U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Willamette Valley Autumn Drive

This was one of the best trips of my life. And, we didn't need to fly over the ocean and go through time changes. 
Mesmerizing landscapes, stunning sweeping views, excellent local food and wines (especially pinot noir) were waiting for us in our neighboring state, Oregon. 
Sloping fields, orchids, hundreds of vineyards, rolling hills, gorgeous foliage fall palettes  - every mile of the way had something to excite travelers.
The enchanted, beautiful, friendly Willamette Valley showed us its best, and I want to share some of it with you in this post.

The oaks of the Willamette Valley, including Oregon white oak, are magnificent.
There was a time when they were part of vast woodland savannas.
Serious conservation efforts are needed to preserve what's left.
HERE is a short and very interesting article about Oregon white oak.
I learned, for example, that over 100 lichen species grow on the oak's trunk, branches and twigs!
Thanks to them, the trees have a ghostly appearance, especially after all the leaves are gone in winter.

The Willamette Valley's pastoral, bucolic towns are unforgettable.  
I was born in the countryside and always see similarities in different countries' small towns. 
 I always think about their residents, their life styles and hard work.

What was surprising for me during this trip was that we didn't need to drive far to see something beautiful.
Beauty was everywhere, along the roads and behind almost every turn.

Elk Cove Vineyards
'Wine & Spirits' 2013 Winery of the Year

Oh, these panoramic views....

Check out the size of trees!

Geometry of the vineyards hypnotized me, honestly...

Live tapestry

Solar panels

'Willamette Valley Vineyards has invested in four solar energy projects with Advanced Energy Systems. These include two solar electric installations (458 panels in total) providing 139,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. In addition, a 12 collector solar water heating system supplies a major portion of the hot water needed for the winery kitchen and bottling operations. On an equivalent basis, these solar power facilities offset the emissions from the consumption of 11,917 gallons of gasoline, amounting to a reduction of 117 tons of CO2 emissions each year.' ( Willamette Valley Vineyards)

Isn't it a beautiful view?

There are thousands of acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries in the Willamette Valley.
We heard such numbers as 500, 700... Statistics say - more than 500.
Rich volcanic soil, closeness to the ocean and mountains create unique conditions for
growing grapes. 
Soil here is considered to be among some of the most fertile soils on the Earth.
One fact shocked me: in some areas of the Willamette Valley, the soil is about 0.5 mile deep!
How deep is it in my garden? 21-20 inches before a shovel hits a stone-like dense layer? LOL! 

Domain Drouhin Winery.  'French Soul - Oregon Soil'.
Here, you can buy their wine made from local grapes and wine from their winery in Burgundy.

Domaine Serene Winery

Stoller Family Estate 

Light is changing in the evening, and grape leaves become pure gold.

Thank you, Oregon for the wonderful experience!

***Copyright 2017 TatyanaS

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