The Applegate Valley is one of Oregon’s newest appellations and represents another step forward for a wine industry running at full speed. The valley runs for 50 miles, from the California border to the Rogue River in southern Oregon. Created on petition from winery owner Barnard E. Smith, the AVA is an alternative to Oregon’s cool-climate viticulture. The region is largely protected from coastal influences, and thus experiences warmer and drier growing seasons than most of the state. Less than ten wineries operate here and the area’s vineyards are located mainly on stream terraces, with granite soils which provide excellent drainage. Combined with its higher natural elevations, the valley offers the perfect climate for Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux red varietals. Applegate proves Oregon isn’t just about Pinot Noir.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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Madame Merlot, you’re a big gal, soft and smoky; how we love your full, curvaceous figure. But you are