Natural boundaries and the Willamette River create the 100-mile
long, 60-mile wide Willamette Valley, home to approximately
400 Oregon wineries and many more wine
shops and wine bars. Coolest of Oregon's wine
regions, this elongated, "V"-shaped Valley is bordered to the north by
the Columbia River, to
the south by the Calapooya Mountains (south of Eugene), to the east by
the Cascade Mountain foothills, and to the west by Oregon's Coast Range.
to be a cool, marginal wine-growing region, the Willamette Valley's
climate is suited to a narrower range of wine grape varieties than many
other American wine regions. Its average temperatures are cooler
than 75% of Washington's wine growing areas... not surprisingly, since
almost all Oregon wineries are located to the west -- the "wet side" --
of the Cascade Mountains, while most Washington wineries are
located to the east of the range. The Valley's climate is
particularly well matched to the early-ripening Pinot noir grape, for
which Oregon wineries in the region are strongly identified.
When the Willamette Valley AVA was first authorized 1984, its geographic
description included some 3.3 million acres! Twenty years later,
winemakers and wine growers succeeded in submitting applications for
approval of six sub-regions within the Willamette Valley, to better
describe micro climates proven over the years to be distinctly suited
for the growing of wine grapes. McMinnville Foothills, Dundee
Hills, Ribbon Ridge,
Yamhill-Carlton, Eola-Amity Hills
and the Chehalem Mountain were all authorized as official American
Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in 2005 and 2006.
Most of the
wine grapes grown in the Willamette Valley come from vineyards
located on bench-land hillsides in the western portion of the
Valley. To its north, the Willamette Valley includes
Oregon's largest city, the beautiful Portland, Oregon, providing
travelers a wide variety of amenities while visiting this
beautiful wine country and the many local Oregon wineries.
Navigating the Willamette Valley AVA
and its sub appellations
Northwest organizes the huge Willamette Valley AVA/appellation
into three general sections -
Additionally, our mapping system for the
North Willamette Valley - between Portland and Salem, west of
the I-5 corridor - consists of a network of maps, featuring the six
sub-appellations of that area, authorized as individual AVAs (American
Viticultural Areas); each of these lies entirely within the Willamette
Valley AVA. More detailed maps - including winery names, tasting
room hours and map locations - are linked to from the map below.
Click on the map regions of your
for a closer look and the locations of wineries.
print map, RIGHT mouse click over the map and do one of the
click on the “Print Picture” option;
Firefox click on “View image” then choose Print from the
browser pull down menu; or
Safari and Chrome
click on “Open image in new tab” then choose Print from browser
pull down menu.