The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary


The largest wine region in Oregon is the Willamette Valley, lying between the cities of Portland and Eugene and home to most of Oregon’s wineries. As it does not have one homogeneous climate, it has been broken up into several different AVAs. In the best of them, the perfect amounts of wind, rain, sun exposure, and altitude combine to give Pinot Noir the warm days and cool nights it needs in order to thrive. Combine that with good drainage and poor soils, and you’ve got the perfect environment for world-class Pinot Noir. The most old-world-style examples come from Ribbon Ridge, Eola-Amity Hills, and Dundee Hills - indeed, this last AVA is the one that put Oregon Pinot Noir on the map. While Oregon is known mostly for its Pinot Noir, many other grape varieties are grown there with stellar results, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Riesling, Sémillon, Chenin Blanc, and Chardonnay.
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