Insights from Drizly’s Top 5 Willamette Valley Wine Brands
Pinot Noir, the region’s signature grape, dominates sales share by a wide margin
The Willamette Valley is Oregon’s oldest wine region, encompassing more than two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards. Home to 27,000 acres of vines and 700 wineries, the region is considered one of the country’s top producers of Pinot Noir. The Willamette Valley’s signature grape makes up the vast majority of the AVA’s plantings, followed by Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
The Willamette Valley accounts for 90 percent of Oregon wines sold on Drizly. During the last 12 months, the region held three percent share of all domestic wine sales on the platform. Though Willamette’s share remained flat compared to the year prior, the region is increasingly capturing consumer interest as a premier U.S. wine region.
“Red wine, more specifically Pinot Noir, dominated Willamette Valley wine sales in the last 12 months and sales share has increased over the last couple of years,” says Liz Paquette, the head of consumer insights at Drizly. Red wine accounted for 82 percent of Oregon wine sales in the last year, up from 78 percent in 2020. White wine made up just nine percent of share, followed by sparkling wine at six percent.
By grape variety, Pinot Noir is the top-selling Oregon wine on Drizly and its share is growing; over the last year, it increased two percentage points to total 82 percent. By comparison, share for Oregon Pinot Gris and Chardonnay remained flat at seven percent and one percent, respectively.
The average unit price for Oregon wine on Drizly – $20.50 compared to the marketplace-wide average of $17.60 – suggests that shoppers are willing to pay more for products from this region. Though Oregon wine is popular across the country, it is especially attractive to consumers within the state. Oregon consumers account for 16 percent share of the state’s wine sold on Drizly compared to three percent nationally.
Among Drizly’s five top-selling Willamette Valley wine brands, A to Z Wineworks retained the number one position for the second consecutive year. Erath climbed from number three to number two, and Underwood dropped one position to rank third. New on this year’s list is King Estate, replacing Elouan.
Here are the top Willamette Valley wine brands that shoppers are buying on Drizly.
A to Z Wineworks
Oregon wine industry veterans Deb Hatcher, Bill Hatcher, Sam Tannahill, and Cheryl Francis founded A to Z in 2002, and the brand is now one of the state’s biggest sellers. The winery’s original Pinot Noir blend, named by Food & Wine as the best American Pinot Noir under $20, solidified A to Z’s reputation for offering well-made wines at affordable prices. Along with A to Z’s flagship Oregon Pinot Noir, winemaker Michael Davies produces a popular Chardonnay, along with Pinot Gris, Riesling, sparkling wine, and rosé — all priced under $20.
As one of Oregon’s pioneering wineries, Erath played a major role in establishing the state as a world-class wine region. Dick Erath made his first commercial Pinot Noir in 1972 and founded the Knudsen-Erath label in 1975. Erath bought out partner Cal Knudsen in 1988, and then sold the winery to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2006. Since its founding, Erath has impressed both critics and consumers. Though the winery’s primary focus is on Pinot Noir, ranging from entry-level Oregon Pinot Noir to single-vineyard offerings, Erath also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc.
Union Wine Co. founder Ryan Harms launched the Oregon-based Underwood line of canned wines in 2014. Today, the brand leads the canned wine category due to its high-quality, innovative offerings. The brand kicked off with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and expanded to include two canned sparkling wines, a spritz, white sangria, “nouveau” Pinot Noir, and still rosé. On Drizly, Underwood’s top-selling canned products include Rosé Bubbles, The Bubbles, and Pinot Noir.
This California-based producer of cool-climate, appellation-driven wines began producing a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with the 2012 vintage. Owned since 1993 by Jackson Family Wines, winemaker Rod Berglund founded La Crema in 1979 to focus on Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery primarily produced wines from California regions such as the Sonoma Coast and Carneros until it released its first Oregon Pinot Noir in 2014. La Crema’s Willamette Valley wine is priced at $40 per bottle.
Ed King III and his father, the late Ed King, Jr., founded King Estate in 1991 on a 600-acre property in southern Willamette Valley. The vineyard has since grown to more than 1,000 acres and is North America’s largest biodynamic-certified vineyard. The winery makes several Pinot Noir wines, ranging in price from $30 for the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir to more than $100 per bottle for special editions. King Estate is Oregon’s second-largest winery, behind Willamette Valley Vineyards, and produces nearly 400,000 cases per year.