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What You Didn't Know About Oregon's Willamette Valley

What do you know about Oregon’s Willamette Valley? For starters, some of the best Pinot Noir wines come out of this region, the valley is filled with natural beauty, and the unique city of Portland is nestled at the top. But there is much more going on for this beautiful area than most people would guess. Here are 6 fabulous facts about the Willamette Valley that you probably didn’t already know. 

The Willamette Valley is a Foodie Destination

Most people think the Willamette Valley is known for its incredibly smooth and complex Pinot Noirs, but others know the valley as an incredible foodie destination. In some ways, I think the two bring out the best in each other. With a large number of farms in the region, there is no lack of fresh produce and the chefs of the area have run wild creating some of the most intricately complex dishes you could taste. 

The Largest Meteorite in America was found in the Willamette Valley

A 32,000-pound meteorite was found in West Linn, a small town just south of Portland in 1902. Quickly the mystery of this incredibly large meteorite spread and was found to be the largest in all of North America. The stunning Willamette Meteorite is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where an estimated 40 million people have seen it. 

Willamette Valley has over 20,000 acres dedicated to winemaking

Due to a unique set of geological events, the Willamette Valley is lined with some of the most fertile & nutrient-rich soil around. The volcanic soil deposited by volcano eruptions millions of years ago lend to the reddish color you can see the thriving grapevines growing from. After learning about the perfect conditions for Pinot Noir grapes in the region, people have started over 500 wineries in the valley.

Willamette Valley has some of the best Waterfalls

It is no surprise that the Willamette Valley is rich in rainfall, waters, and streams, but paired with the cascades to the east, you end up with some pretty spectacular waterfalls. Near Oregon City, the Willamette Falls are truly a sight to behold. This natural waterfall is the largest waterfall in the Northwestern United States by volume. Down south near Sublimity, there are about a dozen stunning falls all clumped together in the wilderness. 

The Spruce Goose is in the Willamette Valley

Most have heard of Howard Hughes and his incredible flying machines, and some may even know the Spruce Goose by name. The Spruce Goose is the largest wooden airplane ever constructed. This enormous marvel was kept out of the public eye for over 30 years before it made its pilgrimage to the quaint town of McMinnville. You can view it yourself at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

It’s pronounced Willamette, Dammit!

There is quite a commotion over how to pronounce the famed Willamette Valley. But any wine lover or local resident will be fast to correct you to the proper annunciation. It’s pronounced Will-AM-it with a hard ‘A’ in the middle. If you ever forget how to pronounce it, just follow the simple pronunciation phrase “Its Will-AM-it, Dammit!”

Extra Fact: The Willamette Valley is amazing, but you didn’t need us to tell you that. Come check out this incredible part of the world. Gaze upon giant waterfalls, sip perfectly curated Pinot Noir, eat some of the best food out there, and pronounce Willamette right the whole time (you’re welcome).

Planning a trip to the Willamette Valley? Book a Stay at the Bella Collina B&B, a luxurious inn located in the heart of Oregon wine country.

Bella Collina Bed and Breafkast

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(541) 272-1700
(503) 550-6056


6280 SE Eola Hills Rd.
Amity, Oregon 97101