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Welcome Oregon’s Newest AVA, Elkton!

Elkton Oregon became the state’s newest American Viticultural Area after receiving approval from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau this week. The new Elkton Oregon AVA is entirely contained within the Umpqua Valley AVA, which is entirely within the Southern Oregon AVA. Oregon has a total of 17 AVAs.


By gaining AVA status, winegrowers and winemakers within the Elkton Oregon AVA can better describe the origin of their wines and consumers can better identify wines they may purchase. The TTB ruling is effective March 7, 2013. The AVA may be referred to as Elkton Oregon or Elkton OR.

The newest Oregon AVA is the fulfillment of wine pioneer Ken Thomason’s dream of growing world class cool climate Pinot noir and white grapes near the small town of Elkton, which has a population of 170. Thomason began planting grapes in 1972 on a west facing bench two miles east of Elkton at a site now owned by Mike and Vonnie Landt of Rivers Edge Winery.

The climate in Elkton is quite different from the prevailing perceptions of the surrounding areas. Southern Oregon is most often thought of as warmer and drier than winegrowing areas farther north in the Willamette Valley.

Due to its location on the Umpqua River and only 36 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the geography allows for a strong marine influence with daily sea breezes and fog penetrating into the Umpqua River Valley. This gives Elkton its unique climate – cool, maritime and temperate – which is ideal for the varieties that Thomason originally planted.

The local group which mounted the effort for the AVA’s approval called out Greg Jones of Southern Oregon University for his efforts in preparing and submitting the successful petition for AVA status to TTB.

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Backyard Golf with Pyrenees Sauvignon Blanc

On a sunny April afternoon it is nice to enjoy a crisp white wine and some relaxing backyard golf. The wine of choice was the 2010 Pyrenees Sauvignon Blanc. A wine that I noticed had been winning its fair share of gold medals at statewide competit…

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"Greatest of the Grape" Winners Announced

The distinctive wines of the Umpqua Valley and Southern Oregon were the celebrated stars of Saturday’s “Greatest of the Grape” wine and food extravaganza held at Seven Feathers Casino Resort.Sponsored by the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association, the g…

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Taste them all and vote for your favorite ‘Greatest of the Grape’

Come celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Oregon’s oldest wine and food pairing event – the Greatest of the Grape on March 3rd from 7-11 pm at Seven Feathers Casino & Resort. Twenty-eight wineries will showcase their best wine professionally paired wi…

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New Blue Heron Vineyards takes root in Garden Valley

I read this article yesterday from The News-Review and was shocked I hadn’t heard anything about this project sooner. Once development is complete, this would be the largest vineyard in the Umpqua Valley. Maybe it is unnecessary, but I always feel so u…

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Thanksgiving Weekend in Southern Oregon Wine Country!

The Oregon Wine Press published a comprehensive guide to Thanksgiving Weekend in Oregon Wine Country. Thanksgiving Weekend has become one of the busiest weekend for wine tastings across the state with many wineries hosting fabulous events, tasting spec…

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Abacela Launches Paramour, Gran Reserva Style Tempranillo

Abacela Launches Paramour, a new American wine style inspired by the great Gran Reserva Tempranillos of SpainAbacela announced the release of its 2005 Paramour, a new American wine style and the winery’s finest and most age-worthy bottling. For winery …

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Pyrenees Vineyards Ask Listeners to Design the Label or New Wine

Leading radio content provider CRN Digital Talk Radio and Pyrenees Vineyards and Cellars are joining together to ask listeners to design the label of CRN’s first ever wine release.“We are extremely thrilled at the listener response to our ‘Name t…

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Optimistic Harvest Outlook

I’m an optimist, and apparently so is Pat Spangler of Spangler Vineyards in his recent interview with Wine Press Northwest:Thursday, Sep. 01, 2011Umpqua Valley grapes look better than 2010By Eric Degerman, Wine Press NorthwestROSEBURG, Ore. — While fo…

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A Look Inside Abacela’s Vine & Wine Center

Wine Press Northwest gives us a detailed look at the Abacela Vine & Wine Center set to open this May.What a great addition this will be to the Umpqua Valley and Southern Oregon. I love the educational signs and design of the new facility (bravo Han…

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