Behind The Vines: Oregon Wines

Oregon is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the US and the sixth for Big Foot sightings, but let’s stay on topic. The Beaver State is an incredible source for fine wine, and, unlike neighbouring California and Washington, small quality-minded producers dominate Oregon’s wine scene.

There are over four hundred wineries in Oregon, and although winemaking in the area goes back to the early 1800s, the modern wine industry can be traced back to authentic pioneers of the 60s and 70s. It’s easy to see why some of the most respected winemakers in California migrated north to find cooler, more exciting terroir — it turns out they were right.

Oregon might be known for its silky and decadent Pinot noir, but what’s most interesting right now is the state’s sustainable and natural wines. Here’s what you need to know.

That’s Some Serious Commitment!

You might have heard about biodynamic wines. Winemakers follow the moon calendar and practice natural grape growing and winemaking methods that look more like sorcery than science to achieve extraordinary wine. Biodynamics might sound crazy, but they work. You need to be seriously committed to running a Demeter-certified biodynamic winery, though. Well, 52% of all certified wineries in the US call Oregon home.

Standard credentials that back the superb quality in Oregon wines include LIVE, USDA Organic Certified, Demeter Certified Biodynamic and Salmon-Safe.

And we’re talking about much more than natural wines made with a responsible hands-off approach. Wineries in Oregon really make sure their operations are sustainable and environmentally friendly. If you’re into natural and sustainable wine from the US, really, there’s no place like Oregon. The best part? Wine in Oregon is not only green and eco-friendly, but it’s also delicious!

What To Expect from Oregon Wines?

Oregon has a cold to temperate climate with wet weather and short summers, not dissimilar to the one in the acclaimed Côte d’Or in Burgundy. It’s only natural that winemakers here make impressive wine with Burgundian grapes, especially Pinot noir. Even Burgundian wineries have set up shop in Oregon, and that’s saying something — French winemakers are pretty stubborn when it comes to wine.

Grape growers in Oregon produce wine with over forty different grapes, but there’s no doubt Pinot noir is still the region’s flagship variety. What to expect from a bottle of Oregon Pinot? Think of ripe red cherries on the nose followed by subtle undergrowth scents and oak spices over a silky palate with round tannins — wine here is sexy!

For Natural Wine, Try Oregon Wine

If you’ve been bitten by the natural wine bug, congratulations! There’s nothing more satisfying than a glass of natural wine — wine in its purest form. Well, it’s now time to try what’s coming out of Oregon’s cellars, because this is wine on another level!

For sustainability, environmental commitment and quality, few wine regions in the world are doing things as well as the good folks in Oregon. Natural wine? You got it. Biodynamic wine? They make that too! Check out Oregon wines yourself with one of our limited edition Tasting Packs.