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Getting Your Hands on Noiregon Juice

Oregon now has an open and non discriminatory direct-shipping law and Pinot Noir can be freely shipped within Oregon and shipped to any state that permits wine shipments (previously Oregon had a reciprocal law permitting shipments to states that only allowed shipments to Oregon). Due to legislation passed in Oregon in 2007 and effective January 1, 2008, any winery or retailer in Oregon can ship up to two cases of wine per month per individual customer. The winery or retailer must obtain a Direct Shipper Permit and pay excise tax.

Shipping laws are the bane of wineries and complicated by the variations in restrictions among different states. If you live on the West Coast, you can obtain Oregon Pinot Noir with no difficulty. California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington freely permit intrastate shipping. Pity those who live in states where wine shipments are not only illegal, but also felonies (Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee). Shipments can be made to the non-allowed states by licensed businesses. (Example: a store in state XX allows you to pay a nominal fee for taxes, etc., and they will receive wine shipments for you. Check with your local liquor or wine store.)

Most wineries in Oregon sell their wines directly to consumers through a website and tasting room. Expect to pay full retail unless you are a member of the winery’s futures or wine club program. Dealing directly with wineries has advantages especially when wines are produced in small amounts and allocated. Buying direct and establishing a personal relationship with winery personnel can enhance your wine drinking experience and allow you to gain entrance to special events and the opportunity to buy limited-release bottlings.

Retailers can be valuable sources of Pinot Noir. They allow one-stop shopping, offer the experience of having tasted many or all the wines they sell, often provide in-store tastings, and frequently know considerable background information about the wines they offer. I have listed below a number of Oregon retailers from whom I have bought Oregon Pinot Noir.

Avalon Wine There have been many offshoots of this business model over the years offering a tasting bar, gourmet foods, and organized wine tastings and classes. Avalon Wine dates back over twenty years and thanks to owner Jean Yates, remains an Oregon original that is THE source for Oregon Pinot Noir. The retail store is located in the 100-year-old Corvallis Arms Hotel in downtown Corvallis. The website is a marvelous source for insight into Oregon wineries and winemakers. The credit goes to Jean who has been connected to the Oregon wine industry since its early beginnings, seems to personally know everyone who makes wine in Oregon, and whose computer background lends educational and visual interest to purchasing wine from her site. The website is www.avalonwine.com and phone is 541-752-7418. The store is located at 201 SW 2nd St.

Story Teller Wine Company Michael Alberty is the proprietor of this retail store in Portland and bills himself as the “head storyteller.” Sign up for his email newsletter (www.StorytellerWine.com or 503-206-7029) which is a highly entertaining read featuring extensive personal accounts and humorous anecdotes about wine personalities in Oregon. The retail store is located at 5511-B SW Hood Ave, Portland. I have kept every newsletter and often refer to them for little-known information.

Vinopolis Wine Shop This store bills itself as Portland’s largest wine retailer. Wines are often discounted and discounts are offered on purchases of six or twelve bottles. The website is not particularly user-friendly, but offers a decent selection of Oregon Pinot Noirs. Sign up for the frequent email newsletter which simply lists wines and prices. 1025 SW Washington St. 503-223-6002. Website: www.vinopoliswineshop.com.

Oregon Wine Merchants This is the online division of Sundance Wine Cellars in Eugene, touted as Oregon’s largest wine retailer and “featuring the largest selection of Oregon Pinot Noirs in the world.” They have plenty of the small production and hard to find Oregon Pinot Noirs with some useful background information offered on the website. 1-800-OR-WINES. The website is user-friendly: www.orwines.com.

Oregon Pinot Noir Club An online retailer that sells wine to non-club members and sends monthly shipments of Oregon wines to club members. Nicely presented website which is easily navigable and provides useful information about many of the wines. Good choice of Oregon Pinots. Website: www.oregonpinotnoir.com.

Wine-searcher has a list of Oregon wine retailers (www.wine-searcher.com). Free online searches for Oregon Pinot Noir: www.wine-searcher.com, www.vinquire.com, www.winezap.com, and www.wineaccess.com.

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