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Audience for Syrah grows among Oregon winemakers, growers
We tend to think of Oregon as Pinot Noir country. Rightly so. The 2016 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Census Report showed more than 45,000 tons of the red Burgundian grape were harvested last year.
Wine lovers might be surprised to learn the No. 2 red grape in Oregon is Syrah, just ahead of Cabernet Sauvignon. We tend to think of Washington when we think of Syrah because the red Rhône grape fits so well in the warm Columbia Valley. But in recent decades, Southern Oregon regions such as the Umpqua, Rogue and Applegate valleys have driven greater interest in warm-climate wine grapes. Indeed, in recent years it’s become fashionable for Willamette Valley winemakers to bring Syrah north to craft a jammy, big red that’s an alternative to the ubiquitous Pinot Noir.
Last fall, Oregon winemakers brought in 1,663 tons of Syrah, up 91 tons from the 2015 harvest, primarily from Southern Oregon. Here are a few Oregon Syrahs we’ve tasted recently. Ask for them at your favorite wine shop or contact the wineries directly.