May 18th, 2006

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OREGON'S EMERGING PINOT-SCAPE
Winemakers define success on their own terms

By Cole Danehower, Special to The Chronicle



Forty years ago this spring, David Lett planted the roots of Oregon's Pinot Noir industry when he put the first Pinot vines into the cool-climate earth of the Willamette Valley.

Lett and a handful of other iconoclasts named Erath, Ponzi and Adelsheim created a distinctive winegrowing culture that celebrated both individualism and camaraderie. The community they built has helped the region grow to become one of the world's most respected sources of Pinot Noir wines.

"It's a great and true story that has brought a lot of people to Oregon and helped build the industry," says Bergstrom Wines' Josh Bergstrom, 31, one of the most visible of the state's younger winemakers. "But something is happening in Oregon right now. The winds have changed." 

What has changed is growth.

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