8 Oregon Sparkling Wines That Rival Champagne
Vintners in the Willamette Valley are now making sparkling wine to rival Champagne.
The Willamette Valley's distinctive climate and geology have made it renowned for Pinot Noir, and its Chardonnays can be equally impressive—two varieties that also happen to be the classic ingredients of great sparkling wine. But until now, only a few wineries here—notably Argyle and Soter—had devoted themselves to bubbles. Sparkling wine production is complex and costly, and buying a bottling line for bubbly is out of the reach of most of the small wineries that have made Oregon’s name. But in the past few years, entrepreneurs have started “custom crush” facilities devoted to sparkling wine production. The result? A burgeoning world of top-quality bubbles, from wineries already known for impressive still wines. The holidays are the perfect time to explore them.
Best Oregon Sparklers to Shop
Watermelon-fruity and sealed with a crown cap, this bright pink sparkler is made with the same process used for Prosecco.
An unusual blend of grapes from Oregon and Washington, this lemon-limey sparkler is a new cuvée from acclaimed Willamette Valley producer Sokol Blosser.
This zingy, apple-inflected bottling is 100 percent Chenin Blanc; that, plus the term crémant, are nods to the sparkling winemaking traditions of France’s Loire Valley.
Raptor Ridge’s Scott Shull is known for superb single-vineyard Pinot Noirs; he uses one of those sources for this rich, black cherry–inflected bottling.
Winemaker Adam Campbell is one of Oregon’s top Pinot talents. His skill shows through in this creamy, lightly toasty wine.
2014 Roco Rms ($65)
After making wine at Argyle for over two decades, Rollin Soles left in 2013 to found ROCO. His subtle, elegant flagship cuvée reflects all those years of experience.
Tony Soter’s hilltop winery is an Oregon must-visit, and his precise Mineral Springs Brut Rosé, with its bright berry flavors, is one of the state’s very best bottles of bubbly.
Argyle’s extended tirage wines are aged for multiple years on the lees (leftover yeasts from fermentation) in the bottle, making them remarkably complex and luscious.