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The Pacific Northwest
Oregon
The Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene in the south to Portland in the north and encompasses two-thirds of Oregon's population, is the largest wine-growing region in Oregon. Sheltered by the Cascade Mountains to the east and Oregon's Coastal Range to the west, and on the same latitude as France's famed Burgundy region, the valley has gained international recognition as a world-class growing district, especially for cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay.  To the northeast of the Willamette Valley are the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Valley appellations, which Oregon shares with Washington.  These warmer, drier appellations are well-suited to the cultivation of red varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.

 

In the southwest of the state are the Rogue Valley, Applegate Valley and Umpqua Valley appellations. Although generally drier and warmer than the northern wine districts and well-suited to Bordeaux (Cabernet, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc) and Rhone Valley (Syrah) varieties, each contains cooler microclimates allowing for the successful cultivation of the Burgundian varieties that flourish in the Willamette Valley.  Collectively, these six wine-growing regions contain over 11,000 vineyard acres and over 200 wineries, which together produce over one million cases of wine annually.

 

Washington

Washington is comprised of two major climate zones that are split by the Cascade Mountain range.  The west side of the state receives more rainfall from the coastal waters, an the east side receives much less rain as the Cascades hold back the moist ocean air.  Eastern Washington is where approximately 98 percent of Washington wine grapes are grown.  The US Government has designated  five major viticulture appellations defining specific geographic regions of the state.  Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, and Walla Walla Valley are located in the large Columbia Valley appellation.  Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are king here, with Syrah coming on strong in recent years.  Western Washington contains the Puget Sound appellation.  There are also areas outside the official viticulture appellations that are awaiting official sanction, including the new Columbia Cascade which includes part of Grant County, Douglas, Chelan, and Okanogan Counties. 

 

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