Southern Oregon Wine and Food

Oregon Wine Country in Sams Valley

Sam’s Valley – Southern Oregon Wine Country

Oregon Wine and Artisan Food

Lovers of the culinary arts are discovering Southern Oregon wine and artisan food — the two fastest growing industries in Southern Oregon with more than 150 wineries and numerous boutique food artisans. Combining wine and food for culinary excursions or day trips is as fun as it’s satisfying.

Southern Oregon Wine

Southern Oregon wine country is truly a premier world-class wine destination, as well as the oldest wine region in the state. It offers visitors interactive and intimate experience with non-corporate wine makers and growers, set in stunningly beautiful wine country.

The rugged mountain valleys and different climates throughout the Southern Oregon makes for the most diverse growing conditions in the world. Over 150 wineries offering over 70 different varieties of wine in 5 distinct regions.

For a description of the climate and soil on each of the four American Viticulture Areas within Southern Oregon.  For information on the Southern Oregon wine region as a whole with its wineries, maps and events the Southern Oregon Winery Association (SOWA) has a very complete website.

Touring Oregon Wine Region

Visitors to the region may take guided wine tours or drive about by themselves.

Guided Southern Oregon Wine Tours

These companies design tours for both the knowledgeable and ‘amateur’ wine lover. They offer a rich experience, providing an in-depth education of the region’s history and a hands-on tasting experience that guarantees more than a self-guided tour allows.

Tours include all wine tasting fees, vineyard picnic, and transportation to vineyards and back. For any purchases, the tour guests get wine-club pricing. For more detailed description and itinerary of the tours visit: Wine Hopper Tours or Bravo Outings.

Do-It-Yourself Wine Tours

Rogue Valley and Applegate Valley AVAs are the two closest to the Chanticleer Inn — both are within the Southern Oregon AVA. While it’s possible to visit wineries from both AVAs in one afternoon, focusing on one at a time makes for more leisurely tours.

Visitors have many options and can spend multiple days exploring this elegant wine region. Geographically, the Southern Oregon wine region is laid out in three sub-regional valleys/rivers:  Bear Creek Valley, the Upper Rouge, and Applegate Valley. Each area has its own winery association with a website (listed below) providing information on all the member wineries and growers, their events, tour maps and downloadable brochures.

  • Bear Creek Boutique Wineries — These wineries are truly boutique, all of them grow, bottle and sell their own wines offering an interactive experience for all visitors.
  • Upper Rouge Wine Trail — Six family wineries and six different interpretations of wine. Follow the trail and taste award winning wines along the way.
  • Applegate Wine Trail — From Historic Jacksonville to Grants Pass wander through stunningly scenic wine country on Rt. 238 choose from among 18 wineries to visit and taste.

Chocolate and Cheese

Lillie Belle Farm Chocolate

Ashland is a town for chocolate lovers: home of many artisan chocolatiers who distribute via the Internet and Ashland shops, such as Paddington Station and Ashland Food Co-op.

Dagoba Organic chocolate has a tasting room south of downtown.  Early March is when chocolatiers and chocolate lovers all gather for the annual Chocolate Festival held at the Ashland Springs hotel.

If passing by Central Point on I-5, you should take a small detour for a extraordinary culinary break.  Just off Hwy 5 on exit 33, is a three-for-one stop, award-winning tasting opportunity: cheese, wine and chocolate. The Rogue Creamery, an artisan cheese company dedicated to sustainability, and the art and tradition of making the world’s finest handmade cheese; Lillie Belle Farms an artisan chocolates company creating hand-made confections using time-honored European techniques, but with a true American twist; and then Ledger David wine tasting room. Well worth the stop!