Willamette Valley AVA
Chehalem Mountains AVA | Dundee Hills AVA | Eola-Amity Hills AVA | McMinnville AVA |
Ribbon Ridge AVA | Van Duzer Corridor AVA | Willamette Valley AVA | Yamhill-Carlton AVA
Concentrated grapegrowing in Oregon began here, with initial plantings in 1966 and ongoing vineyard growth in the intervening forty years adding over 10,000 acres, largely because of the benign but challenging cool climate and the protection of mountains on eastern and western boundaries—and, also largely because of one grape variety, Pinot noir. A large AVA of 3,438,000 acres (5372 square miles), running from Portland in the north to Eugene in the south, it includes rich alluvial soils on the valley floor, that are great for agriculture but inappropriate for high quality grapegrowing, and a selection of volcanic, loess and sedimentary soils on hillsides of varying mesoclimates.
To acknowledge the uniqueness of certain smaller growing hillsides inside the valley, AVA designation was requested for six areas in the northern valley, which contain sixty per-cent of the currently planted acreage of the Willamette Valley. All these new AVAs have minimum elevations around 200 feet; some also have a maximum of 1000 feet.
Willamette Valley Wineries
Total Area: 3,438,000 acres
Planted Area: 24,436 acres
Most common grape varieties: Pinot noir (68%), Pinot gris (17%), Chardonnay (8%)