The Umpqua Valley is famous for its natural beauty and world renowned fishing. It is also an important viticultural region in Oregon. The Umpqua Valley not only separates the Willamette Valley AVA to the north and the Rogue Valley AVA to the south, but also represents the median of Oregon’s climate.
The region is cooler than the Rogue Valley and distinctly warmer than the Willamette Valley to the north. Bordered to the east by the Cascade Mountains and the west by the Coastal Mountain Range, the valley is cooled by Pacific breezes flowing along the Umpqua River. Vineyards are mostly found below 1,000 feet and are planted to Pinot Noir, with smaller amounts of Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and a scattering of French American hybrids. A vineyard’s proximity to the Coast Range can greatly affect its terroir, making generalizations about the region difficult. The region recently gained a sub-appellation, when the TTB granted AVA status to the Red Hills of Douglas County.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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is the Regional Correspondent for Umpqua Valley.