Washington and Oregon MW Trip

Konstantin Baum MW

This year’s IMW educational trip brought us to the Wild West of the United States of America. It was organised in cooperation with Washington Wine and the Oregon Wine Board and we got to see both regions in detail over the course of a week. The journey started in the winemaking town of Woodinville from where we travelled across the Cascade Mountains and into the Columbia Valley. During the five days in Washington State we had more than 14 visits, tasted countless wines and forged links with winemakers in this dynamic wine region. Aside from the impeccable organisation of the trip, we will remember the impressive pace of development in Washington State where over the course of (only) the last seven years, the number of wineries has increased by a whopping 50 percent and where investments into education and innovation will fuel further growth in the future.

When we arrived in Oregon we quickly realised that while the state is the neighbour of Washington, its wine industry is structured completely differently.The hills are greener, the wineries are smaller and tastings were dominated by Pinot Noir instead of the Bordeaux varietals. We crossed the state border in Walla Walla and drove along the Columbia River to Portland. After one night in Portland, we travelled south to the Willamette Valley from where we got to discover the diversity of Oregon’s wines. During excellent tastings, we learned more about the differences between the various AVAs, heard the stories from the region’s winemaking pioneers and ate more healthy and organic food than most of us have had in our lives. We left the trip impressed by the rapid development of the two states and the generosity of all wineries involved in the organisation of our visit. The journey through the Pacific North West was full of impressions that turned into long-lasting memories.

Konstantin Baum MW
12 July 2017