20 October, 2010

Wine Word Wednesday: Willamette Valley

I hadn't realized how long it has been since I last posted. My apologies, it's been a busy month. Luckily, one of those things keeping me busy was a week long vacation to Oregon to visit wine country. 

Which brings me to today's word: Willamette Valley. This is the prime viticultural area of Oregon where Pinot Noir is king. Only about an hour south and west of Portland, the Willamette Valley is an up and coming wine region in the U.S. Geographically speaking, this region shares commonalities with France's famed Burgundy region, so much so that Joseph Drouhin, of the reputable Domaine Drouhin of Burgundy began to grow grapes and produce Pinot Noirs after having his famous Clos-de-Beze beaten by David Lett's 1975 Pinot Noir in a blind tasting.

The focus here is on boutique wineries and much less on developing mass produced brands. During my trip here, I focused on tasting wineries that I had never heard of and those that are typically not available at retail here in the Twin Cities. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing my journey with you along with some of the great wines I found.