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Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards
by
Kathy and Terrt Sullivan

Irvine & Roberts Family VineyardsSummary: Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards is located on the edge of the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. The Irvine & Roberts Family wines are available now; the tasting room is under construction and is expected to open in late May or early June 2017.

Our last place to visit while in Ashland, Oregon was the Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards. This family-owned vineyard is a small family vineyard located at the far end of the scenic Rogue Valley. We quickly learned that the owners of the established vineyards are constructing a tasting room and winery. Construction of the tasting room is expected to be completed in late spring of 2017. The location of the tasting room in the estate vineyards will provide scenic views of Rogue Valley and vineyards.

We visited with Michael Donovan, managing director of Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards. Michael allowed us to tour the building site for the tasting room set on a hillside amidst acres of vineyards. He also provided us with an artist concept of the finished tasting room. The first photo below shows the footings during our November 2016 visit. The second photo shows the artist’s concept of the tasting room and winery.

Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards   Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards

 

Irvine & Roberts Family VineyardsMichael has a long history of promoting Oregon wines going back forty years. He co-owned and managed a wine shop in Ashland. Later, he was managing director at RoxyAnn Winery in Medford. Michael spent a decade as a member of the Oregon Wine Board marketing committee. He currently serves as a member of the Southern Oregon Winery Association.

Vineyards

Michael talked about the potential new tasting room, winery and the vineyards. The original acreage was 28 acres and an adjacent site was purchased with an additional 28 acres.The elevation of the vineyards is 2100 feet. The climate is described as Mediterranean/marine. Currently the vineyards are filled with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir growing prolifically on the east facing, steep slope. The soils are sedimentary, composed of rocks and silty clay loam. The vineyards are certified sustainable by LIVE and Salmon Safe.

Owners

Doug and Dionne Irvine who had been raised in this region of Southern Oregon wanted to return to the area to raise their family. They purchased an 80-acre ranch. The idea of planting a vineyard was seeded while visiting France and Italy. They thought, they could plant a vineyard on their property. In 2007, the Irvines planted their first grapevines. Several years later, family members Kelly and Duane Roberts joined the Irvines in their vineyard and winery endeavors.

The Wines

Irvine & Roberts Family VineyardsAfter viewing the vineyards and the construction site with the protection of hard hats on, we visited with Michael at his nearby offsite office. In addition to learning more about Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards, we tasted three of their current wines. Michael estimated that 65% of the wines will be sold in the tasting room.

Pinot Noir Rosé 2015 was an orange color with a pink hue. The aroma and taste were of strawberries and raspberries. The wine was light/medium-bodied with very mild tannins and a fruity finish. This is a good rocking chair on the porch wine.

Chardonnay 2013 was a dark yellow color. The aroma was of apple and flowers. The wine offered a taste of apple, pear, vanilla, and had caramel hints. This was a barrel-fermented wine and offered a smooth mouthfeel. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Pinot Noir 2014 was a translucent ruby colored wine with a sienna hue. The wine offered aromas of raspberries. The taste had a silky mouthfeel. The taste also offered raspberries with some licorice notes. The wine was medium-bodied with mild tannins. The finish was fruity. This is a delicious wine.

We look forward to a future visit to the Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards new tasting room for the experience and to discover more of their wines.

Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards
1614 Emigrant Creek Road
Ashland, Oregon 97520

GPS: N42º 10.624’ W122º 37.820’

 

Article written December 2016



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