Willamette Valley AVA

Infobox Wine Region
name = Willamette Valley AVA

caption =
official name =
other name =
type = American Viticultural Area
year = 1984 [http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr;sid=bff700d0bbb2a632948b70fe7e91d7d4;rgn=div5;view=text;node=27%3A1.;idno=27;cc=ecfr#27: Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.90 Willamette Valley."] Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Jan. 29, 2008.]
wine years = 1965–present
country = USA
part of = Oregon
similar =
sub regions = Chehalem Mountains AVA, Dundee Hills AVA, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, McMinnville AVA, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Yamhill-Carlton District AVA
season =
climate region = I
heat units =
precipitation =
soil =
total size = convert|3300000|acre|km2|0Wine Institute, The (2008). [http://www.iwineinstitute.com/ava/avabystate.asp "American Viticultural Areas by State"] . Retrieved Jan. 29, 2008.]
planted =
vineyards =
grapes = Auxerrois, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cascade, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Early Muscat, Gamay Noir, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Marechal Foch, Melon, Merlot, Muller Thurgau, Muscat Canelli, Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Tocai Friulano, ViognierAppellation America (2007). [http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Willamette-Valley.html "Willamette Valley (AVA): Appellation Description"] . Retrieved Jan. 29, 2008.]
varietals =
wineries = 200
wine produced =
designation =
comments =

The Willamette Valley AVA, is an American Viticultural Area which lies in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The AVA is the wine growing region which encompasses the drainage basin of the Willamette River. It stretches from the Columbia River in the north to just south of Eugene in the south, where the Willamette Valley ends; and from the Oregon Coast Range in the west to the Cascade Mountains in the east. At convert|5200|sqmi|km2|-2, it is the largest AVA in the state, and contains most of the state's wineries; approximately 200 as of 2006. The boundaries of the Willamette Valley AVA were established in 1984, and since then six new, smaller AVAs have been created within the northern portion of Willamette Valley AVA. The Willamette Valley has a cool, moist climate, and is recognized worldwide for its Pinot Noir.

Although this distinction is not officially recognized, many wine connoisseurs further divide the Willamette Valley into northern and southern regions, the dividing line being the approximate latitude of Salem (approximately 45° north latitude). [http://www.answers.com/topic/willamette-valley-ava Barrons: Willamette Valley AVA]


The climate of Willamette Valley is mild year-round. Winters are typically cool and wet, summers are dry and warm; heat above convert|90|°F|°C|0 only occurs 5 to 15 days per year, and the temperature drops below convert|0|°F|°C|0 once every 25 years. Most rainfall occurs in the late autumn, winter, and early spring, when temperatures are the coldest. The valley gets relatively little snow (convert|5|in|cm|0 to convert|10|in|cm|0) per year. [http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub_ftp/reports/zone/Zone_2_narrative.html Oregon State University: Oregon Climate Zone Summary]

Not all portions of the Willamette Valley are suitable for vineyards, however, and the largest concentration of wineries is found west of the Willamette River, on the leeward slopes of the Coast Range, or among the numerous river and stream valleys created by Willamette River tributaries. By far, the largest concentration of wineries is in Yamhill County. [http://www.winesnw.com/nwillmap.html Wines Northwest: Map of Willamette Valley wineries]


There are six American Viticultural Areas within the Willamette Valley AVA. These smaller AVAs recognize regions within the larger Willamette Valley AVA that have distinctive climate, soil, elevation, or other physical features that make them noteworthy for wine production.

Chehalem Mountains AVA

The Chehalem Mountains AVA, established in 2006, stretches convert|20|mi|km|0 from Wilsonville in the southeast to Forest Grove in the northwest. The Chehalem Mountains includes Ribbon Ridge, Parrott Mountain, and Bald Peak. The petition process for the creation of the AVA began in 2001 and was led by David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyard.Wines Northwest (2006). [http://www.winesnw.com/news_reviews/newsandreviews_chehalemAVA.htm "Chehalem Mountains Becomes Oregon's Fifteenth American Viticultural Area"] . Dec. 27, 2006.]

Dundee Hills AVA

The Dundee Hills AVA in the hills north and west of Dundee [http://www.ttb.gov/notices/ttbnotice_no14.pdf United States Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau: 27 CFR Part 9, RIN:1513-AA50, Notice No. 14 "Proposed Dundee Hills Viticultural Area (2002R-218P)] 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. [http://www.dundeehills.org/presskit.htm Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association Press Kit] .

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 convert|15|mi|km|0 long by convert|6|mi|km|0 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.Purdue, Andy (2006). [http://www.winepressnw.com/features/story/7979592p-7872921c.html "Introducing the Eola-Amity Hills"] . "Wine Press Northwest". Retrieved Jan. 29, 2008.]

McMinnville AVA

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 convert|523|acre|km2|1 of vineyards, and includes lands with elevations ranging from 200 to convert|1000|ft|m|-2. [http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/pdf/05-912.pdf Federal Register vol 70 no. 11, Tuesday Jan 18 2005, Establishment of the McMinnville Viticultural Area (2002R-217P)] http://www.willamettewines.com/avas.shtml WillametteWines.com: Willamette Valley AVAs]

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 convert|0.25|mi|km|2 wide and convert|3.50|mi|km|2 long, and is convert|3350|acre|km2|0 in area, with convert|500|acre|ha|0 planted on 20 vineyards. It is estimated that between convert|1000|acre|km2|0 and convert|1400|acre|km2|0 in the region is suitable for planting. [http://www.ribbonridge.com/default.cfm?action=display&Essay_ID=138 Ribbon Ridge Vineyard: Ribbon Ridge AVA] [http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/pdf/05-10881.pdf Federal Register Vol 70 No. 104, Wednesday June 1, 2005, "Establishment of the Ribbon Ridge Viticultural Area" (2002R-215P)]

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 convert|200|ft|m|-2 to convert|1000|ft|m|-2 may be use to produce wines that bear the appellation name on their labels. The AVA includes over convert|1200|acre|km2|0 of vineyard, and the region is in the rain shadow of the convert|3500|ft|m|-2 Oregon Coast Range, a short distance to the west. The AVA was established in 2005. [http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/pdf/04-27016.pdf Federal Register Vol. 68 No. 194, Tuesday October 7, 2003, "Establishment of the Yamhill-Carlton District Viticultural Area" (2002R-216P)] [http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Yamhill-Carlton-District.html AppellationAmerica.com: Yamhill-Carlton District (AVA)]


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