Celebrating 60 Years of Oregon Winemaking: A Tasting of 6 Under-the-Radar Oregon Wines
Oregon is the third-largest wine producing state in the U.S by volume.
This year (2021) marks the 60th anniversary of post-prohibition winemaking in Oregon.
And to celebrate, the Oregon Wine Board hosted a virtual masterclass tasting to highlight wines from unexplored regions of Oregon.
If you associate anything with Oregon wine, it’s probably pinot noir which makes up over 50% of the state’s wine production.
However, you may be surprised to learn there are over 80 varieties of grapes in commercial production in the state.
In terms of growing regions, Oregon has 21 AVAs with that state’s most well-known AVA being Willamette Valley.
This summer (pandemic-pending), I plan to travel to Southern Oregon to visit wineries off the tourist-beaten path as part of the Wine Media Conference, so learning more about under-the-radar wines and wineries is a special treat.
After sampling six Oregon wines below, I reflected on how consistently impressed I’ve been with wines I’ve tasted from Oregon in general, in a way that one doesn’t expect or experience from California.
I tend to think of Oregon wines as being more artisan than bulk, and the wines I sampled in the masterclass were definitely in the former category.
See links to reviews of six under-the radar Oregon wines below which also include fun facts about the wineries and the corresponding AVAs:
- Walter Scott Wines, Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2018, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon (Wine Casual, 92 Points)
- David Hill Estate, Winemaker’s Cuvee Pinot Noir 2019, Tualatin Hills, Oregon (Wine Casual, 93 Points)
- Analemma Wines, Mosier Hills Grenache 2018, Columbia Gorge, Oregon (Wine Casual, 91 Points)
- HillCrest Vineyard, Old Stones Malbec 2013, Umpqua Valley, Oregon (Wine Casual, 91 Points)
- Valcan Cellars, Syrah 2015, Rogue Valley, Oregon (Wine Casual, 92 Points)
- Rasa Vineyards, Veritas Sequitur Estate Syrah 2016, The Rocks District of Milton Freewater, Oregon (Wine Casual, 94 Points)