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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightOregon

Pinotphile's Playground

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  • Publish Date: Aug 25, 2009

Something tells us we’re not in Napa anymore…

Forget the sundresses and the fancy clothes. No need for stretch limos or five course meals. All you’ll need in the Willamette Valley is a pair jeans and a passion for Pinot Noir.

Less than an hour’s drive south of Portland, you’ll find yourself rolling through hillside farmland, past bison ranches, cow farms, and fields of sheep. The expansive valley feels more like an agrarian menagerie than a grape-growing region. Then up a winding dirt road you go, finally to discover a beautiful vineyard tucked away at the top of a ridge. These hillsides are so fitting for Pinot Noir that even the famed Drouhin family of Burgundy saw their potential and has made wine in the region for more than 25 years.

There’s a great deal of pride and loyalty in Willamette and it’s no wonder why. Traveling from vineyard to vineyard you’ll discover why some locals feel no need to drink Pinot Noir (or wine for that matter) from anywhere else.

The Willamette Pinots are in a class of their own—offering seductive aromas, delicacy, and depth. Here are a few names to keep on your short list whether on a Pacific Northwest road trip, or scouring the shelves of a local shop: Patton Valley, Sineann, Elk Cove, Archery Summit, Domaine Serene and Raptor Ridge.

For a list of Willamette wineries, visit Link text willamettewines.com

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