So there isn't a lot of info about the new AVA adjacent to Eola-Amity Hills AVA, so I thought I would give the quick and dirty on it to collect the information somewhere.
The AVA was approved (issued a final rule) December 14th 2018, but said final rule was not effective until Janury 14th 2019.
It is 59,871 acres big, with just under 1000 under vine. 6 bonded wineries in the area and 18 commercial vineyards.
1) Van Duzer Vineyards
2) Left Coast Cellars
3) Firesteed Wines
4) Johan Vineyards
5) Chateau Bianca Winery
6) Andante Vineyard
There appears to be a mix of Uplifted Marine Sediments (Willakenzie series) and Missoula Flood Deposit (Woodburn Series) soils in the AVA which are typically codified by their elevation. the Woodburn tends to be in lower areas and Willakenzie in the higher elevation portions (elevation delta is 150' -650').
The Van Duzer Corridor is the natural break in the Coastal Mountain Range that allows Pacific Zephyrs to move unimpeded into the area. at around 10 mph average (Which the Beaufort wind scale defines as a "gentle breeze") it will influence factors:
The winds start at around 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm each day. Along with the narrow gap in the mountains, there comes evening fog which blankets the area. This fog will moderate ambient temperatures which in turn will have slower ripening conditions and a more even maturity.
the climate in the area is cooler than the other "sub-AVA's" of Willamette (i know the term sub-AVA isn't a real thing, but it helps while explaining) and experiences the least diurnal shift. the temperatures stay very consistent and with the decreased temperatures the AVA experiences a longer growing season.
-What does it all mean-
So theoretically taking into account the sedimentary soils (willakenzie and woodburn) you get more dense, powerful wines (relatively speaking). Now couple that with the thicker skins from the Pacific zephyr... more phenols and pigment. Retained acidity from the constant wind as well and the effect of the fog and lower temperatures stretching out the growing season. I'd venture to say increased tannin, acid, earthy components and darker fruit expression. Of course the producer's methods will have a big impact, but I'm curious to buy some wines from the area to see if the theory holds up or if I'm full of shit.
Thanks for letting me cement Van Duzer (And thus prepare for MS) in this thread. Please call me out if something doesn't hold up.
Ah! i forgot to include a map of it!
Nice work J!
Thank you very much Jason ! Great info
I just had the chance to taste through the Johan vineyards lineup this week and they have some cool plantings of Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankish and an almost red looking pinot gris. Of course their mainstay is Pinot Noir, but all of the wines were really high quality, Thanks for posting all of the info!
did the theory hold up?? Is Pinot Noir a touch more burly from here?
Great information. I'm curious about the "more burly" part of the theory also. I'm not as knowledgeable as most of you but wouln't the cooling effects of the breezes and fog make for a less ripe fruit character?
I think some of this depends on the aspect of the vineyard (something we talk about whole bunch in Burgundy, but somehow clones and over-generalized soil series are all anyone wants to discuss in Oregon).
South facing slope? Probably not. There's plenty of sunshine to get them ripe. West facing? Absolutely, but more tannic at the same time. Northwest facing? Probably best to plant something other than Pinot.
I think the idea is the generalization of Marine Sedimentary soils vs Volcanic as a whole. One of the factors I think isn't talked about as much is Drainage. Less available water (Volcanic clays retain more water, more comfortable vine) vine has to dig and work for nutrients can contribute to more concentrated fruit. The breeze in the area will actually thicken the grape skins (thicker skins = more phenolic material during maceration [more tannin, color, etc]). Also with the ability of a longer growing season, you can still get your ripeness amidst these characteristics. Remember, Sugar content in grapes does not equate to more "power" in a wine in all cases. Sure you'll get more body, but not necessarily more tannin and structure.
Can you elaborate more on the acid respiration? What exactly is that compared to normal respiration? How does the closing stomata affect it?
This is where I need an adult.
The explanation I gathered when I was researching is the contant Zephyr causes the plant to close the Stomata. These are little "inlets" on the underside of the leaves that help the plant do many things, including "breathing." upon the Stomata being closed the plant isn't as busy converting, working, etc... thus a decreased need for metabolizing Malic acid (Tartaric acid will not be metabolized by a grape vine, so those levels stay constant) but Malic will fluctuate and can be consumed by the plant itself (think about Veraison and it's "transition" of Acid to sugars).
This is all based on what I could research and my Non viticulture/enology/horticulture background.
if anyone wants to confirm, or call me out... I welcome it!!
Great info Jason Caballero! thanks buddy!
Thank you for the insight! Great work.
You are right about the wind and its effect on the stomata. At 8 mph or above, the stomata will close and the grapes will hang on to more of their acidity. This was actually a determining factor in defining the boundaries of the new Petaluma Gap AVA--the boundaries were drawn to include only areas that maintained a regular wind off the Pacific Ocean of 8 mph or more. The cooling affect of the wind also reduces yields and prolongs the growing season. I'm not entirely sure if it thickens grape skins or not, but I've read opinions that this is true. Smaller berries have a higher skin to juice content, but whether the skins themselves are actually thicker or not is probably hard to measure.