The Ribbon Ridge American Viticultural Area (AVA) is a sub-appellation of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA. Located about 20 miles from Portland, Oregon and 40 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Ribbon Ridge is actually a sub, sub appellation – it is part of the Chehalem Mountain AVA, which itself is part of the Willamette Valley AVA. (For more information on Oregon’s Chehalem Mountain AVA, click here.) However, despite its size, this Oregon AVA produces some very fine wines from its 20 vineyards and five wineries. This article will provide you with some information on the Ribbon Ridge AVA, as well as some recommended Oregon wines and wineries to try.
History. The first wine grapes were planted on Ribbon Ridge in Oregon in 1980 at Ridgecrest Vineyard. The first commercial vineyard was established in 1982, with the first wines produced in 1985. Ribbon Ridge became an official AVA ten years later, in 2005.
Climate and Soil. Due to the protection offered by the surrounding Oregon geographical features, Ribbon Ridge has a warmer and drier climate than some of its surrounding valleys. The result is early grape growth and consistent ripening of its wine grapes, as well as a chance for the grapes to fully mature in the fall. The soil of Ribbon Ridge is finer and more uniform than the Oregon soil of its surrounding regions, making it the perfect soil for growing high quality grapes.
Wine Varieties. The Ribbon Ridge AVA produces predominantly Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wines.
Wineries and Vineyards. Below are four of the wineries and vineyards in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, along with some recommended Oregon wines from each.
Patricia Green Cellars This Ribbon Ridge winery produces a wide selection of Pinot Noirs with grapes from Oregon vineyards in other AVAs, such as Dundee Hills and the Chehalem Mountains. Try their Pinot Noir Estate Ribbon Ridge 2006 for a luscious red wine with aromas of dark fruits and flavors of vanilla and cherry. For more information on this Oregon winery or to purchase their wines, click here.
Brick House Vineyards. Surrounded by hazelnut and fruit orchards, this Ribbon Ridge vineyard produces organically grown grapes, from which they create Oregon Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other wines. All of their wines are produced and bottled by hand on their estate. Try their Les Dijonnais Pinot Noir for a bold red wine with blackberry aromas, plus flavors of raspberry and spice. For more information and to purchase this Oregon vineyards’ wines, click here.
Beaux Freres. This Oregon vineyard produces world-class wines on its 86-acre Ribbon Ridge farm. Over 30 acres are devoted to vineyards here, including (of course) Pinot Noir grapes. Try The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 and experience a robust red wine with aromas of black currant, cherry flavors and a hint of oak.
For more information on this Oregon vineyard, or to purchase their wines, click here.
Ribbon Ridge Winery. Forty-one acres of Ribbon Ridge make up these vineyards that produce outstanding Oregon wines. Sample their 2006 Dewey Kelly Pinot Noir, with aromas of spicy red fruit and flavors of plum and raspberry. This is a lighter red wine, very refreshing to drink. For more information and to purchases the wines of this Oregon winery, click here.