Chehalem Mountains AVA
Willamette Valley, Oregon
As a sub AVA of the larger Willamette Valley wine region, the Chehalem Mountains AVA is located about 30 minutes southwest of Oregon’s largest city, Portland. Although Pinot Noir grapes were first planted here in the 1960s, AVA status wasn’t granted until 2006. However, the region has been instrumental in putting Oregon Pinot Noir on the world wine map.
The Chehalem Mountain AVA is one mountain mass made up of a series of ridges and hills that run miles northwest from the town of Newberg. The regions elevation level starts at 200 feet above sea level and reach up to 1633 feet at the top of the highest point, Bald Peak.
The degree of elevation the grapes are planted at affects the rainfall levels and temperatures. At the highest points where the rainfall is greater, grapes ripen up to three weeks earlier than they do lower down the mountain. With the northwestern edge of the mountain closest to the Pacific Ocean, it bears the brunt of the precipitation. The southeastern part however is warmer and drier.
The soil Chehalem Mountain soil is split into three profiles: Columbia River basalt, ocean sedimentary, and wind blown loess. The wind blown lakebed sediment, loess, is the predominant soil in the Chehalem Mountain wine region. The soils are excellent for viticulture as they are free draining, rich in iron, and lessen vigor and yield in the vines.
Chehalem Mountain Pinot Noir is the most popular variety, with light fruit driven styles and more concentrated examples from older vines. It often displays intense fruit flavors, earthy mushroom notes, fine-grained tannins, and acidity, hinting at the great aging potential.
Other outstanding wines made in the Chehalem Mountains are: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Pinot Blanc. 179 Chehalem Mountain vineyards, 53 Chehalem Mountain wineries, and 34 tasting rooms exist in this wine region amongst the 62,187 total acres, 2,685 of them planted to grape vines.
We are thrilled to offer our members a variety of tasty wines from this fantastic region in our monthly wine club box. Cheers!