Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon AVA

Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon AVA

About the Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon AVA

Located just over 20 minutes from Oregon’s capital city of Salem, the state’s 23rd and newest AVA has a reputation for growing the kind of grapes that lead to outstanding wine. This is due in part to the unique Siletz soil series, which has proven to be particularly well-suited to growing exceptional quality Pinot noir and Chardonnay, among other varieties. It is also due to a microclimate that is characterized by the warmth of the nearby Willamette River, the mild influence of the Van Duzer winds, and the rain shadow of Laurel Mountain to the west.

This is a place where quality takes precedent over quantity, where you can experience wine that insists on telling you where it’s from.

State outline of Oregon with the Willamette Valley highlighted
Illahe Vineyards

Complex. Expressive. Idyllic.

The mountain was formed 65 million years ago as a sea floor volcano and has since been covered by marine sediment and pushed up out of the ocean’s floor. This unique geology allows the grapes to develop a deep complexity in their shallow soils.

The mountain is defined by elevation around the peak. Its lowest point is 260 feet and the top is 835 feet above sea level. Mount Pisgah is only six miles from the Willamette River, making it a generally warm site compared to sites of higher elevation or sites farther from the river. Compared to the main weather stations in Salem and McMinnville, however, the climate is warmer in the winter and slightly cooler in the summer.

The planted soils are mostly Willakenzie, Bellpine, and Jory, with some Nekia. The parent material is Siletz Rock, the oldest rock formation in the Willamette Valley. The unique soils and lack of strong winds define the quality of the grapes. Shallow soils promote berry development, the water holding capacity of the clay enables little or no irrigation, and lack of wind reduces transpiration, assisting the systematic health of the vine.

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Dig deeper

Illustrated map of Mount Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon AVA
  • Established: 2022
  • Total Area: 5,530 acres (2,237 ha)
  • Planted Area: 584 acres (236 ha)
  • Predominant Varieties: Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, and Pinot blanc
  • Predominant Soils: Marine sedimentary

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