A 200 Million Year old Story
The Willamette Valley’s story starts many many years ago at the bottom of an ancient ocean. 200 million years ago the coastline of what is now Oregon was at the ridge of what is now the Cascade Mountain Range. Pressure from the shifting tectonic plates created a new coastline for Oregon and lifted the Willamette Valley from the depths. The foundation of the Valley’s soils is ancient sedimentary soil. This soil is very poor in available nutrients and water holding, which brings a certain level of stress to our vines.
The saga of the Willamette Valley continued from 60 to 14 million years ago with volcanic lava flows from what is now Montana and Utah. This periodic flows deposited layers of rich iron-laden bedrock on top of a sedimentary base.
At the end of the last ice age, approximately 14,000 years ago, as the large global glacier was receding an ice-dam in what is now Montana thawed and froze with the changing seasons. Every year that it thawed, it would release a wall of water that would flood Idaho, Southern Washinton, and Oregon. These Missoula Floods brought very fine silty-soils and deposited them throughout the valley.
These eclectic soils bring diversity to our vineyard sources, giving us great breadth and depth in all of our wines. Kudos to the valley, this amazing place that we call home.
The Beauty of a Temperate Climate
“The ideal winegrowing climate allows grapes to achieve optimum sugar and acid levels naturally timed with flavor and tannin development to maximize a given style of wine and express vintage qualities.”
-Dr. Greg Jones – Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education
The Willamette Valley is nestled between Oregon’s Coast Range and the Cascade Mountain Range. This is a protected position from many weather extremes. The Coast Range regulates what weather over the worlds largest ocean reaches the valley, and the Cascades act as a shield against the high-desert weather of Eastern Oregon.
If you were a wine grape you would want to be planted in Oregon.
The Fruit We Grow
It has been over 5,000 years since the first commercial winery, and one thing we’ve learned is that you can’t force great wine to be produced from any region. There are so many variables that can make or break great wine, and Oregon’s Willamette Valley has shown itself to be the gold standard in the New World for Cool Climate varietals.
Complex soils in a cool climate result in pure expressions of terroir. Fully developed fruit flavors are balanced by bright acidity and freshness.
The Willamette Valley accounts for 72% of Oregon’s land planted to vine. Pinot Noir dominates those plantings. Of the 21,800 acres planted 73% is Pinot Noir, 12% Pinot Gris, 6% Chardonnay, 2% Riesling and 7% a mix of other varieties.
The Kudos Lifestyle
Winemaker. It may be one of the most epic job titles out there, but what do they actually do… Many think it’s days filled with walking rows of picturesque vineyards pondering the meaning of life, and a healthy level of day-drinking. Although it can be those things, being a winemaker is so much more. It […]
The Why: Kudos Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir has a tremendously rich and chocolatey flavor that stems from the deep, dark soils of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. We find that the beautiful garnet colored Pinot Noir is a perfect pair with a light, earthy meal. Enter one of Oregon’s greatest treasures–Chanterelles. This meal is easy to prepare and […]
Whether following the worlds longest play-date, a day on the at the office or mixing it up with great friends, there are few things more rewarding than capping a great outing with a cheeseburger and a favorite beverage. In the spirit of that tradition, Kudos has some suggestions for how to bask in that glorious […]
Q&A with our Director of Viticulture and Winemaking Bruno Corneaux. As with all of our team, Bruno’s journey to the Pacific Northwest has taken twists and turns through self-discovery and diverse experiences around the world. Kudos to you, Bruno! What was your first ever wine experience? I have a very specific smell and visual […]
You don’t need to be an expert or a supertaster to appreciate wine. We have a saying at Kudos, “if you can identify what tastes good to you and what doesn’t, you have all the knowledge necessary to enjoy wine.” With that said, here are a few helpful tips for allowing your senses to guide […]
In the wine industry, we always see oak barrels but we truly don’t appreciate them for their craftsmanship. Like many things in our lives if we see them all the time we lose respect for them. The oak barrel has been an influential instrument in the growth and history of the wine industry. Kudos uses […]