Riesling: Oregon’s Best Kept Secret

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 07-23-2013

From the Oregon Riesling Alliance.

From the Oregon Riesling Alliance.

As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.

These columns are hosted by Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).

In my latest column, I contend that Riesling is Oregon’s best kept secret.

Riesling: Oregon’s Best Kept Secret

If you play word association with a wine enthusiast and throw out the word “Oregon,” chances are pretty high that the response will be “Pinot Noir.”

For good reason. In the 1960s, a handful of young vintners moved to the state, all passionate about wine and eager to be a part of something new. Within a decade, those who believed Oregon’s climate would be too cold and wet for grapes were proven wrong when a Pinot Noir from one of those trailblazers, David Lett, took home gold at the 1979 Wine Olympics in Paris.

Over the next 30 years, hundreds of winemakers set up shop in Oregon, eager to produce world-class Pinot Noir. Today, the state’s wine industry promotes itself with posters and other items that say “Drink Pinot, Think Oregon.”

But while Lett and other pioneers were focusing on Pinot Noir, a number of other vintners were giving it a go with Riesling. Indeed, about a quarter of Oregon’s vineyards were planted to Riesling in 1980. As Pinot Noir acreage exploded, however, Riesling became overshadowed.

Today, though, Oregon Riesling is experiencing a resurgence. And it’s better than ever.

Check out the rest of the piece on Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.

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