Editor’s note: While Oregon joins other states with an Executive Order to stay at home to keep everyone healthy during the COVID-19 crisis, wineries — along with other businesses — are closed to the public. But wineries are still delivering and shipping wine — and many are offering unprecedented shipping incentives, wine discounts and special gift packs. Here’s how to show your love for Oregon’s winemakers while enjoying some phenomenal vino at home.
Sure, we might be biased, but it’s hard to deny that Oregon wine is some of the world’s best. From our famed pinots to new innovative blends, the Oregon wine industry continues to attract international and national acclaim. And with more than 760 wineries and 19 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) across the state, there’s a lot of vineyards to visit and wines to try. If you need more inspiration, here are four reasons to love Oregon wine.
1. Find Wine Deals Aplenty
From deep discounts to gift packs and food and wine delivery menus, Oregon’s wineries are getting creative during these uncertain times. Included in these cleverly named deals are Domaine Divio’s “Spring Break Staycation Deal,” Project M Wines’ “Apocalypse Pack” and Johan Vineyards’ “Social Distance Support Six-Pack.” Some wineries are adding takeout food menus to offer along with their wine deliveries. Left Coast Estate brings the party to you with their woodfired pizzas on weekends and charcuterie boxes on weekdays. Is it a hamburger and pinot noir kind of day? Willamette Valley Vineyards is donating $3 for every carryout burger sold to Meals on Wheels, to support their work with residents in the Salem-Keizer area needing help during this challenging time. Find more deals on wine and wine-country lodging for future stays at Willamette Valley Winery Association, and watch the organization’s page for playlists, recipes and more inspiration. In Southern Oregon, Ashland-based Awen Winecraft is offering free local deliveries and curbside pickup with a gift of toilet paper as a gift with purchase. The winery has also started hosting free virtual wine tastings on Wednesday evenings as a way to connect with the winemakers, who’ll host an open dialogue.
2. Diverse Landscapes Result in Unique Wines
Winemakers swear by a wine’s terroir — its soil and climate conditions — for good reason. Jory, the nutrient-rich volcanic soil found in higher elevations of the Willamette Valley, is credited for the region’s productive grape-growing. Eastern Oregon’s Rocks District is the nation’s only AVA defined by a single soil, the result of ancient Missoula Floods. Tempranillo flourishes in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, where the climate resembles that of Rioja, Spain. Oregon wine country is so varied that it’s divided into 19 distinct AVAs, with five new sub-AVAs in the works, including Mount Pisgah in Polk County. All this adds up to uniquely Oregon wines.
3. It’s Part of Our Culture
No trip to Oregon is complete without a winery visit, so read on to inspire your next wine-touring road trip. The incredible vineyard views offer a special sense of place featuring rolling hills, misty mornings and seemingly endless rows of grapevines. Inside each tasting room is a feeling of community, where modest winemakers and stewards chat freely with guests, especially after harvest during cellar season. Year round, you’ll find fun winery-hosted events, from open houses and chef dinners to art shows and vineyard hikes. Many Oregon wineries welcome families, including dogs, and let you set up picnics on their lawns. (And the Oregon Wine Board makes them easy to find.)
4. Winemakers Aren’t Afraid to Collaborate
From humble beginnings planting grapes a half-century ago, Oregon’s winemakers have risen to the ranks with risk-taking and collaboration. In the Willamette Valley, you’ll find co-op production facilities where different wineries use the same equipment and space. The Southern Oregon Wine Institute serves wines produced by students. Portland’s Southeast Wine Collective acts as an incubator for upstart winemakers with a shared crush facility and on-site wine bar. In 2018, four Oregon wineries banded together to produce Solidarity Wine. With the spirit of collaboration, it’s no wonder that Oregon wine continues to stand out.
Play the Oregon Wine Quiz
You might know a little about Oregon wine, or you might know a lot. Take a fun little brain teaser to see where your knowledge ranks. Activate the Oregon Wine Quiz on your Amazon Alexa device, and then answer the questions with your voice. Afterwards you’ll be rewarded with an interesting story about Oregon wine — depending on how you score.
Your next Oregon wine adventure awaits. Play the Oregon Wine Quiz on your Amazon Alexa device.