Pinot Noir - HillCrest Vineyard - Roseburg, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 43° 16.351 W 123° 30.038
10T E 459375 N 4791200
Oregon’s successful and widely recognized wine industry can be traced to this place, where Richard Sommer first planted Pinot noir grapes in 1961.
Waymark Code: WM183EY
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 05/22/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
Views: 1

The Umpqua and Willamette valleys’ climates and topographies are much like those of European wine regions, but most winemakers of the 1960s believed it was impossible to grow fine wines in Oregon. Sommer, however, recognized the significance of sharing latitude with European winemaking regions, including Burgundy, and took a chance with his HillCrest Vineyard — Oregon’s first winery to plant and bottle Pinot noir for commercial sale.

Sommer’s gamble paid off, and Oregon’s Pinot noir wines have been internationally recognized since the late 1970s, when a vintage ’75 bottle from Eyrie Vineyards won first place at a competition in Paris.

The emerging wine industry also benefitted from Oregon’s political and social climate. The state passed groundbreaking land-use legislation in 1973, mandating that all cities and counties create comprehensive plans that protect agricultural land from development.

Richard Sommer co-founded the Oregon Winegrowers Association in 1965. The association became the Oregon Wine Board and continues in its work to support the industry through marketing, research, and education initiatives. In the late 1970s, winegrowers imposed on themselves strict labeling restrictions and assessed a self-tax that supported important research efforts.
Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Willamette Valley

County: Douglas

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": [Web Link]

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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