While Oregon is famous for our lovely, delicate Pinot Noir grape, you may be surprised to learn that Oregon is the third largest producer in the US of another red fruit – the cranberry! While Oregon falls just behind New Jersey’s cranberry production (510,000 barrels for Oregon and 550,000 barrels for New Jersey) neither state comes even close to Massachusetts’ 1.89 million barrels! However, with our mild temperatures and longer growing season, Oregon-grown cranberries are sweeter in taste and deeper in color than their cousins from across the Great Divide.
So whether you prefer your cranberries cooked as a homemade sauce from fresh, whole-plump fruit or plunked, quivering on a plate as a solid cylinder straight from the can (love that air-expanding sucking sound as it escapes its aluminum confines, ending in a satisfying “ssss-löp”) give thanks to all our local farmers,and especially to the bog farmers of the South Oregon Coast for the humble cranberry!
Interested in a fun addition to the traditional wines on your Thanksgiving table, try a crisp, slightly-sweet cranberry wine or spirit. Here are a few:
Nehalem Bay Winery – Cranperé
Depoe Bay Winery – Coastal Cranberry
Clear Creek Distillery – Cranberry Liqueur