The Scenic Route
When it comes to wine in Oregon, it’s probably Pinot Noir that first comes to mind. The Pinot here can be truly amazing, but there are other grapes that forward thinking and creative growers in the region have planted, from Chardonnay & Riesling to rarer creatures like Savagnin and Trousseau.
The Willamette Valley AVA in Western Oregon runs 60 miles east to west and 100 miles north to south,and is filled with 11 sub AVAs each with its distinctive climate and soils.
Today we are headed to one of those nested AVAs
Ribbon Ridge AVA in Oregon’s Willamette Valley
Ribbon Ridge is the tiniest of Oregon’s AVAs size wise, but this tiny AVA has big ideas.
The ridge itself was once a tiny island when this area was covered in ocean.
It is set out a little from the Chehalem Mountains and is a nested AVA within the larger Chehalem Mountains AVA. It’s the soils that set it apart.
This 5 and a quarter square mile area has uniform soils of ocean sediment which are younger than those of the surrounding areas.
The first vineyard was planted here in 1980 and soon it grew to a community of winegrowers, all of whom were independent thinkers.
Meet Dan Warnshuis, president of the Ribbon Ridge AVA and the force that brought these independent personalities together to create one of the most environmentally forward-thinking AVAs in the Nation.
We spent some time with Dan to find out all about his Pinot Noir’s, and how he found his Utopia.
We also talk a little about his Clones of Pinot Noir, We enjoys the views from his Utopia Log Cabin, which you can stay at, We taste through a Vertical of Pinot Noir’s and then finish off with a custom Recipe paired with one of his wines.
An In depth look at one of many of the Wineries that call Ribbon Ridge Home.