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Image: Jason Tomczak

The Willamette Valley may be known for its pinot, but a few winemakers are beginning to make a name for themselves with syrah, a muscular, highly tannic wine grape. Most wine drinkers think of syrah as a warm-climate grape, but it shows best when grown in what winemakers call “a warm site in a cool climate,” like our valley. With a rustic, almost leathery texture, syrah is a dark-colored wine that at times can have some wildness to it, making it the perfect pairing with braised venison or beef bourguignon. —Condé Cox

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