Oregon state is best known for elegant and earthy Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) which lies on the same latitudinal line as that of Bourgogne's Côte d'Or, France. The Willamette Valley also crafts exceptional Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Gris. Oregon shares the Walla Walla and Columbia Gorge appellations with Washington, offering robust reds from Bordeaux varietals as well as Riesling and Chardonnay.
Washington wineries are mostly found in the arid eastern part of the state along the Columbia River. The Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow effect that allows the eastern vineyards to benefit from a long growing season with hot summer days and cool nights.
Cabernet Sauvignon thrives, along with its usual blending partners of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Inky Syrahs are also a specialty of Washington, along with quality whites that include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Viognier.
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