Wine Enthusiast Magazine

OREGON FOR ALL

Applying the word “value” to Oregon Pinot Noir may seem like a bit of a stretch. Prices for most limited-production Oregon Pinots hover between $40 and $50 and head up from there.

That’s not to say you can’t hunt down a bottle for $15 or $18 that is labeled Oregon Pinot Noir. You can even find it in boxes and cans. But value is not just about price, and finding high-quality, low-cost Oregon Pinot Noir can be a challenge.

Why are prices so high? Pinot Noir from anywhere is often more expensive than other varietal red wines because it’s difficult to grow and challenging to vinify. It often does best in cool-climate regions on the margins of viability, where dangers such as spring frosts, midsummer hailstorms and early autumn freezes mean that not every vintage achieves optimal ripeness.

There are relatively few places scattered around the world where Pinot Noir not only succeeds, but makes wines that rival the quality of those from Burgundy. Oregon is one of them.

“Historically, bargain Pinot Noir wasn’t really a thing because it was generally associated with awful, uninspiring wine,”

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