For those visiting Oregon wine country for the first time, we thought it helpful to provide background information on what to expect. Thanks to highly acclaimed wines produced here, our wine region is considered one of the world's best, though production only started in the 1970’s and its official appellation was in 1984. Oregon wines are highly acclaimed by Wine Spectator, averaging 90+ ratings consistently year after year.
With approximately 545 Oregon wineries (200+ in Willamette Valley), this $3B industry is the third largest in the state, has created 13,500 jobs and production in 2012 reached 50,176 tons. The valley’s fertile hills and two mountain ranges along with a cool climate are ideal conditions to produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Syrah and Chardonnay. The Willamette Valley “the heart of the wine country” (150 miles long/60 miles wide) is often compared to France’s Burgundy region for its beautiful topography and climate. It produces 73% of the state’s production, with 48% dedicated to the Pinot Noir flagship grape.
With 12,000 grape growing acres, the Valley is also home to hiking trails, bike paths, farmers markets and covered bridges. The indigenous volcanic clay soil is known as jory, thus the name of our signature restaurant. Our wine industry is certainly different from our neighboring states. This being Oregon, the art of winemaking is still based on agriculture...not a lifestyle. Approximately 50% of the wineries have tasting rooms. Most that do are informal, friendly and offer good value. A typical production is between 2,000 to 5,000 cases.
However, don’t let the size and casualness fool you. These stewards of the land take their jobs seriously; independent spirits and winemaker passions shining through in every bottle. It remains a family enterprise, with legacies now being handed down to the next generation.
Oregon, a “green state” boasts many eco-friendly vineyards and JORY’s wine list is coded accordingly; bio-dynamic, organic, sustainable. Our mission is to introduce and educate guests and locals to a vast collection of wine growing regions, while showcasing Oregon’s best.
During most months, we host a complimentary Thursday Celebrity Wine-Tender Tasting from 6:30 –7:30 pm in our Living Room. Lodging guests and locals alike gather in an informal setting and listen to the stories behind the vintners and how their wines differ by comparison. (Visit our calendar for showcased wineries).
You may have favorites, but we offer the opportunity to customize an itinerary by personally combining your “wish list” with unfamiliar wines definitely worth the visit. While many wineries do not have official tasting rooms, our concierge staff will make an effort to schedule personal appointments. Most guests purchase wines during their stay, but due to airline regulations, cannot bring bottles aboard. Dependent on the resident state, we arrange shipments with a local business, if laws permit.
Traditionally, the Valley promotes tasting season from Memorial Day through Thanksgiving weekends. This designated period has visitors enjoying Open Houses not otherwise available to the public. For further information, please visit www.willamettewines.com. We recommend viewing this website to better familiarize yourself with the neighboring towns and wineries. Our concierge staff can also suggest nearby restaurants or perhaps order a picnic lunch from JORY to dine alfresco along your bucolic sojourn.
Highlights from our award-winning wine list:
- Extensive wines-by-the-glass selection, taste either by l/2 glass or 5 ounces
- Good selection of half bottles
- Large selection of Champagne & Sparkling wines
- Creative flights (3 or 4 tastings) in categories; Pinot Gris, Pinot Noirs, Northwest Pinot Noirs, A Trip Around the World, Chardonnays
- Selections from California, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia
- Large format bottles for special occasions or large gatherings
Note: Corkage fee $25 per bottle (maximum 2 bottles per party), applied to wines not purchased directly from JORY.