Drive 19 miles from Portland on Highway 99, and the Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA) will be the first Willamette Valley sub-AVA you encounter. This land is made up of a mélange of marine, volcanic and sedimentary soils. There’s a high content of quartz in the marine soil and iron in the volcanic, all blended with the fine, glacial, sedimentary soil called “loess” that was blown over the top by the winds. There can be wild deviations in soil types from vineyard to vineyard, thanks to the way the mountains shifted and poked their way upward over the past millennia. Also, the weather here is the most variable in the Valley because of the different elevations from hill to hill. All this is translated within the vine into excitingly complex wines. This is terroir in action.

The birds head-shaped AVA, established in 2006, is twenty miles long, five miles wide and resides between 200-1633 feet on Bald Peak, the highest point in the Willamette Valley. Approximately 1600 acres are planted with grapes. This is home to some of the first roots in Oregon Pinot Noir, planted by Dick Erath in the late 1960s. Shortly after, the Ponzis and Adelsheims moved into the neighborhood, building the base of the Oregon wine industry, the cornerstone being the late David Lett of Eyrie. In the mid-‘90s, geologist-turned-winemaker Mike Hallock put his previous career to good use when he selected property for Carabella Vineyards on Parrett Mountain. Since then, his Pinot Noirs have grown up to be some of the most delicate and graceful in the world. Hallock is quick to point out that “it’s all about the vineyard site,” and Parrett Mountain is certainly a jewel in this crown, but he makes good wine that expresses the site.

Chehalem Mountains wineries produce wines with a uniquely bright, intense, spicy cherry character—something along the lines of a maraschino—distinctive enough to expose them in a blind tasting. There even seems to be a different, brighter ruby color to wines from this area. The iron rich volcanic Jory soil in the earth blend adds acidity to the wines, balancing the tannins. While a “silky cherry” flavor component is a hallmark of Oregon Pinot Noir, Chehalem wines have a marked intensity compared to the others. These wines are great with food, but often stand out among their Willamette peers as cocktail wines, delicious to drink on their own. ~Rob Boss

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Ribbon Ridge AVA



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Top Varieties

 

Pinot Noir

Chardonnay

Riesling

Pinot Gris/Grigio

Pinot Blanc



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Chehalem Mountains Wineries - Highest Wine Critic Ratings


1.   Bergstrom Winery  
5.0
5.0
2.   Le Cadeau Vineyard  
5.0
5.0
3.   Alloro Vineyard  
4.5
4.   Ayres Vineyard & Winery  
4.5
5.   Beaux Freres  
4.5
6.   de Lancellotti Family Vineyards  
4.5
7.   J K Carriere Wines  
4.5
8.   Prive Vineyard & Winery  
4.5
9.   Sequitur  
4.5
10.   Trisaetum Vineyards  
4.5

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All Chehalem Mountains Wineries (69) [map view]


A Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery

Adelsheim Vineyard

Alloro Vineyard

Anam Cara Cellars - Vineyard

Aramenta Cellars

ArborBrook Vineyards

Archer Vineyard

Ardiri

Ariniello Vineyard

Artisanal Wine Cellars

August Cellars

August Cellars Tasting Room

Ayres Vineyard & Winery

Beaux Freres

Beckham Estate Vineyard

Bells Up Winery

Bergstrom Winery

Blakeslee Vineyard Estate

Brick House Wine Company

Catman Cellars

Chehalem

Claygate Estate Vineyards

Colene Clemens

Crowley Wines

de Lancellotti Family Vineyards

Domaine Divio

Eastburn Vineyards

Et Fille Wines

Gresser Vineyard

Gypsy Dancer Estates

Hawks View Cellars

Hazelfern Cellars

Idealist Wines

J Albin Winery

J Christopher Wines

J K Carriere Wines

K & M Wines

Lachini Vineyards

Le Cadeau Vineyard

Matzinger Davies Wine Co.

Naked Grape Winery

Natalie's Estate Winery

Noel Family Vineyard

North Valley Vineyards

Parrett Mountain Cellars

Patricia Green Cellars

Ponzi Tasting Room - Sherwood

Prive Vineyard & Winery

Quailhurst Vineyard Estate

Rain Dance Vineyard

Rallison Cellars

Raptor Ridge Winery

Redman Wines

Rex Hill Vineyards

Ruby Vineyard

Sequitur

St. Reginald Parish

Stephen Goff Wines

Styring Vineyards

Swick Wines

Terra Vina Wines

The Potter's Vineyard & Clay Art Gallery

Toluca Lane - Three Trees Lane

Tresori Vineyards

Trisaetum Vineyards

Utopia Vineyard and Cellars

Vidon Vineyard

Volare Vineyard

Whistling Ridge Vineyards