oregon wineries are offering free delivery, creative pricing:
- SchöneTal Cellars: Home delivery is offered if located in the Portland Metropolitan and North Willamette Valley Area.
- Through www.citationwine.com , winemakers are offering free UPS ground shipping within the US for all orders of 3 bottles or more (mix and match). Promo code is: SFO2020
- Willamette Valley Vineyards: “Our shipping department is busier than the last day to ship before the holidays. we’ve been able to transition tasting room associates that would be without full hours to support this part of the company as well as the new pick-up and delivery options. we’ve been able to keep our kitchen team on by providing food orders to-go.”
- Ponzi Vineyards is offering Same Day Local Delivery service on Tuesdays and Thursdays on purchases of 6 bottles or more for those within a 30-mile radius of the winery. Orders must be provided by 11am and deliveries will occur between 1pm and 5pm.
- Creative package pricing from Domaine Divio:
The Stay at Home Selection
1 x 2018 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
1 x 2018 Eola Amity Pinot Noir
1 x 2018 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir
Regular price $144, Sale price $100, Savings of $44
The Spring Break Staycation Deal
2 x 2018 Willamette Valley Chardonnay
1 x 2019 Willamette Valley Rose
Regular price $128, Sale Price $100, Savings of $28
Shipping included in the USA of 6 bottles or more.
- Winderlea has launched ‘“Winderlea At Your Door” with a special weeknight 6 pack special for $169 (shipping/delivery included). And, as an added benefit we’re including one of our favorite Salmon recipes to the box for the perfect pairing with the wines in the shipment.”
Oregon wineries are encouraging wellness:
- Annie Shull, cofounder of Raptor Ridge Winery is hosting an 8-week online mindfulness class on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a course that helps participants access and strengthen their own inner resources to actively engage in caring for themselves and find greater balance, ease, and peace of mind.
- Willful Wine Company: “Partnering with on online community of YOGIS and holding VINO & Vinyasa events online via ZOOM. Yoga first then use our wines to hold discussion, build communication and empathy. Mindfulness meditation and education through wine. Slowing down to notice and discuss what is in the glass is a form of practicing mindfulness.”
- At Home with Left Coast “will profile the lives and times of core members of the Left Coast Family. In the coming weeks, others will contribute to this. This is a time for continuing to building community and connectedness. This, I feel, we all need,” said Suzanne Larsen, owner.
Oregon wineries are hosting virtual tastings:
- Beaux Frères is hosting a Virtual Open House Saturday May 23.
- Nicolas-Jay is continuing its virtual tasting series the week of May 11 with special guest Beaux Frères.
- Grochau Cellars has started weekly a virtual tasting series called John & Friends. Guest winemakers have included Matt Berson, Brianne Day, and Vincent Fritzsche. The week of May 4 he’s bringing in Thomas Houseman from Anne Amie Vineyards, and the following week Ian Burrows from Area Vintners, then Terry Sullivan from Upper Five Vineyards John is also releasing a new natural wine priced just north of $20 a bottle under a new brand, Etheric Wine Workshop.
- Frank Morgan, author of DrinkWhatYouLike.com will moderate the discussion about the many expressions of Pinot Noir on Saturday, May 9 (4pm PT / 7pm ET) here with:
– Janie Brooks, Brooks Winer, Oregon;
– Theodora Lee, Theopolis Vineyards, California;
– Jason Lett, Eyrie Vineyards, Oregon;
– Christine Vrooman, Ankida Ridge Vineyards, Virginia
- Flaneur Wines is offering Zoom tastings by delivering wines to your door, along with empty sample bottles for you to divvy up and deliver to your friends. Each sample bottle can accommodate a generous sample of wine. Upon purchasing the sample pack we will reach out to schedule your experience, and one of our team members will host a one-hour, private tasting via Zoom. After the tasting any purchase of six bottles or more will ship free.
- Lenne’: “Starting this Saturday April 11th at 5:15 pm PT winemaker/owner Steve Lutz and hospitality manager Eric Bruce will host a virtual tasting on Instagram Live via our Lenne Estate account. You can follow us by clicking the link above. We’ll be tasting and answering your questions live. Anyone can view the presentation and send us comments or questions during the chat. We have created 3 different 6 packs for members and non-members alike. All members will receive an extra 5% on top of your normal discount and free shipping on anything over 6 bottles. Non-members will receive free shipping on anything over 6 bottles.”
- From Cathedral Ridge: “We’re offering our Wine Club Members a complimentary 60-90 minute virtual tasting of one/more of their recent WC shipments or a new order. We’ll email in advance wine notes, vineyard videos and/or descriptions, wine specific recipe ideas and tasting suggestions. For non WC members, the cost will be a $100 order…. We’ve had very strong success with the virtual tours – roughly 30% of our web visitors take at least 1 tour.”
- Seufert Winery: We hosted our first virtual tasting, the response was very emotional and overwhelming for us. We received emails, personal texts and social media messages thanking us for offering a form of escapism. We were trying to convey a moment of connection and authenticity and it resonated, greatly. Seufert Winery Virtual Tasting – Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, Willamette Vally AVA 2013
- Raid your Cellar Experience from Ken Wright Cellars: “Already have some KWC wine in the cellar? Pick out the bottle or bottles that you would like to open and schedule a face-to-face Zoom session with one of our team members. We will be able to provide you with more in-depth information on the vintage, vineyard, and our farming and wine making philosophies regarding your wine. Book a virtual tasting appointment online through our Events page or by emailing [email protected]. Virtual tasting experiences have been a long time coming and for many smaller family owned wineries, like KWC, we have been forced to accelerate these programs and trends with the current state of the country.”
- Ponzi Vineyards: “We will be asking followers to join us on Instagram Live every Wednesday throughout April as Anna Maria Ponzi pours a glass of Ponzi wine and hosts a virtual Wine Wednesday at the Winery. Taste a select Ponzi wine each week from the comfort of your home and explore it through they eyes of an Original Oregon wine growing family.”
- Eola Hills Winery: “We will be working with our winemaker to live stream special flights or new releases and plan to take our social media followers on a virtual vineyard walk through our “wiking” trail that we hope they will soon be able to enjoy with glass in hand.”
- Raptor Ridge Winery produces vineyard-designated wines from most of the Willamette Valley’s sub AVAs and the team is rolling out a series of virtual tastings focused on each of the AVA’s from which they produce wines: Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton, McMinnville, and Eola-Amity Hills. They now have three packs of wines from each of these AVA‘s available to purchase online.
- Domaine Roy et Fils: Every Wednesdays at 4:30 PST the team hosts an Instagram live virtual tasting. Last week, winemaker Jared Etzel tasted through our Spring Collection.
Oregon wineries and their customers are practicing acts of kindness and giving:
- Members of the Yamhill-Carlton winegrowing region have banded together to launch a collaborative program to support Yamhill Carlton Storehouse, a community food pantry serving families and individuals in need. More than thirty wineries including Belle Pente, Big Table Farm, Elk Cove, and Lemelson Vineyards, among many others contributed their top Pinot Noir bottlings to create mixed cases showcasing the best of the region, now available for purchase on Yamhill-Carlton’s website.
- Share the Bounty is an effort launched to support local hospitality workers and their families in Yamhill County. The program connects impacted hospitality workers with local restaurants who take turns cooking hearty meals. Each meal feeds up to four people and must be reserved in advance. Share the Bounty is a collaborative effort between the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association, the Yamhill Enrichment Society, Ruddick Wood, Earth & Sea, Red Hills Market and Lunabean Media.
- Bob Morus, OWB Chairman and founder of Phelps Creek Vineyards presented a $1,500 donation to FISH, the Hood River Community Food Bank. In April he drove from The Gorge to Woodinville, WA to deliver 42 cases of his wine to help with The Herbfarm’s Seattle Covid-19 healthcare worker dinners. The campaign to raise funds for dinners for hospital caregivers is here.
- Domaine Serene launched a charitable initiative called ‘Pour it Forward’. The concept is that customers send a care package to a recipient and 10% of the proceeds go to one of four charities to assist with COVID-19 relief. Then that recipient may choose to pay the gift forward as well, and so on, with the grand prize (2-night accommodations for four at our estate in the Dundee Hills or in Santenay, Burgundy) going to whoever’s chain of giving raises the most for charity.
- Bob Morus of Phelps Creek Vineyards drove from Hood River, OR to Woodinville, WA to bring 42 cases of his wine to help with The Herbfarm’s Seattle Covid-19 healthcare worker dinners. “I figured if I was going to drive 250 miles each way, I might as well make it worthwhile,” he said as he unloaded the 42 cases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and “Fleur de Roy” Rosé of Pinot noir. To JOIN the FUND for dinners for hospital Covid-19 caregivers, click here.
- Lenne’ Estate: 40% of our net profit for all wines purchased from April 8th through the end of the month goes to the local chapter of Meals on Wheels.
- Solena is donating 30% of its wine sales to employees of Red Hills Market, which has closed for a few weeks to ensure safety to staff and do their part in flattening the curve. Promo code REDHILLS for 10% too.
- Domaine Roy et Fils has partnered with Oregon Food Bank to raise funds, and until April 30th, will donate $10 of every order to the organization and support our community in hopes that we #EmergeStronger. They’ve also put together a special six pack of Estate Pinot Noirs where $70 from each collection will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank. The wine collection ships directly to your door for just $1 using code WINE. Find out more here: Worden Hill Collection
- The Stoller Wine Group of Dayton, Oregon, has joined forces with the Botanist House and Meals on Wheels People of Portland to help deliver meals to Oregon’s displaced restaurant and hospitality workers and elderly community in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. On March 18, The Botanist House announced they would offer free and reduced-cost meals to service industry professionals financially impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Meals can be picked up at a centralized location or delivered directly to a doorstep. Their efforts have quickly grown from seven meals on the first day to more than 200.
- Walter Scott Wines Benefit Cases: donating 20% of total sales will be donated to selected organizations including Independant Restaurant Coalition, José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, #ChefsForAmerica and The James Beard Foundation Food & Beverage Industry Relief Fund.
- Yamhill Valley Vineyards donated fermented liquid to Divine Distillers in Salem who will be turning it into hand sanitizer. They are giving it away, firstly to first responders all around the state of Oregon and then to people in need. They have given it to Tillamook, Molalla, Silverton, and several other cities and municipalities to their fire, police, and rescue. They have also given it to several large companies that have employees who go into other people’s homes and anyone else who needs it.
- From WVV: “We are providing meals to our trade accounts employees who have been laid off or affected by restaurant closures for them and their families.”
- Raptor Ridge: “One wine club member bought 2 cases of wine for his friends who are teachers and nurses, he said “they are going to need this!” Their wines were sent overnight”
- Precept Wine is donating a portion of sales across all brands during this difficult time to the Northwest Harvest Food Bank
- Antica Terra: “Next week, we are releasing a special offering, with the goal of supporting the restaurants that have supported us. We will be tracking the location of the purchasers, and then donating a percentage of proceeds back into that community… Our customers are the best human beings. We have felt an incredible outpouring of support. Some of our guests refused to let us refund their reservation fees, and insisted that we apply it to a future visit.”
- Soter: “We are offering employees who are laid off continued full coverage of healthcare benefits. We are offering them hours in the winery and on the farm as much as possible. We are offering them a food stipend to spend at the MSR Marketplace to assist with food costs. We are allowing laid off team members to use any vacation time remaining before UI benefits kick in. Additionally, we are partnering with Meals on Wheels next week to do a menu takeover at their Vancouver Restaurant, the Diner, to assist with feeding vulnerable communities.”
More info needed? Contact Sally Murdoch at [email protected]