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Explore Oregon Wine Country Through Wine Tours

05/11/10

Permalink 10:46:41 pm by main, Categories: Wine Tours , Tags: , ,

Oregon contains over 400 wineries spread throughout several viticultural regions.  One can't expect to experience all of the wineries in a week, let alone a weekend getaway.  If you are new to Oregon wines, you may want to first experience them through a wine tour.  In this article, the author discusses some of his experiences of taking his own wine tour through the Oregon wine country.  Read on for more about how you can have a similar experience.

 

For a time our son lived in Anacortes, Washington. A summer not long ago, my wife and I traveled up Interstate 5 along the west coast to visit him. The scenery along I-5 was like looking at a collection of mail home postcards. Once we hit the Oregon State line, another common thread of notoriety was the vast number of wineries and vineyards we saw along the way. We decided to slow our trip and spend time exploring and learning more about Oregon Wine Country.

We learned that there are currently over 400 wineries and 875 vineyards in the state. Planted acreage is over 19,000 acres, which makes the average vineyard about 20 to 25 acres. Oregon wine growers are mostly small, family-owned operations by people with a deep love for and an enduring responsibility to care for the land. Many of these small producers make 5,000 cases of wine or less. What they lack in production they gain in quality by their careful attention to details. Oregon is currently ranked third in the U.S. with regard to the number of wineries. Oregon wine sales in 2008 were nearly 1.75 million cases and production today is approaching 2.0 million cases.

There are six wine growing zones in Oregon scattered throughout the western base of the Cascade Mountains. The zones are 1) Rogue Valley, 2) Umpqua Valley, 3) South Willamette Valley, 4) North Willamette Valley, 5) Columbia Valley and 6) Walla-Walla area. Zones 1 through 4 can easily be accessed using U.S. Interstate Highway 5. Zones 5 and 6 are best accessed using U.S. Interstate Highway 84. Using Portland as a starting point head south on Interstate 5 to the towns of Eugene, Roseburg and Medford to tour Zones 1 to 4. Use I-84 going east from Portland to tour Zones 5 and 6. With the large number of wineries and vineyards, I recommend you contact one of the many Oregon Wine Tour businesses to set up the perfect trip for your wine taste and interests.

Many of the Oregon wine grapes, especially the cool-zone grown varieties, exhibit high levels of a potent antioxidant derived from grape skins called resveratrol. Antioxidants have been known to have positive effects on one's health. Wine drinking in moderation, according to recent studies, exhibited health benefits of improved heart health and decreased incident of illness. About 65 percent of the grapes cultivated are of the red varieties, while 35 percent are of the white.

The top five wine varieties are cultivated on about 85 percent of the total planted acreage of 19,300 acres. Pinot noir is the most cultivated variety on nearly 59 percent of the total planted acreage. Pinot gris is cultivated on about 14 percent of the acreage; Chardonnay on about 5 percent; Reisling on about 4 percent and Cabernet Sauvignon on about 3 percent. Other wine varieties you could often in counter include Syrah, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Cabernet France, Zinfandel, Sauvignon blanc and Pinot blanc. With close to 70 different varieties known to be cultivated, it is reasonable to assume you will easily find one to fit your taste.

If you are considering a tour of Oregon Wine Country, plan to go in October or November. During this time of year, you will be able to experience a collaboration of wine makers, cheese makers, brew masters, chefs, growers and producers. The annual celebration is called Oregon Bounty, a unique Oregon event. This unique event could very well provide you with some tips to making your next wine tasting party a favorite with your friends. Remember to enjoy your wine to the greatest extent by storing it and serving it at just the right temperature.

Author: Ron Senn, Vice-president Ideal Wine Coolers, Tucson, Arizona

Ideal Wine Coolers offers a wide selection of products to address your wine and beer cooling needs.

http://idealwinecoolers.com/page/home/index.html

We also have a blog that you can visit.

http://winecoolerblog.com

 

More on Oregon Wine Tours:

Oregon Wine Tours and Tasting

Introductory video for Oregon Wine Tours and Tasting. Wayne talks about what you will experience during his wine tour as well as.

Publish Date: 05/11/2010

Upcoming Wine Festivals

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Almost all of the major wine regions usually sponsor a wine tour, or have one of their own with their own winery. To get a better experience of the wines in a particular area, it is usually a good idea to take the wine tours that go to several wineries. They can be as simple as a bike tour to an expensive yacht trip.

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