Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association Brings Further Recognition to Oregon's Premier Wine Region

Mar 17, 2006, 00:00 ET from Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association

    DUNDEE, Ore., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 25 wineries and independent
 vineyard owners, representing 44,000 cases of Dundee Hills wines and 1,300
 acres of vineyards, have united to form the Dundee Hills Winegrowers
 Association (DHWA).
     Defining the Dundee Hills as "The heart and soil of Oregon wine," the
 Association demonstrates a unique relationship between soil, climate and
 vintners, as expressed in world-class wines.
     "The Dundee Hills are the epicenter of Oregon Pinot Noir," says DHWA
 President Sean Carlton of Archery Summit Winery. "Our red volcanic soils have
 long served as an expression of place, and a bottle of wine with 'Dundee
 Hills' on the label pinpoints that origin."
     Quality wine production in the Dundee Hills was initiated over 40 years
 ago, when pioneers such as David Lett of Eyrie, Dick Erath and the Sokol
 Blossers cleared south-facing slopes to plant many of Oregon's first
     Their faith in the Dundee Hills was confirmed in 1979 when Lett's 1975
 Pinot Noir twice placed among the top three in a French-sponsored tasting of
 international Burgundies. Other wineries took note, including renowned
 Burgundy producer Maison Joseph Drouhin who embraced the Dundee Hills as the
 next frontier in Burgundian varietals. Drouhin's decision to purchase 225
 acres and build a winery ricocheted around the wine world, squarely placing
 the Dundee Hills -- and Oregon -- on center stage for premium Pinot Noirs.
     Located 28 miles southwest of Portland and 40 miles form the Pacific
 Ocean, the Dundee Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area) encompasses 6,490
 acres. The hills are effectively an island in the center of the sprawling
 Willamette Valley AVA, buffered from extreme weather patterns often associated
 with the Columbia River Gorge, and benefiting from warmer nights and less
 frost than adjacent valley floors.
     The region's geology dates back 15-17 million years ago when lava flows
 from northeast Oregon pushed into the Willamette Valley, covering all but the
 highest hills. The catastrophic Missoula floods 10-15,000 years ago deposited
 a blanket of sediment on land below the 200 ft. elevation, sparing the
 original red volcanic hills above the small town of Dundee. Today, the 200 ft.
 contour line defines the Dundee Hills AVA.
     "Benchmark wines require years of experience and teamwork between growers
 and winemakers, along with a solid understanding and appreciation for the
 soils and climate," says Carlton. "We invite people to taste how exceptional
 fruit, great winemaking and a shared sense of community are reflected in our
     DHWA Members:  Wineries:  Archery Summit, Argyle, DePonte Cellars, Domaine
 Drouhin Oregon, Domaine Serene, Erath Vineyards, Eyrie Vineyards, Four Graces,
 Lange Estate, Sokol Blosser Winery, Stoller Vineyards, Thistle Wines, Winter's
 Hill Vineyard, White Rose.  Vineyards:  45th Parallel North, A&G, Bella Vida,
 Bergstrom, Black Walnut, Durant, Juliard, La Colina, Murto, Two Barns, Vista
 Hills. Retail:  Wine Country Farm Cellars.
     For further information, visit www.dundeehills.org.

SOURCE Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association