Special Guest Article by Lisa Shara Hall
Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir. Okay, that’s fair as seventy percent of its plantings are Pinot Noir.
But that’s not the whole story about Oregon. Not by a long shot. So why are so many of it’s white wines overlooked?
The 2014 Oregon Chardonnay Symposium sought to give some spotlight to Chardonnay. And you betcha, there are some mighty fine chardonnays in this state. Bergstrom’s Sigrid, Domaine Drouhin Oregon’s Arthur, Chehalem’s Inox, Brittan Vineyards, Kramer Vineyards, Stoller Family Estate, and Soter Vineyards just to name a few.
Riesling is another up-and-coming variety with fine examples from Brooks, Trisaetum, Argyle, Chehalem, J. Christopher, Anam Cara and Teutonic Wines, just to rattle off a few of many. They do an amazing tasting at the end of the International Pinot Noir Celebration that is remarkable for its range of wines.
Melon de Bourgogne (the grape of Muscadet) is grown by, among others, Panther Creek, Ken Wright, de Ponte, Cameron, and Grochau Cellars.
Pinot Blanc is also made in Oregon. Chehalem, Adelsheim, Willakenzie Estate, Ayers, The Eyrie, and St Innocent make noteworthy Pinot blanc.
And Pinot Gris. An Oregon work-horse. There can be wonderful wines such as Chehalem’s two cuvees, The Eyrie, WillaKenzie Estate and Bethel Heights to name a very few.
And of course there are some wonderful stand-alone wines. Troon’s delightful Vermentino. Ponzi’s Arneis. Abacela’s Albarino. Chehalem’s Gruner Veltliner. Cowhorn’s Viognier (other people do make Viognier but Cowhorn’s is outstanding).
So you see that Oregon is not necessarily all about Pinot Noir. Take a chance. Try a white wine. You might be surprised.