Where: The Willamette Valley is Oregon’s largest AVA. It runs from the Columbia River in Portland south through Salem to the Calapooya Mountains outside Eugene. Named for the river that flows through it, the Willamette Valley has the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards in Oregon and includes six sub-appellations.
Climate: The Willamette Valley is relatively mild throughout the year, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. While moisture is abundant, most of the rainfall occurs in the winter, not during growing season. This temperate climate, combined with coastal marine influences, make the gentle growing conditions within the Valley ideal for cool climate grapes, including pinot noir and pinot gris.
Van Duzer Corridor: Our winemaker Judy Thoet loves the vineyard sites west of her home outside Salem. Late afternoon breezes blow through the Van Duzer Corridor from the Pacific Ocean to the east. These cool, nightly breezes affect ripening by allowing for a longer hang-time in the vineyard while maintaining balanced acidity and full maturity of the berries with flavors and complexity that we all love.
Soils: The Willamette Valley is an old volcanic and sedimentary seabed that has been overlaid with gravel, silt, rock and boulders brought by the Missoula Floods from Montana and Washington between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. The most common of the volcanic type is red Jory soil and is between four and six feet deep and provides excellent drainage for superior quality wine grapes.