The Beautiful Willamette Valley And Its Distinct Growing Regions

The beautiful Willamette Valley is the outstanding wine region in Oregon. For millions of years the area has been transformed by ice, lava, water, and time. It is a patchwork of 7 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVA) producing wonderful wines. Besides the Willamette Valley AVA, which includes Washington County; and the sub-apellations Chehalem Mountains AVA, Dundee Hills AVA, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, McMinnville AVA, Ribbon Ridge AVA, and the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA; there are several sub-sub-apellations.

The Valley is a mixture of large city, active suburbs, and small towns that seem taylor-made for the postcard industry. It often feels as if you are driving through the Mid-West, rather than the Pacific Northwest.

This wine region is a 5,200 square mile area; from the Columbia River south to Eugene, and from the Oregon Coast Region east to the Cascade Mountains. It was forged from fire and ice. Its mild weather, cool and moist, is ideal for Pinot Noir.

View Larger Map Washington County has managed to produce excellent wine despite the fact that is quite urbanized. The wine producing area is close to Portland and its high-tech companies, but there is plenty of space for the grape.

In the case of grape growing, geology is destiny. Washington County is the beneficiary of Spokane floods during the last ice age. This event left behind slit and pebbles that provide drainage and ideal growing conditions for the vines.

Make sure not to miss Yamhill County, another popular wine making region. The towns of Newberg, Dundee, Lafayette, McMinnville, to name a few, are friendly, lovely, and sometimes wacky!

Though serious winemaking started in the 1960s, it has become a star. Its close proximity to Portland makes it an ideal place to visit. Charming towns, great wines, and great food makes Yamhill County a superb destination for wine country travel.

There is so much to see and do in this area, with its sub-apellations and sub-sub-apellations; it really is a must visit anyone interested in wine, especially pinot noir.

Willamette Valley Wine Country Is Ideal For A Wine Vacation

Return to Oregon Wine Country from Willamette

Return to Home Page from Willamette Valley