When I wrote about the Allison Inn and Ruth’s birthday, I knew that few readers would have an interest in the subject. The Wine Industry in Oregon is big, but it’s nowhere near the top money-maker in this state. When we first moved to the Northwest, I was amazed that there were no great wine stores in the state of Oregon. I became determined to find out why and finally learned the reason that this complex industry thrives here but is not more important.
Oregon is one of the most trade-dependent states. In other words, a lot of what is produced here is exported, including its wine. Foreign countries reap the benefits of Oregon’s vast industries that produces greenhouse and nursery products like few other states. A lot of Oregon’s cattle, milk products, hazelnuts, hay, grass seed, and wheat leave the United States each year. These producers amount to billion dollar concerns all over this state. However, the largest industry here is high-technology.
When it comes to the production of wine, Oregon ranks 4th in the country behind California, New York, and its neighbor Washington. Wine making is a huge industry here and one of the reasons why we went to Adelsheim as part of Ruth’s birthday celebration. Scattered about this state are more than 1,000 wineries and several wine-producing regions of serious importance. Enotourism, the visiting of winery tasting rooms and buying pinot noirs and other varietals, is a really big tourist lure here. It contributes more than 200 million dollars each year to this state’s economy. Many people come here to see its wineries as their main interest.
There are really 3 winery regions that attract tourists. The Willamette Valley is by far the largest of the 3 with two thirds of Oregon’s wineries. They are close to Portland and the largest tourism lures that bring in dollars. Two-thirds of this states wineries numbering more than 700 businesses are in the Willamette Valley, and most of them are thriving. The other regions are also valleys south and east of Portland. Their names are Umpqua, Rogue, and Columbia. They represent diverse environments and promote Pinot noirs, chardonnays, pinot gris and almost all other varietals. The Snake River region is becoming more important as Walla Walla expands.
Some notable home-grown wineries include Adelsheim, which benefits mightily from its Chehalem Mountains location, the main reason why we chose to explore it for Ruth’s birthday after visiting the Allison Inn. The reason why Oregon’s only 5-star resort is in the Willamette Valley becomes clear when you know about the money-making Willamette Valley. Other brands of note include Eyrie, Ponzi, Sokol Blosser and the best-selling Willamette Valley Vineyards, Oregon’s largest wine producer.
It’s no wonder that enotourism is increasingly important to the well-being of the economy of this state. This subject is larger than gargantuan.