Wine Guide: An Introduction to Oregon Wines
From the Orchards/ Wine

Wine Guide: An Introduction to Oregon Wines

Oregon wines
Ready to learn more about Oregon wines? This article from sommelier Hillary Zio will explain why Oregon’s such a perfect place for growing wine grapes. Plus, we’ll dive into some of the region’s most well-known varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Southern Oregon is called the new Napa for a reason! When you think of Harry & David, a lot of things probably come to mind––I know that I tend to think of their amazing Royal Riviera Pears, beautiful Christmas gift baskets and towers, and delicious gourmet treats. On top of all this though, they’re quickly making a name for themselves in the world of wine. They’ve even already won several prestigious awards!

Harry & David vineyards
Since launching their first wines in 2012, Harry & David’s wine collection has grown to include thirteen different varietals. This includes whites, reds, a sparkling, a rosé, reserves, and a dessert wine––truly something for every palate. Of course, no Oregon wine collection would be complete without a versatile Chardonnay or fruity Pinot Noir, the state’s two most well-known offerings.

I love wines from cooler climates because it gives them a bit more acidity, less fruitiness, and lower oakiness. Harry & David’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Noir Rosé perfectly embody all of this! You might notice that these are all Burgundian varietals. They grow well in Oregon for a reason– Oregon and Burgundy sit on about the same lateral line!

Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

oregon pinot noir and chardonnay and rose
This cooler climate gives Harry & David’s Chardonnay a crisp and refreshing flavor, heavy in stonefruit and lighter in the overripe and tropical flavors you may find in Chardonnays from California or the Southern Hemisphere. It’s also not super oaky, since it’s fermented in stainless steel and French oak barrels, rather than new American oak.

Their Pinot Noir Rosé has the light hue of a Provence, which means the skins of the Pinot Noir grapes didn’t sit in it for long. It’s very dry, with hints of strawberries and melon. The high acidity and low alcohol content make it a nice, neutral drink to enjoy while cooking, casual entertaining, or for pairing with the first course of a meal.

Finally, their Pinot Noir has some lovely hints of wild raspberry and cherries. It’s not all about the fruit though; Pinot Noirs are known for their mushroom-y quality, and that shines through in Harry & David’s Pinot Noir especially. The vegetable-forward flavors are what make this varietal so food-friendly and perfect for serving alongside dishes like that Thanksgiving stuffing we’ll all be digging into this holiday season!

From Vine to Bottle

Oregon chardonnay grapes
The wine team at Harry & David works closely with growers and winemakers in Oregon to ensure everything is absolutely perfect from vine to bottle. They source all their grapes from three prominent valleys in the state: The Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue. This year they’ll also be sourcing grapes from the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA. All this adds up to around 38,000 cases of wine produced for the 2020 vintage alone––that’s nearly half a million bottles!

That’s a lot about Oregon wine country and some of Harry & David’s varietals, but it’s not all! There’s a lot of wine lingo you may want to brush up on before your next Wine Wednesday, or you can learn more about Harry & David’s wines specifically in my tasting video below.

All About Oregon Wines



In our series From the Orchards, we’re taking you behind the scenes of our amazing Harry & David products and the people who help make them happen. Learn fun facts about pear harvest, hear our bakers’ inside tips, and learn some fun facts about wine from our resident sommelier.

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