Dundee Hills

Dundee Hills AVA Map

Location: Dundee Hills is a sub-appellation within the Willamette Valley located 28 miles southwest of Portland and 40 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Rising above the low, flat floors of the surrounding Willamette and Chehalem Valleys, the Dundee Hills offer spectacular views, including Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson's majestic snowy peaks.

Wine history: Winemaker David Lett planted the first Pinot noir in the Dundee Hills in 1965, naming it The Eyrie Vineyard. Soon after, Dick Erath, the Sokol Blosser family and other winemakers cleared south-facing slopes to plant many of Oregon's first vineyards. They whole-heartedly believed this area would one day be an important cool-climate wine-growing region. It didn't take long for the world to discover Dundee Hills and Oregon - after the relatively unknown Eyrie Pinot noir placed among the top three wines in the 1979 Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades, beating out more famous French labels. Today, the area remains home to many of Oregon's modern pioneer winemakers who continue to successfully grow and make premium wine. The appellation was approved in November 2005.

Climate: The Dundee Hills area is effectively an island protected from great climatic variations by surrounding geographic features. The Coast Range to the west lessens the effects of the Pacific Ocean's heavy rains and windstorms, and causes a rain shadow over the Dundee Hills area, resulting in just 30 to 45 inches of annual precipitation, most of which falls in the winter months outside of the growing season. Because of their slope and elevation, Dundee Hills vineyards benefit from warmer nights and less frost and fog than the adjacent valley floors.

Soils: Dundee Hills is known for its rich, red volcanic Jory soil, which was formed from ancient volcanic basalt and consists of silt, clay and loam soils. They typically reach a depth of 4 to 6 feet and provide excellent drainage for superior quality wine grapes.

Topography: The Dundee Hills viticultural region consists of a single, continuous landmass that rises above the surrounding Willamette Valley floors and is defined by the 200-foot contour line to the AVA's highest peak of 1,067 feet. The area comprises a north-south spine with ridges, as well as small valleys on its east, south and west sides. Dundee Hills is part of a North Willamette Valley hill chain that developed as a result of intense volcanic activity and the collision of the Pacific and North American plates. Dundee Hills is typically volcanic over sedimentary sandstone.

Predominant varieties

  • Pinot noir
  • Pinot gris
  • Chardonnay

While you're here...

The Dundee Hills appellation sits at the north end of the Willamette Valley region, just 45 minutes from Portland, Oregon's largest city. At the heart of this viticultural area is its namesake, the town of Dundee. Here, and in the nearby vineyard-filled hills, visitors will find a variety of charming inns and bed and breakfasts, and a handful of great restaurants serving wine-friendly cuisine.

Below are some links to help you plan your trip to the Dundee Hills:

Dundee Hills

The Dundee Hills Winegrowers is a community of vintners, growers and businesses that work together with a mission to promote, educate and grow the appellations reputation as Oregon's premier wine growing region. We invite you to visit and experience the brilliance that is this world-class Oregon wine destination.

Willamette Valley Wineries Association

Known for making some of the world's best Pinot noir as well as a diversity of other cool-climate varietals, Willamette Valley wineries are dedicated to a personal, handcrafted approach to winemaking.

Travel Oregon - Willamette Valley Page

There's more to the Willamette Valley than award-winning, world-renowned wine. Sure, there are more than 200 vineyards producing some of the best Pinot noir, Pinot gris and Riesling anywhere, but we grow more than just grapes.

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1
Oct 2014

Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board Meeting

October 1, 2014 | Location

Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board Meeting. First Wednesday of every month.
Learn More »

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