: Sokol Blosser Winery / Carolyn Wells-Kramer

4 Reasons to Love Oregon Wine

October 11, 2019

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.

Woman picks up wine bottle and admires the label.
The Oregon Wines Fly Free program lets you bring your favorite bottles back. (Photo credit: Somos Media)

1. Oregon Wines Fly Free

Savor the Oregon wine tasting experience long after you take a plane ride home. With the Wines Fly Free program, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ members may check up to one case of wine for free on any domestic flight from Oregon. (That includes Portland, Eugene, Medford and Redmond.) You can also enjoy a complimentary wine tasting when you show your in-bound boarding pass and proof of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan membership at more than 300 wineries in Oregon.

Deep blue wine grapes look ready to be plucked for the vine.
Oregon’s varied landscapes have diverse terroir, resulting in one-of-kind wines. (Photo credit: Joni Kabana)

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.

A group of five people laugh as they sip wine in a cozy Oregon tasting room.
Wherever you go in Oregon wine country, you’re sure to get a warm welcome. (Photo credit: Andrea Johnson)

3. It’s Part of Our Culture

No trip to Oregon is complete without a winery visit. 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 — and we even dedicate all of May to Oregon Wine Month happenings. 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.)

Wine barrels are lined up in an Oregon production facility.
At cooperative production facilities, Oregon winemakers share equipment. (Photo credit: Willamette Valley Visitors Association)

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.

Once you visit an Oregon vineyard, you'll want to learn more about this robust industry. (Photo credit: Clayton Cotterell)

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.

About The
Author

Sachie Yorck
Sachie Yorck is the Global Integrated Marketing Content & Community Manager at Travel Oregon. Depending on the day, she could be record-hunting in Portland, hiking to waterfalls in the forest or soaking in one of Oregon's many natural hot springs.

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