INDUSTRY HISTORY

Like veterans of the Oregon Trail who came here with grit, determination and a sense of daring, Oregon’s winemakers are pioneers — bucking trends, setting new ones and working collaboratively to raise the bar. There was Peter Britt, who in 1847 established the Northwest’s first winery. Then came  Richard Sommer in 1961 who started Oregon’s first post-prohibition winery in the Umpqua Valley. David Lett and Charles Coury followed in 1965 and laid the roots of winemaking legend in the Willamette Valley. More recently, there were the Oregon vintners who in 1995 banded together to create eco-certification LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology), one of the most authoritative sustainability accreditations in the wine world. Today, with 18 AVAs, almost 700 wineries, and grape plantings ranging from Albariño to Zinfandel, Oregon winemakers are leading the industry in progressive, sustainable practices while expanding on their already well-established reputation for crafting exceptional wines.

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