The award from Wine Enthusiast magazine recognizes the accomplishments of the 50-year history of wine in the Willamette Valley
It’s official. The world is learning what Northwest wine drinkers have long known—the Willamette Valley is home to some of the finest wines and wineries in the world. If you don’t believe us, ask Wine Enthusiast which just awarded the Willamette Valley its 2016 Wine Region of the Year.
This is the first time a region in Oregon has been given the illustrious distinction.
“Over the last 50 plus years, our wineries and vineyards throughout the state have really committed to producing the highest quality grapes and wines possible,” said Michelle Kaufman of the Oregon Wine Board. “The attention and care from vine to bottle has never been more evident, which can be seen in accolades, scores and honors like this one from Wine Enthusiast.”
The region will be featured in the December 2016 issue of Wine Enthusiast, and will be honored at the Wine Star Awards gala on Jan. 30 in Miami, Florida. Regions such as Champagne, France; Sonoma County, California; and Crete, Greece were also nominated this year.
Known for its world-class Pinot noir, the first vineyards in the Willamette Valley were planted only fifty years ago. Today, more than 80 percent of Oregon’s Pinot noir is grown in the Willamette Valley. The region is also notable because of its varied terrain nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range that is an ideal location for the cooler varieties of grapes that are produced. This award is also notable because fewer than 5,000 cases of wine are produced in the Willamette Valley each year.
“This award validates all of the hard work of each and every winemaker in the Willamette Valley over the course of our 50-year history,” said Sue Horstmann, executive director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. “Our region is now the epicenter of Oregon’s $3.35 billion dollar per year wine industry with more than 500 wineries. And in many ways, it’s just getting started.”
We are thrilled to announce Wine Enthusiast Magazine has awarded Oregon’s Willamette Valley as its 2016 Wine Region of the Year for the annual Wine Star Awards. Meet some of Oregon’s colorful characters and learn why our region has become the home of New World Pinot noir!