Elkton Oregon - Coastal Cool in Southern Oregon
February 27, 2013
Elkton Oregon is the newest AVA established in Oregon. This area has held a special interest for Pinot Noir and other cool climate grapes within the greater Umpqua Valley and Southern Oregon appellations. The first vines of the modern era only date to 1972 yet the wines have made their mark within knowledgeable circles under Umpqua Valley designation. Now greater emphasis can be placed on this remote northwestern aspect of the Umpqua under it's own identity.
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Located in Douglas County in southwestern Oregon, the Elkton Oregon AVA encompasses 74,900 acres. It is 17th AVA in Oregon and resides completely inside the greater Umpqua Valley AVA and huge Southern Oregon AVA, an area known to be warmer than the northern appellations of Oregon. Elkton Oregon covers approximately 11 percent of the 689,904-acre Umpqua Valley AVA and .04 percent of the much larger 1,977,298-acre Southern Oregon AVA. On special note the use of Elkton OR is an approved use of AVA name.
There currently exist 12 commerical vineyards covering a total of 96.5 acres, disburst within the AVA. Wineries exist around the town of Elkton and elsewhere in the new AVA.
Marine air influences from the Pacific Ocean set the climatology differnce making much more like the Willamette Valley. The location on the Umpqua River (more importantly it's geography for air drainage in and out) only 36 miles from the Pacific Ocean, allows for strong marine influence. Sea breezes and fog penetrating into the Umpqua River Valley here, giving Elkton its unique climate; cool, maritime and temperate. This is ideal for cool climate varieties such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer and differentiates from the broader Umpqua Valley, 50 miles to the south. The 1,000 foot elevation line is used extensively to boundary the AVA.
Elkton might be better known as the Bass Capitol of Oregon and for a wealth of natural resources, but now can be also known for wine grapes.
Shake Ridge Ranch has set a standard for viticulture in Amador County and the incredible list of winemakers who now source fruit from the amazing vineyard above Sutter Creek tell it's story in every vintage and bottle produced.
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