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The settlers of Oregon began planting grapes and producing wine in the Umpqua valley in the 1880s.

Moving slowly throughout the 20th century, the Oregon wine industry has since blossomed in the past four decades.

What began as five wineries in 1970 has, today, grown to more than 300, ranking just behind California, Washington and New York.

And, if you are going to tour Orgeon wine the a No. 1 must-see is the Columbia Gorge Wine Trail which today is among the top US wine destinations, only 60 miles from Portland. Columbia Gorge is one of the most compact AVA's in the country, nestled in prime grape growing terrain within the Cascade Mountain range. Due to the wide range of terroir in a relatively small region, the trail is promoted as a "world of wine in 40 miles".

photo credit: Columbia Gorge Winegrowers

Just an hour's drive from Portland lies the North Willamette Valley wine region which is about 100 miles long and up to 60 miles wide. This small stretch of land is where you'll find the greatest number of vineyards in the area. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Cascade Mountain Range to the east, the conditions are ideal for cool climate grape varieties including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and especially Pinot Noir.

The South Willamette Valley wine region produces warmer climatic varieties — Merlot, Marechal Foch, and Cabernet franc — as well as the cool loving Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muller-Thurgau and Chardonnay.

In the southwest, Oregon's Umpqua Valley, the Applegate Valley wine trail, and Rogue Valley wine region are warmer and drier and known for their Bordelaise and Rhone varietals.

also see -> Washington State Wineries

More information about Oregon wineries around the Web: - Check out more from the Oregon Wine Board with a winery and vineyard directory, an interactive map, downloadable wine guide, event calendar, wine glossary, fast facts, favorite wine toasts, forums, newsletter.

Wines of Oregon - Besides listing wineries and vineyards, this site has sections on each region explaining the climate and the the setting that creates it. The short intros explain why various grape varieties do better in certain areas and give you a good idea of which wines you'll find. .

Oregon Wine, Wineries and Wine Country - Extensive info on Oregon's wine regions including Umpqua Valley, Applegate Valley, Rogue Valley, Columbia Gorge and Willamette Valley with more on sorting out Oregon's appellations.

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