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Visiting Oregon Wine Country


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Oregon Wine Country Overview
Abacela Vineyard and Winery in Oregon's Umqua Valley

Abacela Vineyard and Winery, in Oregon's Umqua Valley.

Photo by Alison Stein Wellner
The first thing for a traveler to know about Oregon: in comparison to its growing international reputation, its wine production is actually very small. According to Essential Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest, by Cole Danehower, as a state Oregon wineries produces less wine all together than do several large wineries individually in Washington and California.*

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 Country

The 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.

  • Learn about the Willamette Valley AVA.
  • Explore the Southern Oregon AVA: Umqua Valley, Rogue Valley and Applegate Valley AVAs
  • Check out the border AVAs: Columbia Gorge, Columbia River, Walla Walla and Snake River Valley.
  • Download Oregon wine country maps.
  • Plan Your Oregon Wine Country Travels

  • Download the official Oregon Wine Country brochure.(PDF)
  • Oregon Wine Country events calendar

  • *In 2010, Oregon vineyards produced 31,200 tons of grapes (PDF). In comparison, Washington produced 160,000 .

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