Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety in Oregon. The cool climate during the ripening period is essential for Pinot Noir. Yields are kept low to maintain quality. The best soil types for Pinot Noir in Oregon are Red Jory Clay, Nekia, and a clay loam called Willakenzie Alluvial Soil. The Red Jory has excellent drainage and brings out the cherry fruit flavors sometimes found in Pinot Noir. Nekia needs added drainage and irrigation but Willakenzie soil drains on its own and holds water very well. Both of these soil types produce Pinot Noirs that feature black fruit flavors, and tend to be higher in tannins.
As far as white grapes go, Chardonay is the largest in production. Pinot Gris is on the rise however, and it's quality is often more reliable. Pinot Gris from Oregon shows strong fruit flavors and often an essence of honey.