The Yamhill-Carlton AVA status was granted in 2004 to distinguish fruit grown in the oldest marine sedimentary-based soils in the greater Willamette Valley. These soils and the growing conditions create wine with a profile that is distinct from that of wine from the surrounding AVAs in several significant ways. More specifically, the Pinot Noirs lean to black fruit, minerality, and floral—rose and violet—elements.
In addition, the AVA is located primarily on hillsides between 200 and 500 feet in elevation, the sweet spot for distinctive, age-worthy Pinot Noir. Although the spring can often be wet and cool, it is normal for this AVA to enjoy a more Mediterranean weather pattern from July through mid-October, as the Coast Range protects the northern parts of the Willamette Valley.