Travel Lane County
541.484.5307 · 800.547.5445 ·
Adventure Center/Visitor Information: 3312 Gateway St · Springfield OR (Open daily 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Downtown Eugene Visitor Center: 754 Olive St · Eugene OR (Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Mailing Address: PO Box 10286 · Eugene OR 97440 s

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Oregon Wine

The Willamette Valley is the same latitude as Burgundy, France; and shares a similar mild climate aptly suited for growing grapes. Additionally, like France's Terroir; the Willamette Valley floor is exceptionally fertile. Volcanic rocks rich in iron and magnesium rolled into the valley during the Pleistocene era-floods. The resulting red, silty-clay loam known as Jory soil measures four to six feet deep and is unique to the region. It is so special that it was named Oregon's "State Soil" in 2011.

Grapes on the Vine, Winery, Willamette Valley, Oregon, by Sally McAleerWith prime terrain for agriculture, and in particular for cultivating the finicky Pinot Noir grape, Oregon wineries have gained international recognition for their achievements. In 1979, Oregon winemaker David Lett, known locally as "Papa Pinot," entered his 1975 Eyrie Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir in France's Wine Olympics. When the blind tasting ranked his wine in tenth place, wine connoisseurs sat up and took note (after they got over the shock!). Since then Oregon winemakers have repeatedly proved their rightful place among top international wines.

Other grapes that do well here include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.  

Today, the South Willamette Valley is home to more than a dozen thriving vineyards and wineries.

Willamette Valley VineyardsThe largest and most iconic local winery is King Estate, known its award-wining wines and sustainable farming. Enthroned on a vineyard covered hill, this European-inspired facility offers a world-class wine country experience complete with sweeping picturesque views, an elegant tasting room, a top-notch on-site restaurant, and exquisite events. From their solar-panels to their raptor program, King Estate serves as a leader for organic wine production.

The boutique Pfeiffer Winery near Junction City sells exclusively from their tasting room. You can't find this wine at stores, or even in local restaurants. However, Pfeiffer Winery's 2007 Pinot Noir Blue Dot Reserve was selected to represent Oregon Pinot Noir at the 2009 Obama inauguration. The "Presidential Pinot," is just one of many interesting back-stories to Pfeiffer Winery.