Published on Dec 28, 2020 by Alexi Storm
Eight wineries from the Willamette Valley were recently named to Wine & Spirits’ 2020 Top 100 Wineries. The list is a diverse collection of wines from around the world that are selected from a blind tasting process. The Willamette Valley is Oregon’s leading wine region, home to two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards. It is recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir-producing areas in the world.
Buffered from Pacific storms on the West by the Coast Range, the valley follows the Willamette River north to south for more than a hundred miles from the Columbia River near Portland to just south of Eugene. To the east, the Cascade Range draws the boundary between the Willamette Valley’s misty, cool climate and that of the drier, more extreme climate of Eastern Oregon.
According to Tony Soter of Soter Vineyards, picking time is very important in Oregon, as wines picked later do not develop the same heights of aromatic interest. Overall, the valley’s climate boasts a long, gentle growing season that provides the best conditions possible for the cool-climate Pinot Noir. Almost all the grape growing in the valley is done on lower hillsides, avoiding deeply fertile alluvial soils and cooler hilltop mesoclimates.
It is on these hillsides that Pinot Noir uniqueness is found, which led a group of vineyards and wineries to submit a petition in 2002 to divide much of the northern part of the AVA into nine sub-appellations. Winemakers and industry officials worked together to create a state labeling law to safeguard the quality and ensure proper representation of the state’s terroir. The law requires Oregon Pinot Noir to be made of at least 90 percent Pinot grapes, instead of the current national standard of 75 percent. The same is true for regional naming, 95 percent of a wine’s grapes must come from the Willamette Valley for it to be labeled as such.
AgriBusiness Trading Group, a Peoples Company affiliate, has available for acquisition an elite vineyard property and residence in the center of Oregon’s Wine Country, the Willamette Valley. This asset is south of Monmouth and west of Highway 99 in Polk County, Oregon.
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