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Exploring Southern Oregon Wine Scene

Vineyard Views in Rogue Valley, Oregon

Vineyard Views in Rogue Valley, Oregon

This week we are exploring the Southern Oregon wine scene. Our first winery visit was to Kriselle Cellars where we discovered the beauty of acres of vineyards in full fall colors. This winery is located in the Rogue Valley near the famed Table Rock. The Rogue Valley is also the home of the Harry and David gift basket phenomena.

According to the Southern Oregon Winery Association, the region is divided into five areas: Applegate Valley, Illinois Valley, Rogue Valley, Upper Rogue and Umpqua Valley.

Yesterday our first winery visit of the day was to Quady North where we met the owner Herb who described his winemaking style as well as his custom crush facility and his journey into a vineyard management business. We still don’t know how he has enough hours in the day for everything!

Red Lily Vineyard in Applegate Valley

Red Lily Vineyard in Applegate Valley

Next we traveled into the Applegate Valley, not far from Rogue Valley. Here we discovered how the mountains seem to close in together, and had to marvel at the vineyards that seem squeezed in between. There seems to be quite an emphasis on Tempranillo wines. Our first stop in the Applegate Valley was Red Lily Vineyards where we met Rachel Martin, owner, winemaker, and bottle washer whose energy level knows no limits.

Dynamic view of vineyards and mountains of Applegate

Dynamic view of vineyards and mountains of Applegate

Our final visit was to Serra Vineyards where we met Scott Fernandes owner and winemaker and assistant winemaker Liz Wan. We enjoyed learning about their wine journeys and experience the stunning views of the colorful fall vineyards against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains.

Everyone we have met so far in Southern Oregon is enthusiastic about the quality of the grapes being grown in the region. It is obvious from those we have met, that they are putting their hearts and souls into producing the best wines they can from the grapes growing in the area. With numerous microclimates in the region, the winemakers are still learning what wine grapes will do the best here.

Relatively new to the winemaking scene, Southern Oregon is an up and coming wine region that will be quickly making headlines. Some of the wines are already winning double gold medals.

When planning your vacation, you may just want to plan a visit to Southern Oregon. For our visit we flew into Medford, Oregon. The airport is very small and one where it would be difficult to become lost. For your convenience the rental car offices are close to the luggage carousel.

Watch for our upcoming articles about the individual wineries and the wines we tasted coming soon.

Kathy and Terry

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