Best Wineries in Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley region is the largest American Viticultural Area in the state. The region is known for growing some of the exclusive variety of grapes that are perfect for producing amazing Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines. The area covers 5,200 square miles and a large number of wineries are located here. There are six sub regions in the Willamette Valley AVA and each AVA has a unique climate, soil and elevation that has a lot of impact on the quality of wines produced here. A rich diversity in wines can be experienced as a result, with each having a defined character. Despite, the vineyards located so close to each other, there is a marked difference in the flavor of the wines.
The best wineries in Willamette Valley are spread over a very wide area and it is a pleasure to spend time in them. In 2006, the Chehalem Mountains AVA came into existence, encompassing 70,000 acre area that stretched from Wilsonville to Forest Grove. The vineyards cover almost 1,600 acres. This region has almost a hundred vineyards and 31 wineries. The soil of this region is perfect for grape cultivation. The soil types in this region are basaltic, blown lake bed sediment and ocean sedimentary.
Located to the west of Dundee, the Dundee Hills AVA is encompassesa 12,500 acre area. The grapes are cultivated in 1, 700 acres. This region is known for some of the most exclusive wines and the vineyards located in this region get protected by the elevated Coast Range mountains from the ever changing ocean climates. Pinot Noir is the most popular wine produced in the area. Many wineries of this region are globally recognized.
The 15 mile long area is covered by another sub region, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. This region lies between Salem in the south and Amity in the north. The steady winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean offer great advantages in grape production. The area covers 40,000 acres, out of which 1,300 acres is covered with vineyards. The volcanic basalt soil that is produced by erstwhile lava flows, alluvial deposits and marine sedimentary rocks is good for grape production.
In 2005, The McMinnville AVA came into existence and the area covers almost 40,500 acres. There are 14 wineries and 523 acres of vineyards in this sub region. The altitude of this area lies between 200 Ft. to 1,000 Ft. and grape production is facilitated with the unique soil suited perfectly for this purpose.
The other two regions are the Ribbon Ridge and the Yamhill-Carlton District. Both regions are known for fine wines. The region experiences perfect weather suitable for grape production and the soil is also quite unique. The wines produced in the area are full bodies and have a depth that is seen in premium quality wines. This area is soon gaining a lot of popularity and the wine tours and wine tasting events organized from time to time increases the interest of the wine lovers coming from far and wide. They love to sample local wines and enjoy their unique flavors.