Willamette Valley AVA is the flagship wine region of Oregon, USA.
Sub-appellations: McMinnville AVA.
Site selection: ‘Not all areas of the Willamette Valley are conducive to growing grapes due to varying climatic and soil conditions. The Willamette Valley is a cool climate wine production region, and only cool climate grapes should be considered for commercial production (e.g. Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc), as they are well suited for the season length and heat units of the region. Warm climate cultivars will struggle to ripen (or not ripen at all) in most areas of the region (Olen & Skinkis, 2018).
Viticulture: ‘Grapevines grow vigorously in most areas of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, in part due to the high annual precipitation and high-water holding capacity of soils in the region. Significant canopy management is required to maintain vine leaf area that is well exposed to sun and to reduce shading that can cause low fruit quality by way of increased disease potential and lower fruit quality components. Canopy management is labor-intensive, as much of it still requires manual labor (shoot thinning, shoot positioning, sucker removal, cluster thinning). To assist growers with vineyard profitability, we are suggesting wider vine and row spacing to help reduce vine vegetative growth and reduced need to crop thin to achieve winery-acceptable yields,’ (Olen & Skinkis, 2018).
Beau Olen and Patricia Skinkis, ‘Vineyard Economics: Establishing and Producing Pinot Noir Wine Grapes in the Willamette Valley, Oregon,’ by Beau Olen and Patricia A. Skinkis (Oregon State University Extension Service, October 2018).