AVAs of Tualatin Valley: Laurelwood District and Tualatin Hills
Nested in the Willamette Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), Tualatin Valley’s vineyards have two distinct AVAs that are exclusive to the area.
Tualatin Valley is home to not one, but two new American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): Tualatin Hills and Laurelwood District. Located in the northwestern corner of the famed Willamette Valley wine region, Tualatin Valley is home to more than 31 estate wineries and tasting rooms.
An AVA is a delimited grape-growing region with specific geographic or climatic features that distinguish it from the surrounding regions and affect how grapes are grown. Using an AVA designation on a wine label allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers identify wines they may purchase.
These two AVAs are “nested” within the Willamette Valley AVA. A nested AVA is an appellation, used to identify where the grapes grown in the production of wine, located inside the boundaries of a larger AVA.
The 33,600-acre Laurelwood District AVA covers the northern slopes of the Chehalem Mountains AVA, including Cornelius, Scholls and Sherwood. This AVA is differentiated by its Laurelwood soils, iron-rich Missoula Flood loess soil contributing to the unique flavor of the wines.
The 144,000-acre Tualatin Hills AVA aligns with the watershed of the Tualatin River and is north of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Tualatin Valley also is defined by its Laurelwood soil. However, unlike its neighboring Laurelwood District AVA, the Tualatin Hills has slightly higher temperatures.
We invite you–when the time is right–to visit and taste for yourselves why these soils are worthy of special AVA designation.