McMinnville

McMinnville AVA Map

Location: McMinnville is a sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA that sits just west of the city of McMinnville, approximately 40 miles southwest of Portland and extends 20 miles south-southwest.

Wine history: McMinnville has a long farming history that dates back to the mid-1800s when berry fields, tree fruits and livestock dominated. All that began to change when, in 1970, one of Oregon's winemaking pioneers, David Lett, bought an old turkey processing plant in McMinnville to house his winery. Soon after, winegrowers began planting vineyards and establishing wineries in the area and, in 1987, McMinnville held the very first International Pinot Noir Celebration. Held every July since, it's a wildly popular three-day event where winemakers and enthusiasts from all over the world congregate for Pinot noir tastings, winery tours, and seminars. The McMinnville AVA was established in 2005. Today, the area continues to sprout more wineries and tasting rooms. 

Climate: McMinnville sits in a protective weather shadow of the Coast Range. As a result, the primarily east- and south-facing vineyards receive less rainfall (just 33 inches annually, as compared to 40 inches in Eola-Amity Hills) than sites just 12 miles to the east. Those vineyards situated on the more southerly facing sites take advantage of the cooling winds from the Van Duzer Corridor, a break in the coast range that allows cool Pacific Ocean air to flow through, thus dropping evening temperatures in the region, which helps to keep grape acids firm. Compared to surrounding areas, McMinnville is, on average, warmer and drier, consisting of higher elevation vineyards (up to 1,000 feet) that are resistant to frost.

Soils: The soils are typically uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silts, with alluvial overlays. As compared to other appellations in the Willamette Valley, these soils are uniquely shallow for winegrowing with low total available moisture.

Topography: McMinnville's elevation levels range from 200 to 1,000 feet, and the area encompasses the east and southeast slopes of the Coast Range foothills. Geologically, the most distinctive feature in this area is the Nestucca Formation, a 2,000-foot-thick bedrock formation that extends west of the city of McMinnville to the slopes of the Coast Range. This formation contains intrusions of marine basalts, which affect the region's ground water composition, resulting in grapes with unique flavor and development characteristics.

Predominant varieties

  • Pinot noir
  • Pinot gris
  • Pinot blanc

While you're here...

Historic downtown McMinnville is home to urban wine tasting rooms, top-notch restaurants serving the finest examples of Oregon's bounty, charming clothing boutiques, galleries, live music, theaters, ice cream shops and breweries.  Nearby is the Evergreen Aviation Museum, which is home to Howard Hughes' world famous Spruce Goose, a gigantic WWII seaplane (also known as the Flying Boat).

Below are some link to help you plan your trip to McMinnville:

McMinnville AVA

Due west  of historic downtown McMinnville, home to top-notch restaurants, charming boutiques and urban wine tasting rooms lies the highly regarded McMinnville AVA.  Located in the Coast Range foothills of Yamhill County, the AVA is a sub-appellation of the all-encompassing Willamette Valley AVA.  It is here where the influences of a remarkable geological history and an ideal climate have combined to set the stage for winemakers to produce consistently world-class wines.

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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July 31, 2014 | Location

Location: Southern Oregon
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