Here is a look at the major wine regions of Oregon.
There are over 600 wineries now located here.
The Willamette Valley is the major contributor to the fine wine industry.
This area stretches from south of Portland to north of Eugene.
The Willamette Valley contains 6 AVA’s...
Chehalem Mountains AVA
The Chehalem Mountains AVA, established in 2006, stretches 20 miles (32 km) from
Wilsonville in the southeast to Forest Grove in the northwest. The Chehalem Mountains
includes Ribbon Ridge, Parrett Mountain, and Bald Peak. The petition process for the
creation of the AVA began in 2001 and was led by David Adelsheim of Adelsheim
Dundee Hills AVA
The Dundee Hills AVA in the hills north and west of Dundee. The area is 6,940 acres
(28.1 km²) in total size, with 1,300 acres (530 ha) planted with grapes. Over 25 wineries
and independent vineyards in this region produce over 44,000 cases of wine. The area is
particularly noted for its Pinot Noir; several wineries in the AVA have won
international recognition for their wines.
Eola-Amity Hills AVA
The Eola-Amity Hills AVA stretches from the town of Amity in the north to Salem in the
south. The hills cover an area west of the Willamette River approximately 15 miles
(24 km) long by 6 miles (10 km) wide. The Eola-Amity Hills area benefits from steady
winds off the Pacific Ocean that reach the Willamette Valley through the Van Duzer
corridor, a gap in the Oregon Coast Range, moderating the summer temperatures. The
name Eola is a tribute to the windy conditions in the area, and is derived from Aeolus,
the Greek god of wind.
The McMinnville AVA near McMinnville was established in 2005, in the hills to the
southwest of McMinnville, roughly running from McMinnville to Sheridan. The AVA
includes 14 wineries and 523 acres (2.1 km2) of vineyards, and includes lands with
elevations ranging from 200 to 1,000 feet (300 m).
Ribbon Ridge AVA
The Ribbon Ridge AVA, between Newberg and Gaston, is a ridge containing uplift of
ocean sediment. It lies at 45° 21' N, 123° 04' W, at the northwest end of the Chehalem
Mountains. The name originates in the 19th century. The ridge is approximately
0.25 miles (0.40 km) wide and 3.50 miles (5.63 km) long, and is 3,350 acres (14 km2) in
area, with 500 acres (2.0 km2) planted on 20 vineyards. It is estimated that between
1,000 acres (4 km2) and 1,400 acres (6 km2) in the region is suitable for planting.
Yamhill-Carlton District AVA
The Yamhill-Carlton District AVA in the area surrounding the towns of Yamhill and
Carlton. Only grapes grown in vineyards with elevations ranging from 200 feet (100 m)
to 1,000 feet (300 m) may be use to produce wines that bear the appellation name on
their labels. The AVA includes over 1,200 acres (5 km2) of vineyard, and the region is in
the rain shadow of the 3,500 feet (1,100 m) Oregon Coast Range, a short distance to the
west. The AVA was established in 2005.
In the Willamette Valley, Pinot noir is the grape of choice. The warm, dry summers and
cool nights are perfect for Pinot. The season usually starts out slightly cool and wet,
with flowering in June, veraison in August and harvest in the end of September through
the end of October.
The typical cool climate varietals can be seen all over the landscape, with Pinot gris,
Pinot blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, etc.
The trellising method of choice is Vertical Shoot Positioning for most of the vineyards in
the Willamette Valley.
The soil composition is a mixture of volcanic sediment, marine sediment and Missoula
The AVA’s of Southern Oregon are as
•Red Hill Douglas County
The climate tends to be slightly warmer than the Willamette Valley.
The soil composition is sedimentary bedrock with some volcanic deposit.
The topography is slightly more varied than Willamette, with mountains and valleys.
Vineyards are often located at elevations of 1000 to 2000 feet, on steep inclines.
The Columbia Gorge AVA, located along the border of
Oregon and Washington, has a number of wineries
producing quality products.
The area has great outdoor activities, so wine tourism
could eventually flourish there.
The wine region is spread out over a long area, with
cooler weather in the west and warmer weather in the
As you get towards the Columbia Valley AVA, it turns to
desert like conditions, and warm weather varietals are
The topography is dominated by valley landscapes and
The soil is volcanic sedimentary deposit.
There is also slivers of the Columbia River Valley AVA and Walla Walla AVA that hang
down in Northern Oregon. These areas have a continental high desert climate. They
grow warm weather varietals, and rely on irrigation for farming. The soil consists of
vocanic deposits and Missoula Floods deposits.
The Walla Walla Valley portion sits on the edge of the Blue Mountains, and is typically
hot and dry with vast open areas.
The Snake River Valley AVA is shared with Idaho, and has only 1 operating winery on
the Oregon side.
Columbia River Valley