Maximum Attendance: 25
Tuesday – Thursday, August 3-5
About the Ribbon Ridge American Viticultural Area
The Ribbon Ridge American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established on July 1, 2005 and is a sub-AVA within the Willamette Valley. Its early drafters were Oregon wine country pioneers, Doug Tunnell, Harry Pederson Nedry and Dewey Kelly who are still members. Ribbon Ridge is the smallest AVA in Oregon and one of the most prestigious wine growing regions in the world.
Ribbon Ridge is a 3.5-mile long by 1.75-mile wide ridge that extends from the Chehalem Mountains. The ridge rises 683 feet from the Chehalem Valley floor, giving it an island-like appearance. Ribbon Ridge is typical of hillside sites with earlier starts to warming, less nighttime temperature drops, and clipped heat spikes in midsummer that provide a consistent climate for adequate ripening. These conditions allow longer, cooler growing seasons which are ideal for delicate varietals like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Ribbon Ridge’s island-like characteristics and the proximity of surrounding landmasses tend to shield and uniquely protect the viticultural area from many of the extremes that affect the other agricultural microclimates in the northern Willamette Valley. Air and water drainage exist on all sides. Low clouds tend to accumulate on the surrounding hilltops; fog tends to settle on the valley floor in the early and late parts of the growing season.
The soils of Ribbon Ridge are relatively uniform, all being marine sedimentary and fine textured at plantable elevations, without significant alterations from slides and erosion. Specifically, Ribbon Ridge is a distinct, natural, geological formation of eastward-tilted marine sedimentary strata dated to 40 to 50 million years ago. Because the ridge is ancient and stable, the soils from these fine sedimentary parent materials are well weathered and consequently are, on average, deeper in profile and more finely structured than soils in surrounding areas.
Ribbon Ridge is the most decorated AVA with 90+ scores according to Wine Advocate. In 2017, 88% (or 29 of 33) of the Ribbon Ridge wines were rated 90+, 89% of which were pinot noir. There are only 500 planted acres in Ribbon Ridge. In 2018, Ribbon Ridge continued to net the highest scores of all AVAs as rated by the Wine Advocate, with 87% of those wines submitted receiving 90+ scores (33 of 38).
Ribbon Ridge was given its name by Colby Carter, an early settler who came from Missouri in 1865. The top of the ridge twists like a ribbon, hence the name. Our AVA has also been known as a distinct farming district since at least 1888, with its own name and its own mix of crops, ranging from walnuts, prunes, hazelnuts, hay, Christmas trees, timber lots, and cattle for more than a century.
Transportation & Accommodations
You will be picked up at 2:00 PM at PDX on Tuesday, August 3. If you are flying to the airport you should book a flight that arrives by 1:00 PM on Tuesday, August 3. If you are driving to the pre-conference excursion, you can also choose to meet at your hotel.
At the end of the excursion participants will be driven on Thursday morning, August 5 to the Valley River Inn in Eugene for the start of the conference. You should book your return flights based on whether you are attending a post-conference excursion.
You will have the option to stay at The Allison Inn ($385/night but the premier wine country inn in Oregon), the Yamhill Flats ($220), or the Holiday Inn (price TBD) in Newberg for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Participants will be given a booking link as we get closer to the conference date.
What is Included
The cost of the pre-conference excursion is $25 and includes ground transportation starting from PDX and ending in Eugene on the first day of the Wine Media Conference, winery visits, tastings, and meals. It does not include transportation to/from Oregon or accommodations.
Please note details may change.
Tuesday, August 3
2:00 PM Pick-up at PDX transfer to hotel, either The Allison Inn or the Holiday Inn Newberg. Note The Allison Inn is considered the finest wine country hotel in Oregon and one of the nicest in the country. While rates are high, we will attempt to get a lower room rate for this group. As an alternative, you can always choose to book at the Holiday Inn.
4:00 PM Arrive in Newberg and check into Hotel
5:00 PM Motor Tour of the Ribbon Ridge AVA
6:30 PM Casual Introductory Dinner at a local winery (details coming soon)
Wednesday, August 4
8:00 – 10:00 AM Breakfast on your own in the hotel
11:00 AM Hotel Pickup for planned Vineyard/Wineries Tour. Four stops with host and guest wineries at each stop. Winery visits include Trisaetum, Utopia, Eminent Domaine and Styring.
11:30 AM First stop at Trisaetum Estate Vineyard and Winery. Here we will enjoy appetizers specially designed to pair with the wines we will be tasting.
1:30 PM We will head to our second stop at Utopia Estate Vineyard where we will tour the vineyard and have a light lunch outdoors on the patio. Lunch will include a selection of wines from Utopia and other Ribbon Ridge AVA wineries.
3:30 – 5:30 PM We will then head up to the top of Ribbon Ridge to Eminent Domaine for a casual early dinner at Eminent Domaine’s outdoor kitchen while enjoying amazing vistas overlooking Ribbon Ridge AVA. Dinner will be accompanied with wine tastings featuring host winery Eminent Domaine and guest wineries from the Ribbon Ridge AVA.
6:00 – 7:30 PM Finally we will head a short distance down the hill to Styring Estate Vineyard and Winery for a dessert course and specially paired wines to top off our day. Dessert will be accompanied with wines from Styring and several guest wineries featuring the Ribbon Ridge AVA.
Thursday, August 5
7:00 AM + Breakfast on your own in hotel
9:00 AM Hotel pickup for transportation to Eugene for Wine Media Conference to arrive 11:00 AM.