Some of the world’s finest Pinot Noir vintages come from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It’s at the same latitude as Burgundy, and similarities to its climate make it ideal for this difficult-to-grow variety.
Eyrie Vineyards first put the Oregon Pinot Noir on the map when their 1975 vintage ranked as one of the best in the world at the 1979 Wine Olympics. Maison Joseph Drouhin, a venerable winemaker in the Burgundy region of France, was so impressed by this Oregon Pinot Noir that they bought land in the area and started their own vineyard, Domaine Drouhin Oregon.
Many highly rated Pinot Noir wines grow in Oregon.Wine Spectator rated Erath’s 2008 Prince 115 Hill Pinot Noir at 93 out of 100 points, and its 2008 Estate Selection Pinot Noir at 90. The Wine Spectator Top 100 List includes three Oregon Pinot Noir offerings:
Domaine Serene Pinot Noir 2008 from the Grace Vineyard in Dundee Hills, rated at 97
Sineann Pinot Noir 2009, by Resonance Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton District, rated at 94
Rex Hill’s 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, rated at 93
Stoller Vineyards’ solar-powered winery includes guesthouses and a stunning view of Mount Hood. Wine and Spirits gave Stoller’s Cathy’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 94 points out of 100, and their JV Pinot Noir 2009 and SV Pinot Noir 2008 both got a 90-point rating. These two wines also won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle international wine competition.
Wine tasting in Willamette Valley is far smaller-scale and less commercial than in Napa or other wine-growing regions of California. This leads to a more personal experience, often including a chat with the owner about how they grow their grapes and why.
New hotels like theInn at Red Hillsand even a luxury resort, theAllison Inn Spa, have sprung up to cater to the wine tasting trade, as well as new restaurants likeFarm to Fork,ThistleorNick’s Italian Cafein McMinnville. TheR. Stuart and Co.winery has alsoopened a wine bar in downtown McMinnville, which is also home to the International Pinot Noir Celebration in the last week of July. There’s even amobile appfor Willamette Valley wineries.
These are just a few of the fine Pinot Noir wines from the Willamette valley. Order a shipment or plan your a visit today!