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Saturday, Mar. 14, 2009

Oregon: Yamhill-Carlton District

This appellation has more than 650 acres of wine grapes, primarily Pinot Noir. It is a horseshoe-shaped appellation that surrounds the towns of Yamhill and Carlton. It was established in 2005.

Notable Yamhill-Carlton District vineyards

Shea Vineyard: Dick Shea planted his 140-acre vineyard in the late '80s, and top Pinot Noir producers have been lining up to buy his fruit ever since. All but five acres are dedicated to Pinot Noir, most of which is bottled as vineyard-designated wines that all but guarantee fast sales at premium prices. Shea's vineyard is northwest of the Dundee Hills and southwest of Ribbon Ridge. The soils are ancient marine sediment that are as many as 45 million years old. Shea sells his grapes to about 20 wineries per year and now keeps about 20 percent for his own label, Shea Wine Cellars.