Here's your chance to savor the bounty of Southern Oregon

From the Umpqua Valley to the north and the Applegate Valley to the south, November is a popular month to taste and discover the bounty of Southern Oregon’s vineyards. And while vineyards in northern Oregon specialize in pinot noir, the warmer and drier southern climate allows vintners here to feature a variety of wines for a variety of tastes.

“We don’t have the single variety like pinot,” says Duane Bowman of Cricket Hill Winery near Jacksonville. “We do warm climate wines. I only make one style of wine. Right bank Bordeaux. Other folks around here make syrah, tempranillo, viognier. When people come down from the Willamette Valley, they say they are so tired of pinot noir. They want something else and we have plenty of something else’s.”

There are plenty of opportunities to try something else this month. Wineries in the Applegate Valley open their doors Sunday, Nov. 20, for a special day-long tasting event. Up in the Umpqua Valley, wineries plan big things for the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Nov. 20 is our big day,” Duane says. “People buy a lot of wine for the holidays. This is their chance to try some wines and figure out what will work with their menus.”


iStock photo

There are several great opportunities to taste great wine in Southern Oregon.



In This Edition:

* Wine tasting in Southern Oregon
* Holiday events



Additional Resources:

Applegate Wine Trail
Umpqua Valley Wineries
See a complete list of Thanksgiving Weekend winery events in Southern Oregon


In all, 17 Applegate Valley wineries will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Sunday for the “Fall Uncorked” tour.  Each winery opens a featured wine and creates a food pairing to go with it.

There are plenty of opportunities to try something else this month. Wineries in the Applegate Valley open their doors Sunday, Nov. 20, for a special day-long tasting event. Up in the Umpqua Valley, wineries plan big things for the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Nov. 20 is our big day,” Duane says. “People buy a lot of wine for the holidays. This is their chance to try some wines and figure out what will work with their menus.”
In all, 17 Applegate Valley wineries will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Sunday for the “Fall Uncorked” tour.  Each winery opens a featured wine and creates a food pairing to go with it.

“We also do a barrel tasting of unreleased wine,” Duane says. “The idea is to encourage and show people the diversity of what we have in the Applegate Valley and how they pair with different foods.”
The barrel tasting is popular, Duane says, because it gives people an idea of things to come. “It’s a hugely popular event. Every one of us does the same things on the same day. We're not competing with one another.”

The Uncorked Barrel Tour is a ticketed event; there are no tasting fees at any wineries. For $39, you get a wine glass and as many of the 18 wineries as you care to visit. Tickets are available on the Applegate Wine trail website - applegatewinetrail.com – and are only sold in advance because the wineries need to estimate attendance.

“We allow people to pick their starting location from one of seven wineries. That's where their glasses will be. And then they're off,” Duane says.

Only days later, the wineries of the Umpqua stage a three-day tasting event that coincides with a similar schedule in the Willamette Valley. Umpqua-area wineries will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 25-27.

“We know how busy the Willamette Valley wineries are during the Thanksgiving weekend,” says Syndi Beavers of Henry Estate Winery in Umpqua. “They are swamped so a lot people come to us and have a more intimate experience. The winemakers and owners typically are on hand to greet everyone. It's a family affair.

“It's a great time to come, meet people and discover wines they love.”

Most of the Umpqua-area wineries have something planned, Syndi says. Entertainment, music and catered food are common. In past years, some wineries have invited local artists to demonstrate their art and talk with guests.

“We serve families,” she says. “We even serve softer drinks for kids and have face painting or other things for kids to do. You'll find that throughout the valley. This is for all ages.”

Expect wineries to be offering wine discounts and a few special release wines. In some cases, you can purchase wines for holiday meals you normally won’t find available.

Each Umpqua winery sets its own tasting fee, some offer a wine glass. Syndi’s Henry Estate Winery offers free tastings with a canned food donation to the local food bank.


- Dan Shryock
Travel Southern Oregon

Experience the Magic of the Season in Southern Oregon

Communities throughout Oregon celebrate the holidays with some traditional events. Here's a sampling of ways you can enjoy your season, Southern Oregon style.

Ashland
The Ashland Chamber of Commerce presents The Festival of Light, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. Santa and Mrs. Claus officially turn on 1 million lights all over downtown from the Plaza in Ashland. Entertainment followed by Santa’s Parade at 5 pm.

Ashland Chamber of Commerce


Jacksonville
Victorian Christmas in Jacksonville takes place Saturday and Sunday,  Dec. 3-4 in downtown Jacksonville.  This free event features wagon rides, Father Christmas, roasted chestnuts, hot apple cider and the Town Crier crying the news. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.  Sponsored by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. 

Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce

Medford
The 35th annual Clayfolk Show and Sale takes place at the Medford Armory on Nov. 18-20.  Last year, more than 70 artists from Oregon and Northern California were on hand with their artwork.

The Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club welcomes train lovers to their show at the Medford Armory on Nov. 26-27.

The Winter Light Festival in downtown Medford’s Vogel Plaza will be held Dec. 3. Christmas music, food, arts and crafts for kids and the jolly old elf himself, Santa, will be on hand. 

Medford Visitors Convention Bureau


Sue Newman photo

Downtown Ashland is illuminated for the holidays each year.



Lakeview
Santa’s elves will prepare free s’mores at four Downtown Lakeview locations on Dec. 10.  A Christmas costume contest for the children and a visit from Santa will make the evening complete. Late night, last-minute shoppers can stroll along Luminaria lit sidewalks on Dec. 23 and enjoy the live nativity on the court house lawn.

Lake County Chamber of Commerce