The Willamette Valley is a vast and varied appellation that includes ten nested AVAs | Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, Laurelwood District, Lower Long Tom, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, Tualatin Hills, Van Duzer Corridor, and Yamhill-Carlton. We are going to highlight each AVA and provide some hopefully fun and useful history along the way.
Van Duzer Corridor | AVA
An American Viticultural Area, or AVA, is a specific type of appellation of origin used on wine labels. An AVA is a delimited grape-growing region with specific geographic or climatic features that distinguish it from the surrounding regions and affect how grapes are grown.
Established in 2019, the Van Duzer Corridor is peculiar for the Coast Range due to it being one where oceanic winds funnel into the Valley, creating a cooling effect, which occurs as early as 2pm in the afternoon. This unique breeze dries out the vine canopy and helps decrease fungus pressure, making it an attractive area for grape growing. These winds also offer additional protection to grapes skins by thickening them, leading to an abundance of color and tannin.
It’s an attribute famous to these parts and the winds support varies from one vintage to another. When other AVA’s in the Willamette Valley are facing warm conditions, the Van Duzer Corridor AVA is usually cooler. The opposite is also true that when these other AVA’s in the Willamette Valley face below normal temperatures, this AVA receives mild air from the ocean, lessening the cold. It’s an anomaly to these parts and makes it a coveted area to grow grapes with consistent quality.
There are roughly 60,000 acres in this AVA with 1,000 plus planted areas, and the soil is mostly marine sediment with basalt over siltstone bedrock. The most common grape varieties grown in the Van Duzer Corridor AVA are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. With over 27 vineyards and wineries and the fact that this AVA is just a hop, skip and a jump from Southwest Portland…there’s no reason you shouldn’t visit.
Salud to the Van Duzer Corridor AVA!