Elkton Oregon AVA

ava_elktonoregonLocation: The Elkton Oregon AVA is located in Douglas County, Oregon. It is situated 33 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Cascade Range is located to the west, with the Willamette Valley AVA to the north and Rogue Valley AVA to the south. It is wholly within the Umpqua Valley AVA, which in turn lies within the larger Southern Oregon AVA. Named for the town of Elkton, the AVA covers approximately 11 percent of the Umpqua Valley AVA. Elkton Oregon is the northernmost and lowest elevation region in the Umpqua Valley.

Wine history: Winegrowing in Elkton dates back to the early 1970s when Ken Thomason began planting cool climate whites and Pinot noir. The first winery was established in 2000. Currently, there are four licensed wineries and 12 commercial vineyards totaling 96.5 planted acres.

Climate: Elkton Oregon is the coolest and wettest region within the larger Umpqua Valley and produces different varieties and different wine styles than the rest of the larger AVA. The northern area around the town of Elkton enjoys a cool, marine-influenced climate. Elkton Oregon has a cooler, but milder and longer growing season than the rest of the Umpqua Valley and receives much more rain annually, about 50 inches. Pinot noir and other cool-climate varieties thrive here.

Soils: Elkton Oregon is dominated by the coastal mountain geology, lying over a mix of sedimentary, volcanic and metamorphic rock units from the middle Eocene. The National Resource Conservation Service mapped more than 50 different soil series or complexes in Elkton Oregon. These soils are predominately residual clay and/or silt loam soil or small to large cobble-dominated alluvial deposits from the Yamhill and Tyee formation and the river terrace building of the meandering Umpqua River.

Topography: Elkton Oregon contains a wide range of terrain that is dissected by the broader meanders of the Umpqua River. The majority of the AVA falls below the 1,000-foot contour and includes the river bottom land (elevation 130-160 feet), river terraces (or benchlands) and foot hills near the river (elevation 130-160 feet).