By Florent-Pierre Merlier
December 14th 2018, Dallas, OR – The Van Duzer Corridor AVA committee announced today that the TTB approved the newly formed Van Duzer Corridor AVA effective December 14th 2018. The Van Duzer Corridor will become the 19th AVA in Oregon and remains part of the larger Willamette Valley AVA.
The Van Duzer corridor is an anomaly in the Coast Range that allows mild and oceanic influence to enter into the Willamette Valley, Oregon. This creates the ideal paradigm of warm days and cold nights allowing the production of world class wines in the Willamette Valley and specifically within the 35.9 square mile triangle that constitutes the new AVA.
From the winds that funnel through the corridor, this area receives a cooling effect that occurs when oceanic wind begins dabbing the area as early as 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This breeze dries out the vine canopy and decreases fungus pressure, making this area highly attractive for grape growing. This allows and supports sustainable practices by drastically reducing the need for fungus spray. As a phenomenon of wind protection, the grape skins thicken leading to an extra generosity and an abundance of anthocyanins (color) and tannins.
The buffering effect is highly noticeable and varies from one vintage to another. While nearby regions of the Willamette Valley face overly warm conditions, this area is usually slightly cooler. The opposite is also true – while the nearby regions of the Willamette Valley face below average temperatures during the growing season, this area receives generous mild air from the ocean tempering the area. These combined effects allow for near perfect growing conditions with high consistency for wine quality and mitigate the potential harmful effect of late and cold vintage.
Within the 35.9 square mile triangle that composes the Van Duzer corridor, nearly 1000 acres are occupied by 18 commercial vineyards and 6 bonded wineries are crafting wines within the AVA boundaries.