Did you know?
The Umpqua Valley AVA, established in 1984, consists of 693,329 acres in Douglas County. Many of the valleys run east to west, driving cool maritime air flows far inland from the coast during most of the growing season.
There are many factors that influence the flavors of wine such as; soil, climate and slope. These soils range from coarse gravel to very coarse cobbled in texture, but the extreme steepness and solar insulation contribute to the wine quality.
In the relative short history of the Umpqua’s current wine industry, its broad diversity makes it possible for the successful growing of more than 30 wine-grape varieties.
The Umpqua Valley is warmer than the Willamette Valley wine region to the north, and cooler than the Rogue and Applegate wine regions to the south. The Umpqua Valley currently hosts 23 wineries, providing a variety of microclimates and offering the best of its neighboring grape-growing regions.
The single-vineyard and single-winery appellation of Oregon’s Red Hill Douglas County also lies completely within the Umpqua Valley AVA’s boundaries. So too does the most recently authorized Elkton Oregon AVA. As the Umpqua River juts westerly in the northern end of the Umpqua Valley AVA the cooler microclimate that defines the Elkton Oregon AVA is all but trapped by its topography to create an ideal growing condition for cool-climate viticulture.
Diversity is the key word for the Umpqua region – diversity of microclimates created by the many hills and valleys and diversity of soil types due to the varying ages and structure of its major geological players. The Umpqua wine region is cool enough to produce high-quality Burgundy wines from varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, yet warm enough to grow Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot. Add that to the fruity and floral Rieslings and Gewürztraminers reminiscent of Germany and you begin to appreciate the versatility this region allows the winemaker.
Visiting these magical venues is more than just a tasting experience. Learning the methods and history of wine making, food and wine paring, and meeting the winemakers are all benefits to this encounter.