Oregon’s largest winery just gained entry into the state’s best known wine growing region. King Estate Winery, south of Eugene, is now part of the Willamette Valley AVA.
AVA stands for American Viticultural Area. Aficionados consider it when they purchase wine. Ed King, the owner of King Estate, says wine regions are defined by climate, altitude, and soil. King says the cool climate of the Willamette Valley is suitable for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes, which are grown at King Estate.
KING: “Will anything taste different? No. Things won’t taste different. But does it have significance? It really does.”
King says the tradition of classifying wine regions goes back to old Europe. The expansion of the Willamette Valley AVA also includes King Estate’s smaller neighbor, Iris Vineyards.