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Chardonnay from Oregon’s Dundee Hills

Oregon's famed Pinot Noir has its roots in the red soils of the Dundee Hills, where exceptional Chardonnay is now being produced. This appellation nestled between Oregon's Coast Range to the west and the Chehalem Mountains to the northeast, is moderately warmer than the Willamette Valley's other sub-regions.

When David Lett came to the Willamette Valley in the 1960s, he found cool, forested hills along the Willamette River. It was here in 1965, that he would plant some of the valley’s first vines. He would soon be joined by the Sokol Blossers and Dick Erath, who also planted vines on these foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range.

Just over 10 years later, a blind tasting in Paris, the 1979 Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiad, would change Oregon and American wine forever. Lett’s Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir from 1975 would be among the top wines tasted (of 330) from around the world.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 18 Chardonnay wines from the Dundee Hills

These results, and the consistent quality of wines produced by Lett and his contemporaries, inspired Domaine Joseph Drouhin to eventually plant vineyards in the Dundee Hills in the late 1980s. Thus validating the ‘New World’ upstarts and their commitment to Oregon’s viticultural potential in the eyes of Burgundy.

These days Chardonnay is on the rise, with the Willamette Valley producing some of the best examples of the variety in the United States and beyond.

Oregon Chardonnay from the Dundee Hills:

Wines are listed alphabetically by producer in score order

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