The Yamhill-Carlton AVA is contained within the Willamette Valley AVA and is located 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Portland and 40 miles (64 km) east of the Pacific Ocean. The region is protected from extreme weather by the Coast Range and the Chehalem Mountains resulting in warmer vineyards, often with the earliest harvest dates in the Willamette Valley.
Yamhill-Carlton is comprised almost entirely of Willakenzie soil, a fine-grained, ancient marine sedimentary soil that drains quickly, making it ideal for viticulture. The Willakenzie soil and warmer micro-climate found in this area produce ripe, texturally driven wines with an abundance of spice and floral qualities layered onto dark fruit flavors.
Yamhill-Carlton was once known for fruit tree orchards, nurseries, livestock, wheat fields and logging. In 1974, pioneers Pat and Joe Campbell started Elk Cove Vineyards, which produced the first commercial wine in the Yamhill-Carlton area, at a time when other areas of the North Willamette Valley were just starting to be planted. Other winemakers soon followed suit. The Yamhill-Carlton AVA was officially established in 2005.