The Willamette Valley was named Region of the Year by the 2016 Wine Star awards:
“The vintners who first explored the valley’s potential were pioneers. There was no history to build upon, no grapes to purchase to produce wines while they waited for new vineyards to bear fruit. Only one of the first dozen or so vintners had any agricultural experience.” -Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
That person with the agricultural experience would be Pat Campbell, who grew up on a pear orchard and founded Elk Cove Vineyards with husband Joe Campbell in 1974. It’s incredible to think that 40+ year’s later, this region would beat out contenders in classic wine regions around the globe for this prestigious award. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work has made the Willamette Valley AVA what it is today. Cheers!
Check out all the Wine Star award winners at winemag.com