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Moving Past Pinot

Pete Springer/OPB

Is there Oregon wine in your glass this weekend?

In the second day of our special Thanksgiving shows, we move from what’s on the plate, to what’s in the glass, with a toast to Oregon’s wine industry — on a weekend when many wineries open their doors to celebrate Oregon’s bounty.

An LA Times article about Oregon wine last month described the place where it all began — the Wilamette Valley — as

a sensuous terrain of smooth-shouldered, voluptuous hills and languorous green valleys lined with fragrant forests of spruce, fir and pine… arguably the finest place in the country to grow Pinot Noir.

Ah, Pinot from the Wilamette Valley. It is what most people associate with Oregon wine. But what else is happening in the industry? With wineries opening at rate of one a week in Oregon since 2004, there is certainly some action. But at what cost? Is the market getting saturated? Is it becoming too much of a good thing?

In this show we’ll talk about the heritage of wine in Oregon — including a discussion about its founder, David Lett, who passed away last month, leaving his son to run Eyrie Vineyards — and then move forward to what’s happening now: Tempranillo and other “big reds” in Southern Oregon, a Riesling resurgence, and even vineyards popping up in Central Oregon.

Are you visiting a winery this weekend? Do you buy Oregon wine or prefer the (often less expensive) offerings from California or beyond? And with so many wineries opening up in this state, and our economy in crisis, what do you think the future of this wine business holds?


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