Chehalem Mountains AVA is a single uplifted landmass southwest of Portland in the northern Willamette Valley, extending 20 miles in length and 5 miles in breadth, stretching from southeast to northwest. It includes several discrete spurs, mountains and ridges, such as Ribbon Ridge and Parrott Mountain. The highest point within the Willamette Valley is the Chehalem Mountains’ Bald Peak (at 1,633 feet) which affects weather for the AVA and for adjoining grape growing hillsides. It is the geography and climate that differentiate this AVA from others. All three important hillside soil types are represented: basaltic, ocean sedimentary and loess (blown lake bed sediment), the predominant soil on the northern face of the Chehalem Mountains. Within the almost 70,000 acres of this AVA are over 1,600 acres of grapes, grown in over 100 vineyards, and 31 wineries.
A well kept secret of Oregon is the Eola-Amity Hills AVA with 95 vineyards, 30 wineries and 20 tasting rooms. Located in the center of the Willamette Valley AVA and due east of the Van Duzer Corridor, it is no wonder some of Oregon’s best varietals are grown here and hone to many wineries and tasting rooms. With an agricultural history dating back to the 1850s, grapes were first planted in the 1970s, and officially becoming an AVA in 2006 it now has approximately 2,850 acres of vines planted. Greatly inflected by its position to the Van Duzer Corridor, the climate is ideal for cool-climate grape varieties. The soil is mostly volcanic basalt, marine sedimentary and alluvial deposits in the lower elevations of the ridge with elevations between 250 to 700 feet. You will not only find premium Pinot Noirs here, but also Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc.
Just west of the town of McMinnville, Oregon, hidden in the rolling coast range foothills you will find the vineyards and wineries of the McMinnville AVA. The 1600+ acres of vineyards are all located between 200 and 1,000 feet above sea level. The most common soil types are marine sedimentary and basalt. The coastal range provides a shadow for the weather coming from the coast creating a unique climate of warm days and cool nights, perfect for growing high quality fruit.The whites are distinguished for their bright, fruit forward profiles. The Pinot Noir wines are known to be rich with strong black and blue fruit flavors. You will enjoy true Oregon country hospitality meeting the wine families of the Mcminnville AVA.