The Columbia River separates Oregon from its northern neighbor, Washington state. As it flows west towards the Pacific Ocean and down through the majestic Cascade Mountain Range, it cuts a vast gorge, providing a series of varying conditions ideal for viticulture. As the arid climate of eastern Oregon collides with the marine air of western Oregon, climactic changes occur in relatively short distances. Lying within the giant rain shadow created by the Cascades, the Valley receives less than 10 inches of rain per year. This greatly influences the winegrapes, translating into distinct flavors.
The Walla Walla Appellation is also shared by Oregon and Washington. The region’s hot days contrast with crisp, cool nights. As its adjoining neighbor, the Columbia Valley, rainfall is low and wines are defined with intense flavors and robust character. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Chardonnay and other warmer, dry climate varieties can be found in these regions. There are currently four Oregon wineries in this region.