The Southern Oregon Wine Experience
From lush valley floors to steep terraced hillsides, vineyards are planted on all kinds of topography in countless wine regions around the world. While wine country is always picturesque, few settings are as strikingly beautiful as the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon. Fifty mere miles long, the Applegate Valley heads north from the California border, following the meandering and crystal clear Applegate River, a tributary of the mighty Rogue. This is Oregon, after all, where the rivers run clean and strong. Forested hillsides surround a valley that is fertile and temperate, hosting numerous fields of fragrant lavender, meticulous small family farms growing organic produce, herds of grass-fed cattle, and rows of grape vines, stretching away from the country road and up across the foothills. Within this dynamic and bucolic terrain is a special 275,000 acre wine appellation known as the Applegate Valley AVA. Contained within the Rogue Valley AVA, which itself is part of the larger Southern Oregon AVA, the Applegate Valley AVA is represented by the Applegate Valley Oregon Vintner’s Association (AVOVA), a group of 18 unique wineries producing a diverse array of wines. In what Sunset Magazine called “Wine country the way it should be”, these purveyors present their wines in an up close and personal manner rarely found in other locales: the same hands that make your wine will shake yours at the door.
Here are a few suggestions for a great winery adventure.
The Academy of Wine
Barnard Smith established his winery in 1995. You can sample Cabernet, Pinot, Chardonnay, Merlot and a number of blends unique to this winery.
Bridgeview Vineyards & Winery
Bridgeview is one of Oregon's best selling wineries. Their original wine venture is located in the Illinois Valley. Back in 1999 they purchased 90 acres in the warmer Applegate Valley and planted Merlot. The vineyard has since expanded and now has planted Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Voigier and Reisling.
Bridgeview produces moderately priced gracious wines. They are most famous for their "Blue Moon" Riesling.
Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden
Cowhorn is a boutique Biodynamic estate winery. The winery produces Rhone-style red and white wines celebrated for their purity and pleasure.
The winery is a boutique family-owned and operated winery located right in the heart of the Applegate Valley. Dedicated to producing premium varietal wines from Estate and locally grown grapes. Stop in and say hello to Jim Devitt owner and winemaker.
David and Pamela Palmer invite you to visit and "step back in time and taste the future of the Applegate Valley". Fiasco is a relaxed Italian garden winery. Let them showcase their award winning wines and you might be moved, as others have to say: Brilliant, audacious and inspired!
John Michael Champagne Cellers
A boutique winery producing limited, award winning, estate bottled, premium champagne, sparkling sake and still wines. Champagne and wine for special celebrations and events.
Family owned and operated the vines are personally tended to by family members, who apply modern organic farming practices to produce grapes of extraordinary quality.
Sample their fruit-forward wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Voignier, Temperillo and Syrah.
Schmidt Family Vineyards
Fine wines, country charm, beautiful gardens and northwest ambience. The tasting room is a very welcoming place to sit and enjoy the wines.
Along with the fertile vineyards, a large picturesque pond, several acres of herb and flower gardens, you will find your stop very pleasant.
Established in 1972 by founder and southern Oregon grape growing pioneer Dick Troon, the winery is now owned and operated by the Martin family. With its incredible tasting room, this is a preeminent facility for making and enjoying wine.
They often provide hors d'oeuvres for tasting, brunches throughout the summer, winemakers' dinners, cooking classes and numerous other events throughout the year. A can't miss stop.
Valley View Winery
Established in 1972 this winery is one of Oregon's most acclaimed wineries. You will find a variety of wines which will please every palate. Premium quality at affordable prices or check out their Anna Maria label which represents the finest wines made at this winery. Handcrafted Viogner. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Temperillo.
Enjoy the beautiful wine pavilion, picnic areas and great views.
The winery and vineyards are located on a rolling hillside overlooking the Applegate River Valley. The first grape vines were planted in the early 1970's. The vineyard has now expanded to 56 acres planted in twelve varieties Taste their crisp expressive whites, full rich reds, complex sparkling and surprising dessert wines.
For more information visit: http://www.roguerivertrips.info/activities/Southern_Oregon_Wineries.asp