Lindsey Zagar | Mon, Nov 16, 20
May is Oregon Wine Month, 31 days dedicated to tasting, learning and supporting Oregon wine.
On January 18, 2012 Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber signed a proclamation designating May as Oregon Wine Month, reviving a tradition that had been dormant for more than two decades. This was a well-deserved recognition of the Oregon wine industry’s rapid growth, international reputation for quality and important contribution to the state’s economy.
Now in its eighth year, Oregon Wine Month is dedicated to developing more Oregon wine fans across the United States. May is the perfect month to explore, sip and celebrate Oregon wine. Early May is when winegrowing season officially kicks off with vines beginning to show bud break. It is a beautiful time of year to visit Oregon wine country and enjoy hundreds of wine events and promotions at tasting rooms, restaurants, and retailers across the state.
Oregon wine began when the state was still a Territory in the late 1840’s; however, winemaking has only been a significant industry in the state since the 1960s. Grapes were first planted in the Oregon Territory in 1847. Valley View, the first recorded winery, was established by Peter Britt. in the late 1850s in Jacksonville. Wine production stopped in the United States during Prohibition. As in other states, the Oregon wine industry lay dormant for thirty years after Prohibition was repealed.
The Oregon wine industry started to rebuild in the 1960s, when California winemakers opened several vineyards in the state. By 1970, there were five commercial wineries, with 35 recorded acres.
A lot has changed since the 1840’s. Today, Oregon is now known as a premiere winegrowing region. It has more than 769 wineries and 1,144 vineyards growing 82 grape varieties across the state. The wine made in Oregon, produces only 1.5% of wine sold domestically. That might seem like a small number, but it does contribute more than $3.3 billion to the Oregon economy and is responsible for more than 17,000 jobs.
We hope you will remember that May is Oregon wine month and share with your friends. Try an Oregon wine you have always dreamed of and visit that hidden tasting room you have only heard about. You never know, it might turn out to be your new favorite.