I have a story in the May issue of Afar magazine about the beautiful Willamette Valley. Though I didn't get a whole lot of space to wax poetic, I got to write about a few outstanding small-production wineries: Belle Pente, Brick House, and Beaux Freres. All three of these wineries are members of the Deep Roots Coalition, a motley crew of Oregon winemakers who practice dry farming—that is, they spurn irrigation and rely on natural precipitation alone. Dry farming, which is the norm in France, encourages the grape vine's roots to grow deeper, resulting both in hardier plants and more interesting wines. Irrigated vines don’t express their true terroir, proponents say, which is why in France, if you irrigate, your appellation is revoked. I hear the DRC, founded in 2004 by winemakers Russ Raney and John Paul Cameron, is about to get a web site. I'll link to it when they do.
In the meantime, enjoy my "Wander"—and the Willamette Valley. (In my humble opinion, the PDF from the magazine— Download WANDER 6.44.34 PM—looks much better than the web version.)