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Oregon Pinot Noir

The Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region, has two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and is home to nearly 700 wineries. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir–producing areas in the world. But why?

Protected from cold Pacific Ocean air and rainstorms on the west by the Coast Range mountains, the Valley follows the Willamette River for more than a hundred miles from the Columbia River near Portland to just south of Eugene. The Cascade Range to the east forms a natural boundary and protects against the opposite extreme: the dry, desert-like climate of eastern Oregon. Overall, the climate boasts a long, gentle growing season: warm summers with cool evenings, a long and lovely autumn with the first rainfalls of winter amid plenty of sunny days, and mild winters followed by long springs. The unique geography and climate of this region led winegrowing pioneers like David Lett and Charles Coury to plant the first Pinot noir grapes in the Willamette Valley more than 50 years ago.