Wine

How to Pronounce Willamette Valley Correctly

What words should one learn to properly pronounce before moving to Oregon? For this wine lover, the answer was easy, Willamette. While it's true Willamette Valley is far more laid back than say, Napa. Mispronunciations that big, are ripe for a correction.

Willamette (as in the Willamette Valley the Oregon wine region) is pronounced Will-AM-it. While living in the beautiful gifted Pacific Northwest I learned the phrase “It’s Will-AM-it, dammit!” which quickly codified the correct pronunciation of Willamette in my mind. So for you my fellow wine lover, there you go! Will-AM-it is how you properly pronounce it.

How to Pronounce Willamette

I’ve been learning to speak Italian myself lately and get a kick out of realizing how many words I’ve been pronouncing wrong all my life in Italian! Like Orecchietti and Cacio e Pepe. I’m fascinated with the “whys” behind common mispronunciation. This is exactly why I love the video below with Willamette Valley, with founder, David Adelsheim. Not only do you get to hear Willamette being pronounced properly, but you also get to find out why it might be tricky to say for some people.

Pronunciation key for Willamette: Will-AM-it

Oregon’s Willamette Valley was awarded Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2016 Wine Region of the Year. I’m sure shortly there after a lot of people just like me were learning about the area for the first time. If you still fall into that camp, here’s a lovely video that explains what makes the Willamette such a unique wine valley.

A big part of the reason people research how to pronounce Willamette Valley is they are about to do their first Pinot Noir wine tour in the area. If you are one of those lucky people you might want to also take a little time to look into wine tasting etiquette specific to the Willamette Valley. Even if you’ve done wine tasting tours in Italy, California, France, and Spain, each wine region has its own culture and therefore subtle differences in wine tasting etiquette in the Willamette. I will admit I was nervous for my first wine tasting which is why I called ahead to wine tour companies and asked for the article linked to above.

Salute my wine-loving friend. Enjoy the Willamette!

2 comments

  1. Funny post 🙂 I was taught how to say Wil-LAM-ette by my Oregonian friend. I used to live in a town called McPherson (Mick-FUR-sun) which had the slogan “No Fear in McPherson.” All these sublet things that separate locals from non-locals. Oh and Houston street? As a descendant of the HOW-ston family I’ve known the “real” way to say it my whole life. 😉

    Like

    1. Ok now that’s a story I want to hear! Your Houston Family tale. I can’t trace my family back for too many generations on either side, so I’m always fascinated by others stories.

      Like

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