Location: Eola-Amity Hills is a
sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA located just
west-northwest of Salem, Oregon's state capitol.
Wine history: The agricultural history of
this area near Salem dates back to the mid-1850s, though it wasn't
until the 1970s that winemakers started to discover the area as
having ideal growing conditions for high-quality wine grapes. It
was around this time that a few modern pioneers, including Don
Byard of Hidden Springs, planted a patchwork of vineyards in the
Eola-Amity Hills. Soon after, other pioneers followed suite and
today this area produces world-class, handcrafted cool-climate
varietals. The appellation became official in 2006.
Climate: The Eola-Amity Hills region
enjoys a temperate climate of warm summers and mild winters, and 40
inches of annual rain, most of which falls outside of the growing
season. Average maximum temperatures are 62 degrees Fahrenheit in
April and 83 degrees Fahrenheit in July, which contributes to the
ideal conditions for the cool-climate grape varieties that dominate
the Eola-Amity Hills. The climate in this region is greatly
influenced by its position due east of the Van Duzer Corridor,
which provides a break in the coast range that allows cool Pacific
Ocean air to flow through. This drops temperatures in the region
dramatically, especially during late summer afternoons, helping to
keep grape acids firm.
Soil: The soils in the Eola-Amity Hills
predominantly contain volcanic basalt from ancient lava flows as
well as marine sedimentary rocks and alluvial deposits at the lower
elevations of the ridge. This combination results in a relatively
shallow, rocky set of well-drained soils, which typically produce
small grapes with great concentration.
Topography: The Eola Hills, and its
northern extension, the Amity Hills, are part of a North Willamette
Valley hill chain that developed out of intense volcanic activity
and the collision of the Pacific and North American plates. The
main ridge of the Eola Hills runs north-south and has numerous
lateral ridges on both sides that run east-west. The majority of
the region's vineyard sites exist at elevations between 250 to 700
- Pinot noir
- Pinot gris
While you're here...
The Eola-Amity Hills region sits in the North Willamette Valley,
just northwest of the city of Salem, Oregon's State Capitol, where
visitors can find great shopping, fine-dining restaurants and a
lively arts community with top-notch theaters, museums, galleries
and festivals of all kind. Just 30 minutes away is the incredible
80-acre Oregon Garden and its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gordon
House. Visitors can drive the scenic country roads of Eola-Amity
Hills as they experience the region's wineries and tasting rooms,
as well as other artisan culinary stops, including a Wandering
Aengus Ciderworks and Willamette Valley Cheese Company.
Below are some links to help you plan your trip to the
The Eola-Amity Hills (EAH) winegrowing region comprises a string
of hills located nearly in the center of the Willamette Valley.
These hills are coated with soils formed from ancient marine
sediments, derived from massive primordial lava flows, or deposited
by post-glacial floods of biblical proportions, and the hills are
warmed by Oregon's long, dry summer growing season.
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
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.