Front cover of Oregon Wine Country Stories by Ken Friedenreich

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This book provides a candid snapshot of Oregon’s famed wine industry by looking at what meets the eye and what lies just outside the frame. For every tale has its back story, and every wine conveys a message in a bottle–about the land, about the topography, and about the men and women who made a relatively quiet farm and timber state into a worldwide wine destination  with all that entails.

Part memoir, part cultural and social history, this funny, readable book reveals many of the pleasures brought to the table by Oregon wine. It maps the state’s wine producing areas and also helps each reader make a map of their private Oregon, and its taste memory.

The author and his friends won’t bore you with meaningless numbers as if you’re taking a pop quiz. The author, a noted wine writer, lets the stories collected and narrated by the wines and those who make them — decode these marvelous grapes for you.

Based on dozens of interviews and even more glasses of wine, Friedenreich conducts a personal and provacative tour of the Oregon wine scene from his perspective as a wine and food writer, a keen observer, an ardent fan of Oregon’s wines. With his semses of history and humor, readers will move between crush and custom, mind-boggling venality, and the passionate vision of men and women who created an entire industry out of little more than a belief it could be done–and done well.

Loaded with characters and incidents, maps and photos, the author shows you how to shape confident taste memory as he has over the years done for himself.

You will learn how to look at a glass of wine as something exciting response; you will share a grandfather’s encounter with  an artichoke to explain some basic wine chemistry; you will no longer feel like a dental patient when you sip and spit wine.

Above all you will meet engineers, ghosts, harpsichord makers, and above all, the pioneers who started the modern wine business in Oregon by taking California dreams and making them something respected and unique–so much so that the French–who think they invented wine and everything else that is cool–continue to search out Oregon vinelands to develop their traditions in our landscape.

So, if you like wine, or want to learn about Oregon wine in particular, or just want a drink, follow Ken Friedenreich’s probe of the oenological frontier in this quirky part of the nation.

You will experience tradition in progress; men and women at work; and, you should enjoy the ride.

Perhaps best of all, Friedenreich will open that bottle to discover what decoding a grape is all about. He thinks that will prepare you for anything these artisans and farmers send your way,

Author’s Preface

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