Oregon's Chehalem Mountain AVA
Chehalem Mountain is one of Oregon's newest AVAs, and a sub-appellation of the
existing Willamette Valley region. This viticultural area is 19 miles southwest of Portland and 45
miles east of the Pacific Ocean. It is 20 miles in length and 5 miles wide.
The Numbers: are: 100 vineyards, 31 wineries, 1,500 vineyard
acres as of September 2009.
Chehalem Mountains' wine growing history dates back to 1968 when UC Davis refugee Dick Erath purchased
49 acres on Dopp Road in Yamhill County. He aptly called the property Chehalem Mountain Vineyards. By the
mid to late 1970s, there was a patchwork of vineyards in the area, including those owned by such modern
wine pioneers as The Adelsheims and The Ponzis. Over the next three decades other reputable winegrowers
planted roots in the area, and today there are nearly three dozen wineries and 100 vineyards. The
appellation was approved in the late fall of 2006.
Climate: Chehalem Mountains' elevation goes from 200 to 1,633 feet, resulting in varied annual
precipitation (37 inches at the lowest point and 60 inches at the highest) as well as the greatest
variation in temperature within the Willamette Valley. These variations can result in three-week
differences in the ripening of Pinot Noir grapes.
Soils: Chehalem Mountain has a combination of Columbia River basalt, ocean sedimentation, and
wind-blown loess derivation soil types
Pinot Noir is the predominant grape variety in the Chehalem Mountains. Pinot Gris and
Chardonnay are also widely grown and, to a lesser extent, Pinot Blanc and Riesling.
The wineries are currently listed in Willamette Valley. Information provided by Oregon Wine and Willamette Valley wineries.
The wineries of Oregon's Willamette Valley
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