Let’s drink a toast to the wine grape industry of southern Oregon. Just over 30 years old, it’s growing fast: between 2010 and 2012, the number of wineries in southern Oregon grew by 24 percent, and the three southern wine-grape-growing regions increased yields by 77 percent, according to the SOREC 2012 annual report.
The viticulture program at SOREC is even newer, developed in response to this new industry. OSU viticulturists connect southern Oregon wine grape growers with new knowledge developed through the Oregon Wine Research Institute, a partnership between OSU and the state’s wine industry. The program supports the local industry as well as the region’s hobby grape growers, whose numbers also have significantly increased.