Oregon’s small wineries also tend to do things in a classic manner: there isn’t that much use of machinery, most vines are tended by hand. “On average, each vine gets touched by a worker between four and eight times during the growing season,” writes Danehower. Since the Oregon wine industry got started in the 1960s – by California ex-pats – there has been a genuine commitment to what’s become known as sustainable viticulture, and eco-friendly practices. There’s also a kind of crunchy, friendly aesthetic that is only beginning to get polished up.
For travelers, there’s a minimum of attitude, but also not a lot of the kind of showmanship that you’ll see in bigger wine areas around the world. And in some of the lesser known and less explored areas of Oregon’s wine country, especially in the south, there’s less in the way of tourist accommodations than you’d find elsewhere.
Getting Oriented in Oregon Wine CountryThe Oregon cities of Portland and Ashland are connected by the north-south highway Interstate 5. The I-5 links up a great deal of state's wine country, which, with very few breaks, extends outward from that corridor.
Plan Your Oregon Wine Country Travels
*In 2010, Oregon vineyards produced 31,200 tons of grapes (PDF). In comparison, Washington produced 160,000 .