PORTLAND – The Memorial Day holiday is one of the year’s busiest weekends for Oregon's wine tasting rooms.
People come from all over the country, primarily to enjoy what winemakers here do best: pinot noir.
Several out-of-state winemakers are also interested. California’s Jackson wines—maker of Kendall-Jackson brands—is leasing or buying large plots of pinot noir vineyards.
There's concern it could translate to higher prices, or even a grape shortage, for Oregon winemakers who buy additional grapes from those vineyards under new management
On the bright side, it means a larger worldwide showcase and more exports.
“I think we have give them the benefit of the doubt, that their intent is to kind of follow suit to what has been pioneered by the great winemakers of Oregon,” said Laurent Montalieu, owner of northwest wine company Mon Tal Yul.
“Most everybody is trying to take advantage of the good name that Oregon and the Willamette Valley and the pinot noir have,” added David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Winery. “And I think their goal is not to screw it up too bad.”
In just the last ten years or so, the amount of land harvested for Oregon grapes has doubled to more than 17,000 acres.
KGW Reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.