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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — A celebration of Oregon's vibrant wine scene

by LAURA OLSON/The Dinner Party
| May 8, 2024 1:00 AM

As the month of May ushers in warmer weather and longer days, wine lovers across the state have something extra special to toast — Oregon Wine Month. This annual celebration shines a spotlight on the exceptional wines produced in the region, inviting enthusiasts and curious newcomers alike to explore the rich diversity and world-class quality that Oregon's wine industry has to offer.

While Oregon's modern wine industry may be considered relatively young, its roots can be traced back to the mid-19th century when the first vineyards were planted by immigrant settlers. However, it wasn't until the 1960s and 70s that Oregon's wine scene truly began to flourish, driven by a pioneering spirit and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Pioneers like David Lett, fondly known as "Papa Pinot," recognized the potential of the Willamette Valley's cool climate for growing exceptional Pinot Noir grapes. Their unwavering dedication and innovative approaches laid the foundation for Oregon's now world-renowned reputation for producing some of the finest Pinot Noirs outside of Burgundy.

While Pinot Noir undoubtedly reigns supreme in Oregon, the state's diverse terroir and microclimates have given rise to a vibrant array of other varietals that have captured the attention of wine connoisseurs worldwide. From the crisp, mineral-driven Chardonnays of the Willamette Valley to the rich, full-bodied Syrah’s of the Rogue Valley and the elegant, food-friendly Pinot Gris from various regions, Oregon's winemakers have proven their mastery across a multitude of grape varieties.

Oregon's wine regions are a tapestry of distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), each with its own unique character and terroir. The state boasts an impressive 23 AVAs, with the newest being Mount Pisgah/Polk County, added in 2022. The Willamette Valley, often hailed as the state's crown jewel, boasts six sub-AVAs, including the esteemed Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton districts. Beyond the Willamette Valley, regions like the Rogue Valley, Umpqua Valley, Walla Walla Valley (shared with Washington), and the Columbia Gorge offer their own distinctive expressions of Oregon's diverse winegrowing potential.

While Oregon's wine industry may have started as a well-kept local secret, its exceptional quality has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. In recent years, Oregon wines have garnered numerous accolades and awards, solidifying the state's reputation as a world-class wine region.

In 2021, Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs from producers like Domaine Serene and Penner-Ash Wine Cellars received impressive scores from influential wine publications, further cementing Oregon's status as a premier destination for Pinot Noir lovers. Additionally, the Rogue Valley's Abacela Winery has gained international recognition for its exceptional Tempranillo and Albariño wines, showcasing Oregon's versatility beyond its iconic Pinot Noir.

As Oregon Wine Month kicks off, we invite you to join the celebration right here at The Dinner Party. While our shop may not be in Oregon's renowned wine country, we've curated an impressive array of offerings that will transport your senses to the very vineyards where these world-class wines were born.

Discover the nuanced elegance of Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley, the bold richness of Syrah’s from the Rogue Valley, and the distinctive character of varietals from Oregon's other esteemed appellations. Our carefully selected wines tell the story of a region brimming with passion, innovation, and respect for terroir.

Celebrate the bounty of Oregon's vines by exploring our impressive array of bottles. Let each sip awaken your palate and inspire you to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of this world-class wine region without ever leaving our welcoming space. Join us at The Dinner Party and raise a glass to Oregon's winemaking excellence.

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Laura Olson is co-owner of The Dinner Party along with her partner, Joe Petersen. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop or visit www.thedinnerpartyshop.com.