Last time, I detailed a bit about the large Chehalem Mountains AVA. I also wrote about how the small Ribbon Ridge AVA is included on the Chehalem Mountains map. So let's look at Ribbon Ridge more closely.
Looking at the Chehalem Mountains AVA map, you might wonder why Ribbon Ridge is a separate AVA. The federal ruling that established Ribbon Ridge as its own AVA can tell you more about that than I can. In short, its sedimentary soils are geologically different from the more volcanic Chehalem Mountains. Also, dramatic topography separates Ribbon Ridge from the Yamhill-Carlton district to the west, though the soils are more similar between those two AVAs.
Ribbon Ridge is described as an "island" on the AVA ruling document, and looking closely on this map you can see that. From Ayers Creek to the north and Dopp Creek to the east, then down to the Chehalem Creek to the west and south, Ribbon Ridge really does stand out. The effect is to create a bit of a rain and wind shadow (if that's a term) that allows the region to be a bit warmer, drier and less foggy than some surrounding areas.
The paved entrance to the AVA from the south is Lewis Rogers Lane, not marked on the map but running north from North Valley Road between Dopp Road to the east and the gravel and dirt Ribbon Ridge Road to the west. The map shows Armstrong Vineyard on the right but doesn't show the newly planted Ackerman Vineyard just to the north.
Further up, the road bends left at Ayers Vineyard, then right at Brick House, one of the most recognized names in this area. Also in this area is the Ribbon Ridge Estate vineyard of Aramenta Cellars and their Looney Vineyard, leased to Archery Summit in the Dundee Hills.
A bit further on, Lewis Rogers Lane intersects with Ribbon Ridge Road, which climbs higher into the AVA. There's the new Trisaetum Vineyard on the left, then Redman and Styring before you reach Chehalem winery's well known Ridgecrest Vineyard.
The far west end of Ribbon Ridge isn't accessible up this way, but has some highly regarded sites. From North Valley Road, there's Patty Green's Estate vineyard, the old Autumn Wind property. Also you find The Beaux Freres Vineyard, Whistling Ridge Vineyard, The Upper Terrace of Beaux Freres, and something I didn't know about until seeing this map -- Bryce Vineyard, no doubt from the late, great Bryce Bagnall who's eponymous label carries on without him.
Next time, the Yamhill-Carlton district.