Wine Travel Writers Are Discovering Southern Oregon
In the last few years, on a fairly regular basis, Southern Oregon wine region is making the wine travel writers lists. One of the latest “The Top 12 Underrated Wine Regions To Visit In 2017: A Month-By-Month Guide” by Lauren Mowery, a contributor to Forbes Magazine.
Why?, you might ask, are international travel writers raving about this area? Well, because Southern Oregon is truly remarkable and very distinct from the Pinot Noir heavy wine region in northern Oregon.
It’s all about geography and diversity: for many decades this region has been globally recognized for its bio-diversity by biologists, and now wine makers are discovering that geographic diversity translates to good wine making. Three mountains ranges cross this region, Cascades, Klamath, and Siskiyou, forming highly diverse terrain, multiple micro-climates, and a number of fertile river valleys. Each mountain range unique in geology adds to the diversity of the terroir.
Southern Oregon wine region has the most diverse growing conditions in the world. More kinds of grapes thrive here than any other wine growing region. A few years ago there were a little over 60 wineries, now there are over 150 offering over 70 different varieties of wine in 5 distinct regions.
Upper Rogue Wine Trail
Last weekend friends and I did a wonderful wine tasting foray on the Upper Rogue Wine Trail. An alternative to the Applegate Valley wines, with equally beautiful country, and interesting wines.
We went to three wineries: Del Rio Vineyards, Folin Cellars, and Kriselle Cellars. The tour plan was to taste three out of the six wineries on the Upper Rogue Wine Trail, and then end up at the Rogue Creamery cheese and Lillie Belle chocolate tasting rooms in Central Point. However, we took our sweet time sipping and relishing the wines, and we ran out of time. This only means we need to do the Wine Trail all over again, and try the other three wineries, and see if we can fit in the chocolate and cheese!
The consensus was …
The wine tasters in the group preferred Folin Cellars‘ wines. The pouring room is stunningly elegant with lovely surrounding gardens.
Kriselle Cellars has great pizza, fabulous patio with beautiful views. Operating for just 4 years, Kriselle’s wines, while good now, will surely improve.
Del Rio Vineyards had lovely wines, friendly staff, and a quaint historic building for their tasting room.
Locations: The Upper Rogue Wine Trail is about 35 minutes from the inn. Most of the wineries branch off Rt 234 running east-west just north of the Table Rock formations between Gold Hill (at I-5 Exit 43) and Butte Falls. www.upperrougewinetrail.com
Life-Uncorked! Reviews Southern Oregon Wines
Life-Uncorked — web-based blog magazine — writes a great article providing a wonderful list of some of the best wineries in Southern Oregon. All of these wineries are within easy driving distance from the Chanticleer Inn.
Southern Oregon: An Emerging, Exciting Wine Destination
by Susan Montgomery
When you think about Oregon wines, what comes to mind first? Is it the Willamette Valley? If so, think again. Think the Rogue Valley, 230 miles south of Willamette around Medford, where you can find some of the best wines in the country—wines that are certainly comparable in quality to the wonderful Willamette wines—not just Pinot Noirs, but also Tempranillos, Chardonnays, Syrahs, Viogniers, Malbecs, Cab Francs and more.
Medford is easily accessible, too, about 30 miles from the California and Oregon border.
The microclimates and varied terrain (high and low, mountains, valleys, deserts and rivers) of this beautiful area are conducive to nurturing a wide range of varietals. While the area was virtually undiscovered a few years ago, it is now emerging on the radar of many wine connoisseurs. At least 150 wineries are currently thriving in the area and more are coming on board all the time. But for visitors, the region is still a very desirable wine destination with its boutique, welcoming, mostly family-run wineries in picturesque settings, and most with reasonable tasting room and wine prices.
[read more …]
Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market Opens for the 2016 Season on March 1!
Ashland Farmers Market has been serving up fresh produce, specialty foods, and unique hand-made crafts to southern Oregon since 1987.
The Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market consists of over 200 local members, many of whom are local to Jackson County (the town of Ashland is in Jackson County). To be included in the market, all items for sale must be locally prepared, grown, or crafted by the vendor.
Come to the Ashland Farmers Market to shop, chat, and commune with local farmers who deliver food straight from their fields to you; and with crafters who make sundry handmade art and tools.
At the Ashland Farmers market there will be:
- Freshly harvested salad greens and organically grown fruits and vegetables.
- Colorful in season flowers, plants in pots, and garden starts
- An array of prepared foods and baked goods, sustainably grown, harvested and made: such as meats, cheeses, breads, sandwiches, soups, salsa, pasta, pickles, honey and other goodies.
- A wide selection of unique, locally handcrafted, many totally sustainable, items for home and garden, including woodwork, pottery, homemade soaps and bath items, dried flower arrangements, quality metal artwork and jewelry.
- Occasional Chef demonstrations
- Live music played by locals
- Master Gardeners table after May
Ashland Farmers Market Details:
Locations: The Market comes twice a week: the more expansive market is on Tuesday at the National Guard Armory; the smaller market right in downtown on Saturdays. The Saturday market is convenient to the Chanticleer Inn, guests can just stroll down the hill. The Tuesday market is a short drive on East Main Street. Both locations will take debit and credit cards.
What’s local? Everything produced at the market is as local as it can be! Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market is limited to growers, producers and crafters within 3 Southern Oregon counties: Jackson, Josephine, and Siskiyou. Some of the crafters and vendors may source materials and ingredients outside of our valley. Be sure to ask individual vendors about sources of their ingredients, and why they have chosen them.
Organic or Not Organic? Not all products found at the market are organic. Individual vendors decide how they will grow, produce and/or source their products. However the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market organization gives preference to vendors that operate organically locally within the Rogue Valley. All vendors will advertise what is organic and what is not.
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
National Guard Armory
1420 E. Main Street
March – November
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Ashland Saturday Market
Oak Street in the Heart of Downtown
May – October
Wine Enthusiast, a wine and travel magazine lists Ashland in their top ten wine travel destinations for 2016
Wine Enthusiast magazine’s annual list spanned the world and at least 4 continents, Southern Oregon wines finally got on the list. Southern Oregon has 100s of wineries between Roseburg and Ashland, with 5 AVAs.
Apart from the abundance of fine dining, great lodging, and the performing arts, Ashland is centrally located and surrounded by vineyards and wineries.
Sunset Magazine — Local’s Guide to So. Oregon Wine Country
Sunset Magazine article speaks to wine lovers. It still seems to be the best kept secret how rich in variety, and varietals, Southern Oregon wine country is.
The 2015 Sunset article explores three river valley growing areas with over 150 micro-climates. That equates to lots of variety and lots of wines from which to choose.
2015 Ashland Farmers Market Opens
Always fun, the Ashland Farmers market, also called Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market, provides a wide selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables. As well as herbs, plants, soaps and crafts. Music and food booths add to the festive feel.
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the National Guard Armory on 1420 E. Main Street
Indigo Creek does Rogue Valley on Tap brewery tour
Last weekend, friends and I went on a brewery tour conducted by Indigo Creek Outfitters. They don’t just do rivers! They are growing into an adventure company.
We really enjoyed the “Rogue Valley on Tap” tasting tour. It was great to discover some of the local well-crafted beer. All four breweries are in the Rogue Valley and easy driving distance from the Chanticleer. Speaking of driving, I recommend Indigo Creek tours, because they drive and you taste!
It was especially wonderful to met a couple of the brewery owners and get a personalized tour of their operations. There’s nothing like talking with people who are masters of their craft, and who love to share their knowledge and passion for it.
The first stop was Opposition Brewing Company. Here is where you get BIG beers. Be they brews with huge hop presence, big malt backbones, or prominent and unique flavor profiles, they brew beers that are approachable, but with the character necessary to challenge the mundane. Opposition offers a consistent selection of quality, small-batch, beers as well as rotating specialties. As they brew weekly, you’re guaranteed some of the freshest beer on tap in the Rogue Valley.
Walkabout Brewing Company was established in 1997 in Central Point, Oregon by founder and head brewer, Ross Litton. Why “walkabout” for a company name? Well when you hear Ross talk you know … you can take the boy out of Perth Australia, but you can’t take the Aussie out of the boy — even after 21 years in Southern Oregon. Walkabout brews have been available primarily in Southern Oregon, however lately distribution has been expanded to include Portland, Salem, Eugene and Corvallis.
Bricktowne’s restaurant and brewery is located in downtown historic Medford directly across from the Craterian Theater. They have an extensive lunch and dinner menu but are best known for their incredible craft beers. Bricktowne boasts some of the best beer in the valley, and with their selection of 11 beers they really have something for everyone. Click here to visit their website.
Swing Tree Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated Brewery Tap House, located in Ashland Oregon, that opened in the November of 2013. Swing Tree is a place for family and friends to come together for great company and an exceptional pint. The centerpiece of the Swing Tree experience is its hand-crafted, artisan ales and lagers. Click here to visit their website.
Beer Tasting Tours by Indigo Creek Outfitters
Want the insider’s sip on some local Rogue Valley nano- and micro-breweries? Go with Indigo Creek Outfitters visit 4 places with snacks and flights.
Interested? For more information, here’s the link
Many guests ask me what is an AVA — American Viticultural Area. What kinds of soils and climates Southern Oregon wine region has. So here’s a little write up to answer those questions.