THE CHEHALEM MOUNTAINS
FOR DECADES, VISIONARIES AND DREAMERS HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO THE RUGGED SLOPES OF THE CHEHALEM MOUNTAINS WITH ONE GOAL IN MIND: TO MAKE GREAT WINE.
About the Chehalem Mountains
With deep ravines, high peaks, and difficult terrain, planting and farming a vineyard in this region is not for the faint of heart. Despite the odds, pioneers and nonconformists have established vineyards in this region, driven by an intense passion and insatiable drive to produce exceptional wines.
Many of Oregon’s oldest and most celebrated vineyards are planted here amidst the steep slopes and patchwork of marine, volcanic, and windblown sediment. The diverse composition of soils, terrain, and climate have proved fundamental to our distinctive wines, contributing unparalleled complexity and enjoyment.
Established as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2006, the Chehalem Mountains is located a mere 20 miles southwest of Portland and home to more than 250 vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms. Visitors to the area also have an array of dining and lodging options.
History of the Chehalem Mountains
One of Oregon’s first modern vineyards was planted in the Chehalem Mountains in 1968 by Dick Erath. The 49-acre site on Dopp Road was called Chehalem Mountain Vineyards. The establishment of other early vineyards by pioneering winegrowers followed by Dick and Nancy Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards in 1969, then David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyard, and Paul Hart of Rex Hill vineyard in the early 1970s.