The Willamette Valley AVA stretches from the Columbia River in the north to just south of Eugene in the south, where the Willamette Valley ends; and from the Oregon Coast Range in the West to the Cascade Mountains in the East. It is the largest AVA in the state, and contains most of the state’s wineries. You’re bound to find something for every taste!
The climate of Willamette Valley is mild year-round, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers; extreme temperatures are uncommon. Most rainfall occurs outside the growing season and the valley gets relatively little snow. Not all parts of the Valley are suitable for viticulture, and most wineries and vineyards are found west of the Willamette River, with the largest concentration in Yamhill County.
The region is best known for its Pinot noir, and also produces large amounts of Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, and Riesling. The region also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Sémillon, and Zinfandel grapes, but in far smaller quantities.
The region is divided into six nested AVAs: Chehalem Mountains AVA, Dundee Hills AVA, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, McMinnville AVA, Van Duzer Corridor AVA and the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. A seventh AVA the Ribbon Ridge AVA is nested entirely within the Chehalem Mountains. In addition, many wine connoisseurs further divide the Willamette Valley into northern and southern regions approximately at the latitude of Salem.