Cities and Towns of Willamette Valley
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
The Willamette Valley, located at the foot of the Oregon Coast Range, comprises some of the most fertile and lush farmland in the Northwest. Stretching from just below the Oregon-Washington border to the city of Eugene, the Willamette Valley has long been considered the heartbeat of Oregon. Nineteenth century pioneers following the Oregon Trail were drawn by its Eden-like reputation for abundant land, idyllic beauty and ample resources. These first emigrants did not turn to farming to make a living, but rather to profitable gains of the lumber and fur trades. It was not until later that Oregon's farming industries truly took shape.
Now containing Oregon's largest metropolitan area, the Willamette Valley is considered the state's economic center and is home to more than 2 million people. At its northern tip lies Portland, Oregon's largest city and cultural center. The evidence of Oregon's 19th century homesteaders can still be seen today in the Portland vicinity, where historic landmarks such as Oregon City still flourish.
The Willamette Valley is best known for its agricultural accomplishments, which include a flourishing wine industry. The valley is actually divided into two distinct appellations, although both are known for their rich and robust Pinot Noir and exceptional Pinot Gris. Hazelnuts, raspberries, blackberries and surprisingly, Christmas trees, are major exports of the Willamette Valley area.
Massive flood waters helped shape this valley more than 10,000 years ago, when the glacial waters of Lake Missoula washed over areas of Oregon and Washington's western regions in a series of periodic floods. The result was a transplantation of rich volcanic soil from eastern Washington to western Oregon, where the moist, cool winds of the Pacific Ocean continue to nurture Oregon's most abundant agricultural region.
For more details on the Willamette Valley, please click on the cities and towns listed below:
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