Evening Land Vineyards is a family of three estates in Oregon, California and France that was started in 2005 by film producer Mark Tarlov. Based in Santa Rosa, California, the enterprise is now under new ownership, but it continues to produce about 32,000 cases of wine a year. At the moment the estate’s Burgundy venture sources grapes in the Cote d’Or. In Oregon Evening Land has vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. In California the estate has a vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and on the state’s Central Coast. Evening Land produces red and white Burgundies, Oregon Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Willamette Valley AVA was established in 1983, and it is the oldest appellation in Oregon. Oregon’s modern wine industry began in the Willamette Valley in the 1960s when artists, vagabond winemakers, and U.C. Davis oenology graduates looking for new territory started their own, small, off-the-grid wineries. The appellation is the state’s largest, and it extends 175 miles from Columbia River on the Washington/Oregon border to just south of Eugene, near central Oregon. The Willamette River runs through the area, helping to give the appellation a mild year-round climate. There are six smaller sub-appellations within this AVA, but altogether the Willamette Valley has the largest concentration of wineries in Oregon, as well as the majority of the state’s most famous producers. Pinot Noir is king here, followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. To most admirers of Oregon Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley offers the most distinctive wine choices in the state.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.