Yamhill-Carlton AVA is home to Oregon wine industry pioneers, winegrowing vetrans and the valley’s friendliest natives. Pat & Joe Campbell founded Elk Cove Winery in 1974, and were the very first wineries in the Willamette Valley. They paved the way for winemakers and industry luminaries like Ken Wright, Tony Soter, Lynn Penner-Ash, Brian O’Donnell and Dick Shea, all of whom chose Yamhill-Carlton as a site for their life’s work.
The majority of Yamhill-Carlton District’s vineyards were planted in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The primary soil of this area is called Willakenzie, named after the Willamette & McKenzie rivers. It is sedimentary soil with sandstone base rock. The sand content is quite high up and the soil is therefore very well drained. The sites are generally on the lower slopes of a volcanic ridge. Wines of the area possess aromas of red & blue fruits, with added elements of cocoa, leather, anise, clove and freshly turned earth. Acidity levels are generally lower than other regions, prompting these wines to be lush and agreeable in their youth.