Although the majority of the wines in the United States are produced in California, you can find a lot of vineyards and wineries in other states as well, such as Idaho and Oregon.
Wine from Idaho
The U.S. state of Idaho has a long history of wine production. The first vineyard was planted in 1863, but the wine production industry almost completely disappeared during the Prohibition in the United States. But after overcoming this and other difficulties, the wine production in Idaho really took off.
Idaho is together with Oregon and Washington part of The Pacific Northwest Wine Coalition, which was formed in 1991 to promote their wines abroad.
You can find most Idaho wineries in the southwestern part of the Snake River Valley. Other wineries are located between Twin Falls and Mountain Home, the northern part of Idaho state and near Sun Valley.
Long warm daylight hours during grape growing season, cool summer evenings and unique soil contribute to perfect ripening conditions for acids and sugars in red and white grapes with concentrated fruit flavors.
Snake River Valley
The Snake River Valley wine region has more than 1400 acres of vineyards and around 16 wineries, which produce red, white and ice wines such as Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.
This region also attracts a lot of tourists because of its natural beauty and panoramic views.
Wine from Oregon
Oregon is a bigger player in the world of wines than Idaho, having five times as many wineries.
Producing wine started in Oregon in the 1840s, but like many other states it had to overcome difficulties, so commercial production did not start until the 1960s.
Oregon has more than 300 wineries and over 14,000 acres of vineyards. In this region you can find mainly the Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes. Especially the Pinot Noirs from Willamette Valley are famous for their quality and Oregon is seen as one of the premier Pinot-producing regions worldwide.
Besides Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris, you can also find Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muller-Thurgau and Chardonnay in Oregon, although some people say that Oregon is too wet to produce a high quality Chardonnay.
Willamette Valley is 100 mile long and 60 mile wide, bordered to the north by the Columbia River, to the south by the Calapooya Mountains, to the west bij the coast range of Oregon and in the east by the Cascade Mountain foothills. Willamette Valley is the coolest and wettest viticulture region and is home to about 70 percent of all wineries in the state of Oregon.
Other famous wine regions in Oregon are Rogue River, Umpqua Valley, Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Valley.
Refer to my other wine articles if you are interested in:
- Wines from California
- Pairing Food and Wine, The Perfect Match
- Develop Your Own Wine Palate - Things To Notice When Tasting Wine
- Cava - The Spanish alternative for Champagne
- Prosecco - a fine and affordable alternative to Champagne
- Moselle wines - Germany's top wines