||This state’s strict wine laws demand that variety wines must contain at least 90% of the named grape (except for Cabernet Sauvignon). The region’s cool climate comes from its proximity to the Pacific and its primary grapes are Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The latter wine is usually medium bodied, with aromas reminiscent of pears and apples and a surprising depth and complexity. Oregon Pinot Gris is a great food wine, and works especially well with seafood and salmon. Pinot Noir is a more expensive wine here, but that is because it can be such a difficult grape to grow that yields are inevitably low. The best Oregon Pinot Noirs are balanced, fruity and full.
||(pee noh GREE joe)—also known as Pinot Gris, is grown mostly in northeastern Italy but is also found in Germany (where it is called Rülander), Alsace, Oregon and California. It is deeper in color than other white grapes and has a medium body and low acidity.
||Wineries exist in all fifty states, but the most predominant (and best) wine comes from Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State, with New York gaining a foothold in the industry. American wines make up about 75% of all wine sales in the US. The appellation system uses the term AVA (American Viticultural Area) to determine where wines were produced, but grape varieties can be planted anywhere in the country. American wineries generally use varietal labeling, and government regulations require that the variety on the label must make up at least 75% of the blend (in Oregon it’s 90%). The words reserve, special selection, private reserve, classic, and so on have no legal definition in the US. Some wineries use these terms to indicate their better wines; others use the words as a marketing tool to move lower quality wines off the shelf.
|Oregon Pinot Gris
||Pinot Gris, like the closely related Pinot Noir grape, needs a cool climate and is highly sensitive to terrior, or growing conditions. Though the grape can grow in several places, it makes good wine in only a few. Pinot Gris is one of the two USA whites that are incredibly versatile with food, the other being Sauvignon Blanc. Oregon Pinot Gris has an inherent creamy yet crisp character that agrees with many foods.