I’m traveling north with my wine reviews this week, leaving my home state of California to explore the terrain of Oregon. The history of Oregon wine isn’t unlike our own. The first plantings can be traced back to the pioneer days of the 1840s during the settlement of the “Oregon Territory.” The first official Oregon winery was Valley View, built and run by by Peter Britt in the late 1850s in Jacksonville — a Gold Rush town highly populated with settlers from both American and abroad.

Courtesy of JacksonvilleOregon.com

Settlers tried their hands at different varietals, but like the rest of the country, most wine production stopped at the turn of the century due to Prohibition. Like our very own Napa, Oregon wine had its comeback in the 1960s, gaining real recognition in the 1980s.

Today, the state claims 5 AVAs (Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Columbia Gorge, Columbia Valley, and Snake River) — as well as several subregions — and is home to over 700 wineries.

Courtesy of OregonWinePress.com

I’m going to be focusing on two AVAs specifically: Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. My guests this week are Brad and Bethany Ford of Illahe Vineyards in the Willamette Valley and Craig Camp of Troon Vineyard in Applegate Valley, Southern Oregon. By tasting through their wines, and studying their unique pieces of New World terroir, I’ve been able to explore what Oregon has to offer.

Grab a glass and join me!


About Willamette Valley

About Applegate Valley


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