The Ribbon Ridge AVA

Wine grapes fermenting

The Ribbon Ridge AVA

Ribbon Ridge AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a wine-growing region located in Yamhill County, Oregon, and is a part of (or a nested AVA) within the larger Willamette Valley AVA. It was officially designated as an AVA in 2005. The region’s most famous wines are made from Pinot Noir, although there are some excellent wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Gris as well. The name “Ribbon Ridge” comes from a long, narrow ridge of land that runs through the center of the AVA, with vineyards planted on its slopes

What are the unique features of the Ribbon Ridge AVA?

This AVA is known for its unique combination of soil, climate, and topography, which contributes to its distinct wine-growing characteristics. Some of the unique features of the Ribbon Ridge AVA include:

  1. Soil composition: The soils are primarily composed of ancient marine sedimentary soils, which are well-drained and rich in nutrients. This type of soil is ideal for growing high quality Pinot Noir grapes.
  2. Climate: The climate is influenced by the Pacific Ocean, which helps moderate temperatures and provides a cool, consistent growing environment. This is ideal for Pinot Noir, which is a delicate grape variety that requires a moderate climate.
  3. Topography: The ridge-top location of Ribbon Ridge provides vineyards with exposure to both east and west, allowing for even ripening of the grapes. Additionally, the rolling hills and narrow ridges in the area provide many unique microclimates for different vineyards.
  4. Winemaking tradition: The winemaking tradition here dates back to the 1970s when some of the first Pinot Noir vineyards were established in the area. Today, the AVA is known for producing high-quality Pinot Noir wines with a distinct character and style.

Sequitur wine cellar in the Ribbon Ridge AVA

Harvest at Sequitur, one of the Ribbon Ridge AVA’s newest wineries by veteran owner / winemaker Mike Etzel

What are some of the top wineries in the Ribbon Ridge AVA?

This AVA is home to many high-quality wineries, each with its own unique style and character. Some of the top wineries in the region include:

  1. Beaux Freres: Beaux Freres is a family-owned winery that produces small-lot, handcrafted Pinot Noir wines.
  2. Brick House Vineyards: Brick House Vineyards produces wines made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They are known for their commitment to sustainable and biodynamic practices.
  3. Patricia Green Cellars: Patricia Green Cellars produces a range of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other varietal wines. They are known for their commitment to sustainable winemaking practices, and a focus on highlighting the unique terroirs of the region.

What is the future of the Ribbon Ridge AVA?

It is difficult to predict the future of this area with certainty, but the region will likely continue to grow and develop as a wine-producing region.

In order to maintain and enhance its reputation, the wineries in the Ribbon Ridge AVA will likely continue to focus on sustainable winemaking practices; using innovative techniques to produce the best possible wines while preserving the natural beauty and character of the region. Additionally, the wineries may explore new and innovative approaches to winemaking, using new grape varieties or developing new winemaking techniques to produce unique and distinctive wines. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and commitment to producing high-quality wines, there is no doubt that the Ribbon Ridge AVA has a bright future ahead.

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References:

“Ribbon Ridge AVA Wine Region | Oregon Wine.” n.d. Oregon Wine Board. Accessed June 1, 2023. https://www.oregonwine.org/regions/willamette-valley/ribbon-ridge-ava/.

“Ribbon Ridge AVA Winegrowers – Willamette Valley Wines.” n.d. Ribbon Ridge Winegrowers. Accessed June 1, 2023. https://ribbonridgeava.org.

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