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Saturday, Mar. 14, 2009

Oregon: Columbia Valley

This multi-state appellation is 11 million acres in size. It is mostly in Washington but also dips into Oregon along the cities of The Dalles, Boardman and Hermiston.

Notable Columbia Valley vineyards

The Pines Vineyard: Yes, California can rightfully boast old-vine Zinfandel, but did you realize Oregon can, too? In fact, The Pines Vineyard in The Dalles, Ore., was planted a century ago. Lonnie Wright came upon The Pines in the early '80s, some 20 years after it had been abandoned and was barely alive. He nursed the eight acres of of Zin back to health and went on to plant 12 more acres, including seven more acres of Zin, three acres of Merlot and two acres of Syrah. Across the Columbia River to the north, some of Washington’s most famous Zinfandel at the Gunkel Vineyard came from cuttings off Wright's vineyard.