Near Salem, about an hour and a quarter southeast of Portland, is the seahorse-shaped American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Eola-Amity Hills. The AVA, contained entirely within the larger Willamette Valley AVA, was established in 2006 and includes elevations between 200 and 1100 feet. Soil content is a quirky mixture with a thin layer of sedimentary soil left from the Missoula Floods overlaying iron-rich soil and Basalt rock from volcanic activity, and marine soil more or less underlying it all. It’s arguably less about the soil, though, than it is about the winds; the name Eola comes from Aeolus, the Greek god of winds. It’s the winds that make Eola-Amity’s character: the Van Duzer corridor funnels cool sea breezes over the hills, rapidly cooling the vineyards but also increasing evaporation. Foliage is thinner and vines are challenged to produce their fruit, gaining complexity as they respond to unique climactic changes. Grapes retain their acidity but the skins thicken to protect themselves, producing more tannins to balance it out. “It kind of depends on what side of the hill you’re on,” says John Grochau of Grochau Cellars, who finds more red fruit on the west side. The east side has more protection from the wind, which allows longer growing days, bringing out more black and blue fruit and spice flavors. Black and blue fruit flavors abound in this AVA, the drastic temperature changes yielding remarkable structural components. “There’s a tension to the structure,” says Erica Landon, giving substance to that particular je ne sais quois. She and Ken Pahlow of Walter Scott Wines produce wines full of floral, black fruit aromatics, cassis and blackberry flavors, with breathtaking elegance. There’s an interesting, ageable balance to wines from this area, however accessible they may be in the early stages. It’s this balance that Eola-Amity is known for and enjoyed, particularly with food. Scroll down for a comprehensive list of Eola-Amity Hills AVA wineries and click “map view” to access the advanced winery search. Whether you would like to visit a winery that has food available to complement its wines, hosts vineyard weddings, or produces wines from organic grapes, we make it easy to find the best Eola-Amity Hills wine tasting and touring destinations.