Viticulture and Oenology
This document summarizes the Oregon-Burgundy Challenge, which took place at the International Wine Center (IWC) in New York City on September 12, 1985. The tasting was a blind comparison of the 1983 Pinot Noir vintages from Burgundy, France and Oregon, U.S.A. Inspired by comparative tastings conducted by several Oregon winemakers, and frustrated by the lack of respect Oregon Pinot Noirs were seeing in the wider market, Stephen Cary suggested the tasting to IWC President Al Hotchkin, who predicted poor results. The Oregon Wine Advisory Board (now the Oregon Wine Board) funded the event that presented 10 Oregon wines and 7 French wines; judges were asked to identify the origin of each wine and to select their three favorites. As a group, the twenty-five judges could not correctly identify the place of origin for at least 50% of the wines. The Oregon wines placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and tied for 4th and 5th. With many displeased French winemakers, a second competition took place two years later where Oregon, once again, swept the top two spots and tied for 3rd. These events helped Oregon wines earn the respect of the French (as well as wine consumers throughout the United States) while still maintaining a positive relationship between the two winemaking regions.
Cary, Stephen J., "Oregon-Burgundy Challenge" (2014). Stephen Cary Documents. Document. Submission 2.