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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.