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Saturday, Mar. 14, 2009

Oregon: Walla Walla Valley

This multi-state appellation is in the southeast corner of Washington and northeast section of Oregon, around the town of Milton-Freewater. In fact, many of the appellation's most famous vineyards (Seven Hills, for example) are on the Oregon side of the border.

Notable Walla Walla Valley vineyards

Seven Hills Vineyard: One of Washington’s most famous vineyards is, in fact, in Oregon. Seven Hills Vineyard is co-owned by Leonetti Cellar, Pepper Bridge Winery and L’Ecole No. 41, all Walla Walla Valley wineries. It was planted in 1981 and now has more than 200 acres of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Semillon. Thanks to its higher elevation (900-1,200 feet), it can handle winter freezing events better than most of the rest of the Walla Walla Valley. Like much of the Columbia Valley, Seven Hills' soils are glacial loess, sandy soils that have blown in during the past 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age. Seven Hills tends to show darker, more minerally notes than sites in the western part of the Walla Walla Valley, and the grapes are highly prized.