1-ElktonAVA_Map_2015_500Within the beautiful misty hills and cool valleys of the coastal mountain range lies the tiny hamlet of Elkton (pop. 195), the namesake of one of the newest viticultural regions in Oregon. Pastured valleys, rolling hills, vineyards and Douglas fir forests surround the community, which is known for its sports fishing along the Umpqua River.

The Elkton Oregon American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in Douglas County, within the northwest corner of the Umpqua Valley AVA. It is situated along the Umpqua, which flows through a valley opening in the Oregon Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean 40 miles away. The town of Elkton is 37 miles northwest of Douglas County’s largest city, Roseburg.

Winegrowing in Elkton dates back to the early 1970s when Ken Thomason began planting cool climate whites and Pinot Noir. Thirty years later, in 2002, Brandborg Vineyard and Winery opened as the area’s first winery. In 2013 the Elkton Oregon AVA was established to recognize the area’s distinct climate and geography within the larger Umpqua Valley AVA.

Ocean breezes frequently blanket the coastline west of Elkton in the thickest marine layer in Southern Oregon, keeping Elkton’s vineyards cooler, moister and foggier than those in Oregon’s other southern appellations. With an average rainfall of 50 inches a year, it’s also the coolest and wettest region within the Umpqua Valley.

Elkton Oregon is dominated by the coastal mountain geology, lying over a mix of sedimentary, volcanic and metamorphic rock units from the middle Eocene. These soils are predominately residual clay and/or silt loam soil or small to large cobble-dominated alluvial deposits from the Yamhill and Tyee formation and the river terrace building of the meandering Umpqua River.
Source: Oregon Wine Board

Elkton Oregon contains a wide range of terrain that is dissected by the broader meanders of the Umpqua River. The majority of the AVA falls below the 1,000-foot contour and includes the river bottom land (elevation 130-160 feet), river terraces (or benchlands) and foot hills near the river (elevation 130-160 feet).
Source: Oregon Wine Board 


The conditions are ideal for the planting of cool weather grapes, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Baco Noir, and Riesling.