Oregon

Compared to Napa, Oregon’s Willamette Valley feels like true farming country. Driving through the valley is to drive through agricultural fields, with sporadic timber framed buildings and rusting farm machinery behind white picket fenced yards. It was and still is Mennonite land and was only officially recognised as an AVA in 1983.

The hills, unsurprisingly are where the vineyards are planted, and these are still to an extent being discovered, mapped and truly understood. There are hundreds of wineries, most of them pretty small in scale.

Pinot Noir is what the region is famous for, but as Walter Scott are demonstrating, Chardonnay is increasingly interesting. Pinot Gris here, as in the hands of the Eyrie Vineyards, can also be really fascinating. In weather terms the summers can be hot but there’s far more rain up there than in California and of course you are a few hundred miles further north and the comparative climate reflects this.

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