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Posts Tagged ‘Willamette Valley’

Time for a glass of wine!

Our walk through the vineyards at Winderlea eventually brought us to the far side of the property and a cabana with a magnificent view to the Dundee Hills. With all that hard work and brain power expended that morning, it was now time for a little R&R!

What did our hosts have in store for the us rest of the afternoon? A comparative pinot noir tasting paired with a multi-course lunch prepared by chef David Bergen of Tina’s restaurant in Dundee. Our group arrived just in time to sample chef Bergen’s first culinary treat that afternoon. A glass of  pinot noir rosé paired with pan fried Willapa oysters and sorrel mayonnaise.

back at Winderlea headquarters..

With our appetites fired up and lunchtime fast approaching, our group wandered through the vineyards and back up the hill to the Winderlea winery. Here, we were greeted by Donna Morris, as well as some of the most amazing aromas to ever emanate from a kitchen..

le menu

Those Willapa oysters were just the beginning! The main food /wine pairing theme today was pork (from a small local farm) as the menu above indicates.  Chef Bergen’s risotto with pancetta and porcini mushrooms was probably the best I have ever had.

Winderlea, Erath and Stoller Vineyards Pinot Noir

And what exactly pairs best with such an inspired menu? How about pinot noir! Take your pick..as our group was presented with multiple flights of pinot noirs from the Winderlea, Erath and Stoller Vineyards. During lunch, I was fortunate enough to sit next to and chat up winemaker Robert Brittan, who is also the owner of his eponymous winery.

Turns out, Robert is a huge fan of cool climate syrah. More specifically those from the northern Rhone, which, as the Rhone buyer for K&L Wine Merchants, are right up my alley! Robert also kindly suggested that instead of making wine, my chances of success and the fun factor would be greatly increased if I made beer instead. Something tells me that he is probably right.

As we enjoyed courses one, two and three, winemaker Melissa Burr of Stoller Vineyards  led us through each of the various pinots noirs poured before us.  Erath’s Prince Hill Vineyard, the Winderlea 2008 lineup, as well as those from Stoller vineyards.

Winemaker Melissa Burr of Stoller Vineyards

 

Q:Were we able to recognize any general tasting consistencies regarding those wines produced on the east side of the Dundee Hills vs. those produced on the west side?

 A: Those wines form the East Side of the Dundee Hills seemed to exhibit more red fruit nuances, a spicy quality, and a bit more levity and brightness. The tannins also seemed a bit more fine. In contrast, wines from the West Side of the Dundee Hills displayed a touch more weight, and body, along with more blue fruit and earthier notes. The wines also seemed to carry a bit more tannic structure than those from the east side.

After lunch it was finally time for me to pack it up and head off to the airport for my return to the Bay Area.  As I had to leave a bit early, Donna sent me off with a selection of cookies for the ride back to Portland. My final moments at Oregon Pinot Camp were drawing to a close. What a wonderful experience. I learned so much in 3 days about the land, the people, and why cool climate varietals are really hitting their stride in these parts..

To those of you who live in Oregon, lucky you! To those of us who live in California, the plane ride is a short one, and the drive from Portland airport a scenic 45-60 minute drive. Of course there is great wine country here in California, but Oregon is different. Way different. And that is what makes a visit so rewarding and new. I look forward to exploring other wine growing regions of this state.

Good bye OPC, and thanks for the great experience!

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My third and final day in the Willamette Valley brought me back to the Dundee Hills, for what turned out to be one of the most interesting and personable events at Oregon Pinot Camp.

Far from being a competition or wine scoring “taste off” as the name might imply, “East Side vs. West Side” was a fantastic opportunity to really understand and taste the differences between to different terroirs within the same AVA or mesoclimate.

Winderlea: In the heart of the Dundee Hills AVA

The plan was for our group to convene at Winderlea Wine Co. before heading up the hill to our first vineyard stop. I was 20 minutes late..and got a ride up in the vineyard truck. Authentic! Our expert hosts for this in depth tour and tasting included:

 

Representing the East Side:

 Winderlea Wine Co:  owners Bill Sweat and Donna Morris;  Robert Brittan winemaker  

 Erath:  winemaker Gary Horner    

 Representing the West Side:

 Stoller Vineyards:   winemaker   Melissa Burr  

Gary Horner of Erath..breakin' it down

First on the agenda, our group of 10 or so were treated to the different soil profile of the Dundee Hills AVA. Gary explained that east side of the region contains high degree of volcanic basalt, the reddish lava-based soils known as Jory soils. This soil type is moderately fertile, drains fairly well, and exhibits light to moderate erosion levels.

 It is this eastern side of the where another legend of the Oregon wine industry first set down roots.  In 1972 Dick Erath of his eponymous winery produced the first commercial wine from the eastern side of these Dundee Hills. A whopping 216 cases!

In contrast, the western side of the Dundee Hills is comprised of a different soil makeup. Gary explained that further west, the sedimentary Willakenzie soil series covers the slopes of the Dundee Hills. More specifically, rather than decomposed volcanic basalt produced from igneous rock, Willakenzie soil is derived from sandstone, siltstone and tuffaceous materials. Great you might be saying, but really…

 How does all of this soil stuff translate to how a wine tastes?

We’ll find out later at our East Side vs. West Side comparative tasting!

 

Bill Sweat and Robert Brittan in the Winderlea Vineyards

After our soil tutorial, our group headed back to Winderlea Wine Co. , where we met co-owner Bill Sweat and winemaker Robert Brittan for a tour through the vines. Winderlea is the realization of a shared passion and dream between Bill Sweat and Donna Morris.

Originally from Boston MA, Bill and Donna move to Oregon in 2006, purchased the famous Goldschmidt Vineyard, and renamed their new venture “Winderlea”. This name was inspired after a Vermont  farm founded years ago by a Jewish/German family, for which “Winderlea” meant “a valley protected from the wind”.

a gopher's eye view of the vines

Winderlea Vineyard was originally planted in 1974 by owners John and Sally Bauers, and represents several blocks of the oldest own-rooted Pinot noir vines in the Willamette Valley. Bill explained that some of these old vines may eventually succumb to phylloxera.

 In 1998 ex-Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt purchased the vineyard and re-grafted existing parcels of chardonnay, gamay and cabernet sauvignon with pinot noir. David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyards (link) was hired to manage the re-plantings. 

Today, 16 acres at Winderlea is comprised entirely of pinot noir on 13 separate blocks.

Winemaker and viticulturalist Robert Brittan explained that high density planting, the introduction of Dijon clones, and biodynamic viticulture are practices that the winery are employing in order to produce high quality site specific wine as well respectful stewards of the land.

Next: lunch @ Winderlea and a comparative tasting of East Side vs. West Side!

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At 5:15 my alarm goes off as I groggily rub my eyes. Why am I awake so early? It takes me a second or two before realizing that this morning I am going to be flying up, up and away over the Willamette Valley in a hot air balloon!

The plan is to meet at 6 a.m. at WillaKenzie Estate, a stunning 420 acre domaine located in the Yamhill-Carlton District of the Willamette Valley. The estate takes its name from the Willakenzie soil which is evident throughout the approximately 100 acres planted to vines on the property.

This particular sedimentary soil, along with the region’s climate which, is so aptly suited to the production of cool climate varietals,  are what led Bernard (a native of Burgundy) and Ronni Lacroute to establish WillaKenzie Estate in the early 1990s.

After a quick cup of coffee and a morning pastry, three balloons were fired up and off we went for a breathtaking tour of the Valley. Check it out!

As we slowly floated upwards, we got birds eye view of the WillaKenzies’ 30 or so separate vineyard blocks that were dispersed amongst untouched parcels of Douglas Fir, oak and maple trees. These vineyard blocks are planted exclusively to vines of the pinot family. Below is a quick breakdown:

Pinot Noir:   67 acres    (10 different clones)

Pinot Gris:    18.4 acres

Pinot Blanc:   5.5 acres

Pinot Meunier:   3.6 acres

Gamay Noir:    3.2 acres  (a cousin of the Pinot family)

Differences in elevation (300-700ft), exposition, soil depth, row orientation and drainage are important factors which influence the  the specific “terroir or expression of each wine in the WillaKenzie lineup.

In addition to vineyard location, clonal selection is another factor, which when suitably paired with an ideal vineyard local can produce a more diverse range of wines with specific qualities and nuances. At WillaKenzie, 10 different clones of pinot noir are planted across the property. The idea is that each clone, planted to a specific terroir will elicit a different expression of pinot noir. These folks really practice what they preach. Take a look at the clonal bottlings from WillaKenzie below.

La sélection clonale de WillaKenzie Estate

After our balloon ride, our balloon group had worked up a pretty hearty appetite. (It’s hard work getting up that early to check out the view!) Luckily, a delicious breakfast buffet was waiting for us by the time we returned to the winery.

Fresh brewed coffee, make your own omelettes, bacon, waffles, fresh fruit, oatmeal and the oh so popular selection of Voodoo Doughnuts were on hand.

Sunday morning breakfast at WillaKenzie Estate

Quick, before all of the blood in my brain rushes to my stomach, it was time for a tour of the winery with Bernard Lacroute!  Located directly outside the WillaKenzie tasting room was a great overhead view of a portion of the winery’s cellar.

People Matter! Winemaking at Willakenzie Estate

Here, Bernard explained that along with the significance of soil, and clonal selection, the human element, or more specifically, winemaking practices are also important in the WillaKenzie equation towards the production of top notch, value driven wine. Three practices that the domaine enthusiatically promotes are:

 

Sustainable Viticulture and Winemaking

To promote and responsible stewardship towards the land and natural resources of the region. WillaKenzie Estate was the first winery to receive the new Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) winery certification. They are also the first winery to be awardreceive the Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW) designation for the 2008 vintage.
 

Gravity flow winemaking

To ensure the gentle handling of grapes and wine throughout the entire winemaking process. Gravity flow winemaking is essential in the production of high quality wine. Willakenzie employs this process for their entire range of wines.

Screw Cap Closures

In order to safeguard the highest level of quality and consistency to wine consumers. Willakenzie Estate was the first winery to bottle their premium pinot noir wines utilizing screw cap closures.

 

Thanks for the ride and visit WillaKenzie Estate!

 

Next: East Side meets West Side at Winderlea 

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Stay Cool..

On day two of Oregon Pinot Camp our OPC school bus dropped us off at Van Duzer Winery for a seminar and tasting of Oregon’s cool climate white wines. Van Duzer Winery is a family owned winery which is perfectly situated  in the foothills of the Van Duzer corridor.

This natural break in Oregon’s Coastal Range straddles the western side of the Willamette Valley and permits cool maritime air from the Pacific Ocean to flow eastward into the Willamette Valley. The influx of cool air helps moderate and mitigate the summer heat and higher temperatures throughout the growing season.

OPC's cool white experts..

Seated in the Van Duzer barrel room we met a panel of Oregon winemakers who led us through a comparative tasting and history of cool climate white wines from Oregon.

Facing us and from left to right were:

Harry Peterson-Nedry                 Chehalem

Josh Bergstrom                               Bergstrom Wines

Rob Stuart                                         R. Stuart & Co. 

David Paige                                       Adelsheim Vineyard    

Oregon Style:

Key on the agenda was the question of defining an “Oregon Style” of white wine. While each vineyard site and every winemaker will impart different characteristics to a finished wine, the Oregon white wines of today seem to overwhelmingly showcase New world fruit characteristics coupled with Old World structure and acidity. In terms of a winemaking, different approaches are employed to produce the following two styles of wine:

Fruit Forward Styles:

Objective: To showcase fruit character and characteristics of the vineyard site.

Winemaking Methods: Stainless steel fermentation at low temperatures, no malolactic fermentation, ageing in stainless steel or large neutral oak vessels.

Texturally Enhanced Styles:

Objective: To produce a wine with less overt fruit characteristics, but with richer flavors and a more generous mouthfeel (a.k.a. more textural)

Winemaking Methods: Barrel fermentation, lees contact, full or partial malolactic fermentation, barrel ageing.

Chardonnay flight # 1

Our first flight took us through a comparison/contrast of 6 different Chardonnays. This international varietal has experienced a tumultuous history here in Oregon. Back in the 1980s, chardonnay was the most widely planted white varietal in Oregon, accounting for 23% of the state’s planted acreage. At the time, some growers were grubbing up their pinot noir vines to plant more chardonnay.

However, the early chardonnay clones that were planted in the 1960-1970s were not optimal selections for Oregon. More specifically, the popular Selection 108 clone (U.C. Davis clone 4 & 5) yielded large late ripening clusters that only ripened successfully on a regular basis in southern Oregon. The resulting wines were often unevenly balanced in terms of both structure and flavor, yielding wines with either tart green apple acidity, or overripe tropical fruit flavors.

Fast forward to 1984 and 1988, when a series of chardonnay clones were introduced to Oregon from Burgundy. These new selections produced smaller clusters that bloomed and ripened 2-3 weeks earlier than the Davis clones. The grapes also exhibited more flavor and at lower sugar levels, which produced wines with more a subtle, integrated and balanced flavor profile than previously.

Gris from the Pinot family..

Flight #2 took us through a tasting through a selection Pinot Gris, which is Orgeon’s most widely planted varietal today. Back in 1966, David Lett (Eyrie Vineyards) was the first grower to commercially plant this genetic mutation of Pinot Noir in the US. The first release of this wine appeared in 1972, and since then the Orgeon wine industry has never looked back.

Ponzi Vineyards released their first Pinot Gris in 1983, and a year later Adelsheim Vineyards followed suite. Pinot Gris’  status in Oregon took another big leap in the early nineties when the King Estate began planting significant acreage of the variety as well as buying additional grapes from other growers to increase their production.

Cool Whites @ OPC flight #3

Our third and final flight was aptly described as a “fruit salad” tasting of lesser known white varietals planted in Oregon. Commercial winegrowing in the state began less than 50 years ago. With little experience and lacking centuries of grape growing trial and error like many regions in the Old World, Oregon winegrowers pretty much started from scratch.

Varietals like the ones shown above in our tasting were planted throughout the state. In addition, Muller-Thurgau, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Semillon were also planted, with varying levels of success.

 A Riesling Renaissance..

Of  particular interest to me is the Riesling revival that is currently taking place in Oregon. Back in the mid 1980’s, this delicate varietal accounted for approximately 19% of the total planted acreage. In 2010 this number has fallen to paltry 3.8%. However the Rieslings that I tasted on my last trip to Oregon were most impressive. What’s more, growers and winemakers from Oregon seem really keen on working more with this varietal.

Stylistically, the examples I tasted seem to lie somewhere between the rapier like acidity (and austerity) of a Clare or Eden Valley Riesling, and the weight of one from Alsace. They are fresh and energetic whites that I could easily drink just about any night of the week, and with any dish that I choose to prepare. I am impressed by what I have tasted, and definitely plan to try more of these..

 

Next: Willakenzie Estate

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After our afternoon in the Bethel Heights soil pits, it was time to wash up and partake in the OPC annual salmon bake. Skewering large salmon fillets on wood planks and roasting over an open fire (as seen above)..then feasting!

This year’s OPC salmon bake was hosted by Stoller Vineyards. Located smack dab in the middle of the Dundee Hills AVA, Stoller produces a range of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot noir rose. They are also the first gold LEED certified winery in the United States.

Pursuing and attaining this certification says mountains about the commitment Bill and Cathy Stoller have towards making a positive impact on the planet. Building a winery towards attaining LEED certification takes time, money and serious planning. Thank you Stoller vineyards for being such trailblazers and setting the bar so high when it comes to winegrowing, winemaking and a clean and healthy environment.

 

As myself and the other campers scampered around from table to table tasting wines and chatting it up, I grabbed a glass of 2008 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling. I have to admit that over the course of 3 days I tasted, re-tasted, then saddled up to the table for yet another taste of this lively white. Crisp and bright, with great acidity and nuances of fuji apple, pear and white peaches, this Riesling is a steal at $14 a bottle. Such a deal!

With my glass of Riesling in hand, I headed over to watch the salmon bake prep in action. This culinary tradition has deep roots throughout the pacific northwest. For centuries, Native American Indian tribes like the Makah, S’Klallam and Umpqua would spear freshly caught salmon on cedar or ironwood planks and roast the fish to perfection over hot coals. This Summer 2010 at Stoller vineyards was no different, except that we’d get to drink some pretty amazing wines with this culinary treat.

 

Like this 1987 Pinot Gris aged to perfection from Eyrie Vineyards, located in the Dundee Hills AVA. Eyrie Vineyards is one of the Willamette Valleys’ true originals. It is considered by many to be  the “birthplace” of Oregon pinot noir as it was founded when the region was truly in its infancy back in the mid 1960s. This is where it all began..when David Lett, a recent viticulture and enology grad of UC Davis,  planted the first pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris cuttings in the region. Papa Pinot, as David Lett came to be known, was a visionary, and he is greatly respected by everyone who knows and appreciates wines from this region.

At 23 years of age, this pinot gris (incidently, Lett was the first to plant this varietal in the USA) was nowhere near tired. What a treat to taste a wine made by the man himself, Papa Pinot.

NEXT: Oregons’ Cool Climate Whites

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Location, location, location. When it comes to red wine varietals, pinot noir is considered to be the most transparent and reflective of them all. More specifically, A vineyard’s environment, which includes the soil composition, exposition and weather each exact a significant imprint on the qualities of this fickle varietal. The notion of what and how soils affect the characteristics of pinot noir was what lead us into the “pits” at OPC.

This afternoon “in the vineyard” workshop was held at Bethel Heights  winery, located in the Willamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Here, two soil pits, each approximately 6 feet deep, had been dug at opposite sides of the vineyard.

Each pit served to illustrate the two basic soil types most commonly found throughout the Valley.  One pit revealed soils that were marine sedimentary in origin. The second pit, located a bit higher up the vineyard slope, contained  soils of volcanic basalt in origin.

At the beginning of the  workshop, we were asked to consider the following three questions which are listed below.  Our questions were summarily answered by a group of Willamette Valley winegrowers who know the region like the back of their hands.

 

Question I: What are the origins and physical characteristics of the different soil types throughout the vineyards of the Willamette Valley?

 Each of the twenty or so campers (including myself), took turns descending into the pits to take a closer look at the top and subsoils of the vineyard. As we did so, Mike Hallock of Carabella Vineyard de-briefed us on the origins of the different soil types throughout the Willamette Valley.

I. Marine/Sedimentary

Until around 12 million years ago, western Oregon was on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. For 35 million years prior, it was gradually accumulating layers of marine sediment, which ultimately comprise the oldest soils in the Willamette Valley today.

Starting 15 million years ago, immense pressure caused by the collision of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate gradually pushed the area that is now western Oregon out of the sea. The Coast Range as well as the volcanic Cascade Mountains were also formed as part of this upheaval. The Willmette Valley thus started as an uplifted ocean floor sandwiched between two large mountain ranges.

II. Volcanic/Basalt

During this same period, volcanic eruptions from the Cascade Mountains sent rivers of lava down and through the Willamette Valley, ultimately covering many parts of the regions with layers of basalt. (extrusive igneous rock)

Continued pressure led to the formation of numerous interior hill chains that are a combination of tilted and uplifted layers of volcanic basalt and sedimentary soils.

III. Ice Age/Loess

 The creation of a layer of wind-blown silt (loess) also contributed to the present day soil profile of the region, having derived from severely weathered basalts and sedimentary soils blown from the valley floor.

 IV. Flooding/Silt

 18-15 thousand years ago (much, much later) and at the end of the last ice age, the melting of a glacial dam near what is now Missoula, Montana repeatedly flooded the valley, leaving behind deep silts (soil or rock derived granular material with a grain size between sand and clay).

As our group moved further down the slope to the marine sedimentary pit, we were met by Ted Casteel, the co-founder and co-owner of Bethel Heights. Ted further explained some of the specific soil names associated with these four geological periods.

 I. Marine/Sedimentary

Examples: WillaKenzie, Bellpine, Chuhulpim, Hazelair, Melbourne, Dupee

II. Volcanic/Basalt

Examples: Jory, Nekia, Saum

 III. Ice Age/Loess

Examples: Laurelwood

 IV. Flooding/Silt

Examples: Wapato, Woodburn, Willamette

 After our soil pit exercise, our group sat down to a comparative blind tasting of Willamette Valley pinot noirs that was moderated by Jesse Lange. The purpose of this exercise was to shed light on this second question: 

 

Question II: Can specific flavor characteristics in pinot noir wines be correlated to specific soil types?

Although it is difficult to surmise with a sampling of just a few wines, I do believe that the generalizations below do hold some weight.

Pinot noir wines from volcanic soils:

Made in a style that accents the high toned aromatics, red/blue fruits, baking spices, and softer, more succulent tannins of volcanic soil.

Pinot noir wines from marine sedimentary soils:

 Made in a style showing the voluptuous blue/black fruit, earth tones, and bigger, heavier tannins that come from sedimentary soil.

 

Question III: What is the relationship between soil types and the AVA’s within the Willamette Valley?

 Or more specifically, how and where could one taste test this soil/pinot profile interplay? Below is a brief synopsis of each of the 6 Willamette Valley AVA’s, their principle soil profile, and key wineries that produce wines from these soils.

 * Dundee Hills AVA: mostly basaltic, with some marine sedimentary at lower elevations and on western and northern slopes.

Wineries: Stoller Vineyards, Sokol Blosser, Domaine Serene, Erath Vineyards, Lange Estate

* Eola-Amity Hills AVA: mostly basaltic, with some marine sedimentary at lower elevations and on western and northern slopes.

 Wineries: Bethel Heights, Brooks, Cristom, St. Innocent

* Chehalem Mountains AVA: basaltic and marine sedimentary on the southern and western slopes; ice age loess on the northeastern slope.

 Wineries: Chehalem, Ponzi, Adelsheim, Rex Hill

* Yamhill-Carlton District AVA: predominantly marine sedimentary

 Wineries: Soter Vineyards, WillaKenzie Estate, Lemelson Vineyards, Anne Amie Vineyards

* Ribbon Ridge AVA: entirely marine sedimentary

 Wineries: Trisaetum, Beaux Freres, Patricia Green, Brick House

* McMinnville AVA: primarily marine sedimentary with some basalt and alluvium.

 Wineries: Maysara Winery, Yamhill Valley Vineyards, Brittan Vineyards

After playing in the dirt and learning all about the Willamette Valley’s diverse soil types, it was time for me to head back to the hotel and wash up before the evening’s salmon bake at Stoller Vineyards. I took a cue from the Bethel Heights pug cutie and even got in a disco nap before the evenings’ festivities began!

Next: A Salmon Bake at Stoller Vineyards

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Before we jump into the deep end and explore the Willamette Valley, here are some key factoids about the region:

The Willamette Valley: double click to view enlarged map

 

State: Oregon

Region: Willamette Valley granted AVA status 1983

Sub-regions: With year granted AVA status 

Chehalem Mountains 2006

Ribbon Ridge 2005

Dundee Hills  2004

Yamhill-Carlton District  2005

McMinnville  2005

Eola-Amity Hills 2006        

Location: Commences in the north just south of Portland traveling southward to Eugene. Western and eastern boundries include the Oregon Coast Range and the Cascade Mountains respectively. The Willamette Valley AVA is the largest in Oregon, encompassing 5,200 square miles.

Latitude: 45 degrees

Elevation: Vineyards planted between 200-1000 feet above sea level on predominantly hillside slopes above and away from richer alluvial soils found on the valley floor.

Climate:  Maritime. Cool, wet winters and long dry summers. 50% of annual rainfall generally occurs between December – February. Long growing season. Protected from excessive coastal rainfall by the Coast Range on western side, and harsh continental climate temperatures to the east by the Cascade Mountains.

Important Geographical Markers: Coast Range, Cascade Mountains, Willamette River, Van Duzer Corridor

 

Soil: Volcanic, loess and sedimentary soils.

Chehalem Mountains: Basalt, ocean sedimentary, loess (lake bed sedimentary soils)

Ribbon Ridge: Largely marine sedimentary

Dundee Hills: Basalt –lava flow yielding red soils known as “Jory”

Yamhill-Carlton District: Largely marine sedimentary. Some of the oldest in the Valley.

McMinnville: Marine sedimentary, loam and silt resting on basalt. In general shallower soils.

Eola-Amity Hills: Basalt with marine sedimentary and alluvial deposits. In general shallower topsoils. Significant wind and cooling influence provided by the Van Duzer corridor, a gap within the mountainous Coast Range.

Chief Hazards: Spring frosts, insufficient rain during growing season, early fall rains at or around harvest time.

Harvest: Generally late September-early October

Pinot Noir at Domaine Drouhin

 

Principal Varieties: pinot noir, pinot gris, riesling, chardonnay

Other Varieties: numerous including merlot, tempranillo, gruner veltliner, gewurztraminer, semillon

Total area under vine: 14000+ acres

Number of wineries: 200+ 

Next: OPC’s “soil pit”

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