Southern Oregon wine country: Wineries, Shakespeare and outdoor adventures



Southern Oregon is a naturalists’ playground. Its wild rivers, mountains and forests make for a fun, rustic vacation. And its wines, which have recently emerged on the national stage, offer surprising flavors. Southern Oregon’s wine country is expansive, and comes complete with jaw-dropping views as it follows the rivers that wind throughout the countryside.

Read the full report in The Arizona Republic >

White Water and 70-Plus Wine Varietals Await in These Beautiful River Valleys



Wines from A to Z thrive in southern Oregon

In southern oregon, it’s entirely possible to sip your wine-tasting flight with your feet in a river. It’s also possible to go both antiquing and jet-boating before you’re even hungry for lunch. And it’s also possible to sum up this ruggedly beautiful wine-growing region in just one word: diverse. Read More...

3 big reasons why southern Oregon is a hot vacation destination right now



Have you heard of Ashland, Medford, Jacksonville and Grants Pass? Perhaps overshadowed by Portland, this affordable, seven-county region in southern Oregon just above the California border beckons to wine geeks, culture mavens and nature lovers everywhere.

Read the full report in the Dallas Morning News >

The Top 12 Underrated Wine Regions To Visit In 2017



A Month-By-Month Guide

Winemakers Greg & Kara of Wooldridge Creek Vineyard & Winery

August: Rogue and Applegate Valleys, Southern Oregon

Oregon is often confused as being a misty gray place full of lush forest, Pinot vineyards, and affected hipsters. Yes, those conditions exist, but mostly in the northern rain shadow between the coast and the Cascade Range. Much of the state has a dry and sunny clime, including down south where the diverse vineyards of the Rogue and Applegate Valleys lie. And wine diversity defines the Valleys—the range of micro-climates allows for everything from Riesling to Cabernet to ripen. Add outdoor sports like hiking, rafting, fishing, and biking to museums, theater, live music venues, and restaurants, plus a stroll through a preserved, gold-rush era town and the activities prove as varied as the wine.

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A Taste of Ashland 2016

A Taste of Ashland

17 Galleries + Wine + Food = One delicious art experience!
Saturday and Sunday, April 23rd and 24th from noon to 4 P.M.
Celebrating its twenty-seventh year, the Ashland Gallery Association’s signature fund-raising event is A Taste of Ashland. This annual walking tour of Ashland galleries pairs local restaurants and regional wineries to create Ashland’s most delicious art experience!
This year’s A Taste of Ashland takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 23rd and 24th from noon to 4 p.m.  Foodies and wine connoisseurs from all along the west coast follow a map to 17 galleries, to discover Ashland’s best restaurants and the region’s best wines. The trolley will be circulating the Plaza, Railroad District, and out-skirting galleries to give you a ride!

“A Taste of Ashland is the ultimate Ashland experience!” says Jeff Jones, Event Coordinator. “Tasters stroll leisurely through the quaint town of Ashland all afternoon, experiencing the best of Ashland art, food and wine, then have time to relax and attend an Oregon Shakespeare Festival performance in the evening. What could be better?”

Purchase your tickets before February 1st for Early Bird rates! This event sells out each year, so get your tickets now!

For a complete list of pairings and to purchase tickets, visit at
A Taste of Ashland is HOSTED by: Ashland Gallery Association and SPONSORED BY: Southern Oregon Public Television, Jefferson Public Radio, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, Southern Oregon Media Group, Ram Offset Lithographers, and Southern Oregon Magazine.

Wine now steals the show in Ashland

Wine Enthusiast

Loft Brasserie & Bar, Ashland, Oregon
Loft Brasserie & Bar

Once known for its Shakespeare festival, wine now steals the show in Ashland.

The story of Oregon wine no longer begins and ends with the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, as many of the state's most exciting new offerings hail from Southern Oregon. The region's six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) begin at the California border and extend north nearly to Eugene, with many of the 120 wineries clustered around the town of Ashland, famous for its annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Crater Lake, the Oregon Caves, Rogue River rafting and miles of pristine seashore are among southwest Oregon's plentiful year-round attractions, rounding out a visit for any wine lover.

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The wine, the people, the scenery make for a must-take trip

Oregon Wine Press


Southern Oregon Winery Association

To be honest, it’s kind of a dream job, owning a wine club. This summer, I spent a month driving the hills and valleys of Southern Oregon looking for great wine. And you know what? I discovered some extraordinary ones there.

Yes, Oregon is the land of Pinot Noir, but there is so much more to our extraordinary state. I met with more than two dozen winemakers during my time in Southern Oregon, from Roseburg to Ashland, and Elkton to Eagle Point. And while I did enjoy quite a few Pinot Noirs — yes, Southern Oregon Pinot! — what impressed me most was the huge range of other varietals — Tempranillo, Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne Roussanne and more.

The Southern Oregon wine community has really come into its own over the past few years, recognizing what it’s good at and weeding out what it isn’t. Stunning landscapes, gloriously warm weather and a laid-back vibe among winemakers — and no traffic — make this region one of my favorite places to visit.

But as always, the best part of my job at Cellar 503 is meeting the people behind these glorious wines and hearing their stories. Each winemaker arrives at this profession along a different path, but they are united in their passion for their craft.

The following are just a few of the gems I’ve discovered.

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Go on a wild and scenic wine adventure tour with Rogue Wilderness Adventures

Rogue Wilderness Adventures logo

Rogue Wilderness Adventures

You can't do this in Napa

Rogue Wilderness Adventures, an award-winning river outfitter on Southern Oregon’s Rogue River is announcing brand new wine adventure tours in Southern Oregon’s pristine wilderness. Highlighting the best of Oregon’s flourishing wine industry, farm to table food offerings, and heart-pumping outdoor adventure, these trips offer travelers the chance to hike, fish and raft their way through the Rogue River corridor.

Taking cue from their popular Wiking (wine and hiking) trips, these trips are selected to highlight a beautiful time of year on the Rogue River during the months of August through October, and feature wine, food, and fun. Guests explore miles of whitewater and scenic trails by day and relaxing by night to try the best Oregon local vintages with guided tastings by resident wine sommelier Liz Wan. Guests can choose from a number of trip options:


Come for the plays, stay for the city

The Boston Globe


Ashland Artisans Market

When the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s artistic director Bill Rauch isn’t curating seasons of classic and original theater, he’s on the Rogue River with his family, rafting.

“There’s such a strong culture of outdoors: You can hike, you can raft in the summer, you can ski in the winter,” Rauch, a Harvard alum and seasoned director, said in a phone interview. “Ashland, even though it’s a small town of only 20,000 people, has the cultural amenities of much larger cities in terms of extraordinary restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, galleries, and art house movie theaters. It’s part of the reason I fell in love: the best of a small town with a lot of the culture of a large city.”

Read the full report in The Boston Globe >

Some of the greatest wines in the Northwest and the most idyllic locations to taste them




Southern Oregon is loaded with worthwhile wineries to visit, not only crafting some of the greatest wines in the Northwest, but also creating some of the most idyllic locations to taste them. Comprised of three distinct AVAs (American Viticultural Area), the Southern Oregon wine region can take up as much time as you’re willing to give. But for those on a schedule, try sticking to these three main wine treks (we suggest two to three wineries per AVA, but half the fun is discovering your own favorites).

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Meet the undiscovered wine country of your dreams



Even serious enophiles describe Oregon wines with one word: Willamette. And one grape: Pinot Noir. It’s understandable. The Pinots produced in places like McMinn­ville and Dundee are among the very best in the world. 

But another Oregon wine country is rising 230 miles to the south of the Willamette Valley. For the wine-minded traveler, this destination feels almost utopian. Here, tasting fees cost less than a latte; hotel rates are actually reasonable; wineries go way beyond water crackers (wood-fired fig and caramelized-onion pizza with a 92-point 2012 Syrah, anyone?). And, as in Santa Barbara County but unlike many other wine regions in the West—all kinds of grapes thrive. 

“We can ripen anything,” Southern Oregon winemakers joke, and judging from the wide array of varieties found here—in this sprawling land of 150 microclimates across three river valleys, high desert, and mountains—it’s true. Roam from the Rogue Valley to the Applegate Valley, all the way north up Interstate 5 to the Umpqua Valley, and you’ll find about as many types of good wine as you would in your beloved bottle shop. Good wine. Albariño, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Syrah, Viognier, Cab Franc, Malbec, and yes, plenty of Pinot Noir too. 

What you won’t find are crowds. “We are the last undiscovered wine region in the world. Truly,” says Jamie McCleary of Jaxon Vineyards. The secret may not last, with tasting rooms opening all the time and 1,000 acres of grapes planted in a year alone. Talented winemakers like Stephen Hall from Napa, Scott O’Brien Kelley from Paso Robles, Jean-Michel Jussiaume from the Loire Valley, and Chris Graves from the Livermore Valley (who is heading up one of three custom-crush facilities) have moved to Southern Oregon, to be pioneers in a place where pioneering is still possible. 

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DANCIN Vineyards one of five Oregon wineries with eateries profiled by Palate



Winemakers will often tell you that their wines are meant to be enjoyed with food. But how often does a winery have a chance to prove it to their guests? In the U.S. more wineries have begun incorporating food and wine pairings into their hospitality programs. However, few of them have gone beyond simple bites to build an actual sit-down restaurant on site.

In Oregon, strict land use laws have kept many owners from developing commercial kitchens. But things are changing and slowly wineries are developing full food programs to go alongside their wines.
In our continuing exploration of epicurean experiences at wineries, we are focusing on five Oregon producers that are shifting the paradigm. From southern Oregon all the way up to Portland, these wineries have gone beyond the typical cheese and charcuterie plate by offering a seat at their tables. Literally.

Offering a full spectrum food and wine experience to tasting room guests is certainly one way for a winery to stand out from the growing competition. But I discovered that standing out isn’t the reason these wineries decided to offer them.

“We never set out to be a restaurant,” explains Dan Marca of southern Oregon’s DANCIN Vineyards, “But I’m Italian. We are all about hospitality.”

Read the full report featuring DANCIN Vineyards on

Oregon Wine Experience returns to Jacksonville in August



The Oregon Wine Experience, Oregon’s newest destination event, will be held August 17 to 23 at Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville, Ore. Sponsored by the Asante Foundation and Southern Oregon wineries, this will be a spectacular week of extraordinary wines and fabulous meals served in a backdrop of some of the Northwest’s most dramatic and beautiful wine country.

The Oregon Wine Experience will showcase what many critics have called the next great wine region, and it will feature wine talks, tastings and sensory classes, intimate vintner dinners, wine competition, and auctions crowned by an outdoor salmon bake with music and dancing under starlit skies.


Wilderness wine adventure in the Applegate Valley

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.


Meet the vintners from Bear Creek wine trail

Take a 2-day adventure, tour all 10 Bear Creek Boutique Wineries, and taste 30 of the Rogue Valley's finest wines on the 2014 Wine & Vine Adventure Tour.

Nestled in the hills along the back roads of the Bear Creek Valley, the southernmost portion of the Rogue Valley AVA, the Bear Creek Boutique Wineries are just minutes away from Ashland, Medford, and Jacksonville. Their estate wineries provide an intimate and welcoming atmosphere where you will discover distinctive wines crafted from carefully tended vineyards.

Formed in 2011, the Bear Creek Boutique Wine Trail is made up of 10 centrally located, small-production wineries including Pebblestone Cellars, StoneRiver Vineyard, Aurora Vines, 2Hawk Winery, DANCIN Vineyards, Paschal Winery, Trium Wines, Dana Campbell Vineyards, Grizzly Peak Winery and Weisinger Family Winery.

Discover distinctive wines just minutes from Ashland. With ease of access from attractions including Britt Festival, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Bear Creek Boutique Wineries are conveniently located to enhance your Southern Oregon experience.

For more information and registration, visit

World of Wine wows August visitors to Ashland

The up and coming Rogue Wine Region is fast becoming one of Southern Oregon’s leading attractions for savvy travelers from San Francisco to Portland and beyond. Perhaps the premier wine event in the region is the new week-long World of Wine Festival in Jacksonville, a short half hour drive from Ashland through scenic fertile farmland bordering the rugged wilderness of the Klamath National Forest.

The hallmark of the festival is a wine competition featuring over 200 wines made from grapes grown in one of Southern Oregon’s unique viticultural appellations. Wines are judged by a panel of some of the top experts in the country typically including one or more Masters of Wine.

The festival is a veritable foodie dream come true and includes a welcome reception, sensory classes for all levels of aficionados, and wine dinners throughout the week. The culmination is a Grand Tasting which gives attendees the opportunity to tasted all of the winning wines paired with the local food and music the Rogue region is becoming famous for.

The 2014 World of Wine Festival will be held from 19-23 August at the historic Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville, California.

10 cool things to do in Ashland

San Jose Mercury News


(besides watching Shakespeare)

Say Ashland, and the word Shakespeare leaps to mind. But veteran visitors of the charming Southern Oregon town find other words - shoe shopping, Class III rapids, pinot noir and tuna tartar - also are part of the Ashland lexicon.
Many plan the six-hour pilgrimage from Northern California to the mecca of summer theater as a weekend getaway. In a three-day trip you can cram in four shows, maybe catch a free lecture, and eat extremely well.

But if you've got a little longer, or have had your fill of theater, there's lots more to discover. (That said, it would be a small tragedy to visit Ashland and not see a single play.)

So, here are suggestions for a midsummer's dream vacation.