Willamette Valley Wines Earn a Record-Breaking Number of Awards in 2018


Colene Clemens Named in Wine Spectator Top 10

Willamette Valley wineries are responsible for a record-breaking number of the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 spots this year, with one of those wines, the 2015 Dopp Creek Pinot Noir from Colene Clemens Vineyards, cracking the magazine’s coveted Top 10. In fact, 6% of spots on the list belong to the Willamette Valley—a region that produces less than 1% of the wine made in the United States.

In the last few years the Willamette Valley has continued to over-perform for its size, garnering glowing press and enviable scores not only for its signature Pinot noir but increasingly for Chardonnay and other varieties, too. The Wine Spectator Top 100 wasn’t the only prominent year-end list with a heavy Willamette Valley presence: Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits also recognized several of the region’s producers in their 2018 roundups (see the full list below).

“This recognition from the industry’s most respected publications confirms the Willamette Valley’s established reputation as a global leader in outstanding Pinot noir, while also validating the growing momentum our white wines, particularly Chardonnay, have enjoyed this year,” says Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. 

Our friends in neighboring Oregon wine regions also received well-deserved recognition in the Wine Enthusiast Top 100, with Abacela nabbing a spot for their 2015 Fiesta Umpqua Valley Tempranillo and No Girls receiving a nod for their 2015 La Paciencia Vineyard Grenache, made with fruit from the Oregon side of the Walla Walla.

Willamette Valley in Wine Spectator Top 100

Here are the six wines hailing from the Willamette Valley that reached the Wine Spectator Top 100:

#7: Colene Clemens Vineyards 2015 Dopp Creek Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
#34: Lingua Franca 2016 Bunker Hill Chardonnay, Willamette Valley
#39: Patricia Green Cellars 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
#50: The Four Graces 2015 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
#74: Big Table Farm 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon
#97: Drouhin Oregon Roserock 2016 Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills

Willamette Valley in Wine & Spirits Top 100

Here are the Willamette Valley wineries featured in Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries:

Bergström Wines
Cristom Vineyards
Evening Land Vineyards
King Estate Winery
Lingua Franca
Rose & Arrow
Walter Scott Wines

Willamette Valley in Wine Enthusiast Top 100

Here’s how the Willamette Valley faired in Wine Enthusiast’s Wines of the Year:

#53: Soléna Estate 2017 Pinot Gris
#40: Patricia Green Cellars 2016 Estate Vineyard Old Vine Pinot Noir (Ribbon Ridge)
#25: Big Table Farm 2016 Willamette Valley Chardonnay
#14: J. Wrigley 2017 Estate Riesling McMinnville
#5: Elk Cove Vineyards 2017 Estate Pinot Blanc

The wide swath of producers and locations in the Valley represented on these lists demonstrates the strength, breadth, and overall quality this region has to offer, and the mixture of benchmark producers and up-and-coming new names suggests an incredible future for the Willamette Valley, guided by the high standards its pioneers have maintained.