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Grape growing on the Edge
Elkton, OR – 2/5/2013 – We are so pleased to announce that today the TTB has established the 74,900 acre “Elkton Oregon” American Viticulture Area. TTB Press Release. This newest Oregon AVA is the fulfillment of Ken Thomason’s dream that he could grow world class cool climate whites and pinot noir in the tiny hamlet of Elkton Oregon. He began planting these varieties in 1972 on a west facing bench 2 miles east of Elkton at a site now owned by Mike and Vonnie Landt of Rivers Edge Winery. Elkton is unique and deserving of this differentiation. While wholly within the Umpqua Valley AVA and the much larger Southern Oregon AVA, the climate in Elkton is very different from the prevailing perceptions of these areas. Most tend to think of all of Southern Oregon as warmer and drier than the better known areas to the north. Elkton is on the main Umpqua River which flows through a valley opening to the Pacific only 36 miles away and only 142 feet lower in elevation. This geography allows for a very strong marine influence with daily sea breezes and fog penetrating into the valley. This gives Elkton its unique climate, cool, maritime and temperate, ideal for the varieties that Ken first planted. We are all thankful for the efforts of Dr. Greg Jones for his help in preparing and submitting the petition.