Pinot Noir is considered to be the best Oregon wine, and rightly so. But if you are searching for new wines to enjoy from this state, look beyond Pinot Noir. There are some lovely Chardonnays being made in Oregon that deserve your attention as well. And if you really want to discover something new and unusual, leave the famous region that produces these wines, the Willamette Valley, and head to Southern Oregon.
I recently attended the Seattle Wine and Food Experience (receiving a free pass as a member of the media) and, among many fine Oregon wines, was particularly impressed with (and intrigued by) the 2011 Troon Vineyards Vermentino. The wine hails from the Applegate Valley, not far from the California border. Vermentino is a grape best known in Italy (though I've had a fantastic one from Corsica), and Troon's version is lively and snappy. A great wine to wake up your palate and get ready for spring and summer. But if the weather's still lousy, enjoy the Troon Vineyards Vermentino indoors with fresh fish, and dream of happier, sunnier climes.
So check out the diversity of Oregon Wine. Think of Pinot Noir as a gateway to explore the wines of the Willamette Valley, and then beyond to the rest of the state.