Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Southern Oregon Wine Country

You've heard of Oregon wine, but have you heard of Southern Oregon wine?  Oregon is a big state and is not the rainy dreary place some people would imagine it to be.

Yes, it rains here.  Just like in California.  Then it doesn't rain for months. Oh, those happy vines!

As with any wine region, our landscape is unique.  But shares many similarities to world wide wine locations.  Hills play a big part in most wine regions and here, there is no lack of hills.

Hills make valleys and that is where the grape growers migrate.  Maybe it's the fantastic views or the soil found there.  Whatever it is, the grape finds a happy home.  None are happier than in Southern Oregon.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ashland Oregon Wine: A sense of Place.

This land in the Bear Creek Valley surrounding Ashland, Oregon was and is home to the Native Americans.  These people did not have access to the grape vines that now grow in the Valley.
We are blessed with the agricultural progress of many millennium of  planting and fermenting this magical farm product.
The land has taken a liking to these non-native plants.  Once again the benefits of our agrarian society shine through with the pioneer efforts of local winemakers.  
All this points to the notion that wine reflects "place"..the French call it "terroir".  For the wine tourist, there is no better way to discover this connection than by visiting our local wineries.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ashland Oregon Wine Country

I got the inspiration for my wine tours while in Beaune, France.  I was a wine tourist looking for a fun and educational visit to the local wineries.

The van left from the Tourist Info center and headed out into the countryside.  The Guide spoke English and shared many insights of the wine culture in Burgundy.

We ended with a stop to a little underground wine cellar that was showcasing some local red wines made by a pair of women winemakers.  What fun it was in that crowded little space with the barrels and the ceiling black with the "Angel's Share"...the vapor from the aging wine.

Today I continue this adventure with my own wine tours of the Bear Creek and Applegate wineries here in Southern Oregon.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ashland Oregon World Wine

Wine reflects the envoronment in which it is grown.  Wine from Oregon will taste different than a wine from Chile.

That is the Magic on wine.  That means that I can travel the world while staying home.

The wine explorer can sample a Carmenere from Chile and almost feel the Sun as it ripened the very grapes in your glass.

This is why it is advantageous to appreciate the wine country from which your wine originates.

Touring Bear Creek Valley, Ashland Oregon.

For me, wine touring is exciting becasue I get to taste new wines.  The secret is that there are so many great wines that never make it to the wine shop or grocery store.

Most of the wineries of Bear Creek Valley (Ashland) do not distribute their wines, meaning that if you want to enjoy their efforts you need to get out to the winery.

This is another plus to a wine tour, you get to visit the vineyard where the wine was grown.  Having this connection between vine and wine is essential to understanding the qualities of the wine.

Join me on a wine tour and we will go "play" in the vineyards and you will discover some amazing wines!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why fight it?

There is no "off season" for wine!  Somewhere along the cycle of life the vine is moving forward, ready to create the next batch of fermented fruit.

In the spirit of why fight it, people learned to just let the fruit freeze right on the vine.  And lo and behold, ice wine. 
In Southern Oregon this would be a fantasy.  Too warm.  Here you are likely to find Late Harvest instead.  Really the same idea; less water, more sugar equals sweat.