Oregon Wine Country - Facts and Figures:

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Think you know Oregon wine? Chances are you might be surprised to know that since 1986, the number of Oregon wineries has gone from a paltry 47 to more than 314 in 2004. Or, that grapes were first planted in the Willamette Valley in 1847? Read on to find out what you need to know about Oregon's booming wine industry.

- Oregon ranks second to California to the number of wineries, with 314. (The Napa Valley has 391, alone.)

- Pinot Noir is Oregon's most noted wine. No other area in the New World has a climate as ideal as the Willamette Valley for producing this elegant and complex red wine. Nearly 50 percent of the wine grapes planted in Oregon are Pinot Noir, with some 7,637 acres.

- Pinot Gris is the most widely planted white wine in Oregon. There are 1,813 acres of the grape planted, with most vines coming from Alsace, France by pioneer winemakers. Pinot Gris in Oregon is typically a medium-bodied wine with fruit-forward flavors and distinct aromas, often a bit bolder than lighter Italian Pinot grigio.

- There are more than 718 vineyards in Oregon.

- More than 40 varieties of wines are produced in Oregon, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

- Oregon has 12 AVAs (or American Viticultural Areas). They include the Columbia, Umpqua, Walla Walla, Willamette Rogue and Applegate Valleys, Columbia Gorge, Dundee Hills, Yamhill-Carlton, Southern Oregon, McMinnville and ribbon Ridge. Two proposed new AVAs are Chehalem Mountain and Eola Hills.

- The first post-Prohibition vineyards were planted in Oregon in 1961, by Richard Sommer at Hillcrest Vineyard in the Umpqua Valley. Varietals included Riesling and Pinot Noir. In 1965, David Lett planted the first Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley.

- Oregon wine grapes are only the fourth most important fruit crop in the state. The biggest fruit crop are pears.

- Yamhill County crushes the most grapes each year, with nearly 3 times as wineries as it's nearest competitors in the rest of the Willamette Valley.

- The Willamette Valley, located in the northern region of Oregon, has more than 60 percent of the state's grape crop. The south Willamette Valley is a distant second.

- The average Oregon winery produces under 500 cases a year. Many are small-production, family-owned operations.

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Here is the list of wineries we will be trying to visit over 4 days. Most are open daily, but there are a few that require RSVPs, so be sure you do your research before heading out. Read More


Thanks for the stats. I will be travelling to Oregon for a trip the first week of September and plan to visit close to 15 wineries. This information is very helpful, so thanks again! While I am there I will be documenting my experiences and wine notes at http://www.winetonite.com

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