Chris and Melissa travel to WALT’s northern outpost in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Pinot Pioneer Dick Shea meets them to show off his legendary Shea vineyard.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley sits at 45 degrees latitude, stretching south of Portland. This revered winegrowing region has often been compared to the Burgundy region of France, for just cause. The two regions share striking similarities such as latitude, rainfall, and amount of sunlight. The Willamette Valley has earned an unparalleled pedigree among New World wines. Well draining volcanic and seabed soils, diverse land contours, and diverse climates garner amazingly distinctive fruit character– wines of remarkable grace and complexity, earthiness and individuality. Shop for Willamette Valley Wines.
Dick and Deirdre Shea’s vineyard is located in the sub-appellation of Yamhill-Carlton. We are fortunate to source fruit from pioneers in this region and realize the unrelenting challenges that Dick and his vineyard crew must face each year to deliver such beautifully ripened Pinot Noir. The Shea Vineyard has earned a reputation as one of the finest examples of Oregon terroir: pithy and complex with wonderful balance and structure. The sedimentary soils and unique environment produce wines of excellent concentration and depth in one of the Pacific Coast's most premier, and extreme, growing regions.
Appellations can range from 50 miles to hundreds of miles across a variety of terrains. Within these appellations, our vineyards have an array of soil series. Even in each vineyard, there are a range of different soils. Our goal is to illustrate the main differences of our five appellations. We hope that with these illustrations you can see, and ultimately taste, the differences of our wines of a place.
The Willakenzie series consits of moderately deep, well drained soils formed in loamy colluvium and residuum derived from sandstone, siltstone and tuffaceous materials. Willakenzie soils occur on smooth, convex hills and foothills. Fine-loamy, mixed, active.