My latest in Wine Business Monthly:
Chehalem Magic in the Mountains!
by L.M. Archer
Newberg, Ore. – A little rain didn’t dampen spirits at “Magic in the Mountains!” Chehalem Mountains Wine Tasting on June 4, 2022. Hosted at the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, the consumer event showcased Chehalem Mountains’ diverse soils and wine styles.
“This is a consumer event that launched about five years ago,” says Carrie Kalscheuer, president of Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers, and director of sales and education at A to Z Wineworks/REX HILL. ”This is the second year we’ve been back – we had a year hiatus with COVID.”
Considered Oregon’s gateway to the Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA) resides just 19 miles southwest of Portland. Renown for its complex soils and high elevations, the wine region boasts three soil types – marine sedimentary, volcanic, and windblown loess (Laurelwood series).
“What I think makes this tasting the best of all the other AVA’s, is that we have the highest elevation of all the AVA’s, and these three incredible soil types,” says Rollin Soles, co-founder of Roco Winery. There’s no other AVA that has significant plantings of all three of those. So, as a wine taster, you can come here and get an idea of what the effect of those soils are on our wines.”
Established in 2006, the region spans 62,500 acres; vineyards account for 2,720 acres. The name Chehalem Mountains derives from a series of ridges towering over 1,633 feet above sea level – home to some of the area’s steepest vineyards.
This soil diversity allows for greater grape varieties, too. “We specifically poured two of our estate-grown wines from 2021: Helios Seyval Blanc and Prelude Estate Rosé,” says Sara Specter, co-proprietor at micro-boutique Bells Up Winery. “Probably 99% of the tasters had never even heard of Seyval Blanc – we have the first and only planting in the Willamette Valley – so it was fun to share something unique and unusual in the area.” READ MORE HERE.