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Article updated: 10/20/2012 5:40 PM

Pinot noir reigns in Oregon's wine country

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Some of the wines produced at Carlton Winemakers Studio where eight small winemakers share equipment and expertise.

Courtesy of Carlton Winemakers Studio

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Vines spill down toward the Willamette Valley at Amity Vineyards in Amity, Ore. Oregon is home to some 500 wineries with a growing wine tourism industry and a reputation for good pinot noir.

Associated Press

The Carlton Winemakers Studio in Carlton, Ore., is where some small winemakers can start out, using communal equipment and pooling expertise until they can establish their own facilities.

Courtesy of Carlton Winemakers Studio

Fermenting vats await the 2012 harvest at Rex Hill winery near Newberg, Ore.

Associated Press

Vines spill down toward the Willamette Valley at Amity Vineyards in Amity, Ore.

Associated Press

About this Article

Driving southwest from Portland an hour or so through the suburbs, you hit the heart of Oregon's wine country rather suddenly. Here the mountainous Coast Range slopes to the Willamette Valley floor, which is smothered with vineyards that produce some of the best pinot noir on earth. Oregon is home to some 500 wineries. After California, which produces 90 percent of U.S. wine, it is one of the top three wine-producing states, along with Washington and New York.
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    • Some of the wines produced at Carlton Winemakers Studio where eight small winemakers share equipment and expertise.
    •  Vines spill down toward the Willamette Valley at Amity Vineyards in Amity, Ore. Oregon is home to some 500 wineries with a growing wine tourism industry and a reputation for good pinot noir.
    •  The Carlton Winemakers Studio in Carlton, Ore., is where some small winemakers can start out, using communal equipment and pooling expertise until they can establish their own facilities.
    •  Fermenting vats await the 2012 harvest at Rex Hill winery near Newberg, Ore.
    •  Vines spill down toward the Willamette Valley at Amity Vineyards in Amity, Ore.
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