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Travel Oregon’s Rogue Valley
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Discover one of the most diverse, beautiful and hospitable wine regions of the Pacific Northwest – Oregon’s Rogue Valley.

Ledger David’s Varner Traul Vineyards in Talent, Oregon

Ledger David’s Varner Traul Vineyards in Talent, Oregon

 

Only a few miles from California’s northern border, the undulating hills of the Klamath, Coast and Cascade mountain ranges meld together, forming sheltered valleys where you’ll find over 150 vineyards growing 40 different grape varieties.  So much for Oregon being exclusively Pinot Noir and Chardonnay!

The city of Medford makes a perfect wine-touring hub.  Founded as a railroad town in 1883, Medford’s downtown historic district is alive with unique shops and innovative restaurants, fueling the region’s wine tourism industry.

 

Where to Stay:

 Medford offers a wide array of accommodation including SpringHill Suites, Hampton Inn and other well know chains.

For something a little more ‘local’ check out the Inn at the Commons  a 60’s modern inspired property, close to the downtown core. The breakfast buffet is included – don’t miss the daily hot entrée (made with fresh free range eggs) or the homemade granola – so good  you’ll want a little extra ‘for the road’!

 

Where to Eat:

Porters Restaurant and Bar serves up classic American fare with an extensive cocktail, wine and beer selection.  Located in the original 1910 train station you’ll notice many of the early features, including the old ticket counter, which is now part of the bar!

From passenger depot in 1910 to Porters Restaurant in 1997, this historic location will take you back in time while serving award winning cuisine.

From passenger depot in 1910 to Porters Restaurant in 1997, this historic location will take you back in time while serving award winning cuisine.

Elements Tapas

Proprietor Chris Dennett and his team put a creative spin on Spanish tapas successfully blending it with a superior wine list, creative cocktails and a laid back vibe. Splendid.

Jefferson Spirits

This popular, upscale bar and ‘gastropub’ offers up interesting takes on classic cocktails and pub food in a cozy and fun environment. Perfect spot for after dinner/theatre drinks.

Larks Restaurant 

With a focus on “Home Kitchen Cuisine’, Executive Chef Damon Jones takes humble fare like meatloaf and fried chicken and brings them into the 21st century.  Everything from condiments, pickles, and breads are made from scratch ensuring you “don’t just have dinner, you enjoy an experience”.

 

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Southern Oregon is famous for orchard fruits and is home to the renowned Harry & David’s. Take a tour and taste the Rogue Valle

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What to See and Do:

Take a self-guided walking tour of the Downtown Historic District or browse the one-of-a-kind shops, galleries and Antique Malls .

Outdoor enthusiast will find miles of hiking trails, plus Zip-lining, fishing and white water rafting on the Rogue River.

Wine Country Trails

Travel south of Medford on OR-99 and you’ll find yourself on the Bear Creek Wine Trail.

Pebblestone Cellars

named after the rounded river rocks that predominate the sandy soils of Dick and Pat Ellis’s vineyards. Stop by the 1906 farmhouse tasting room and sample the sustainably produced Pinot Gris, Viognier, Syrah and ‘Mélange’ a Bordeaux style blend.

RoxyAnn Winery

Head 12 miles east to the historic Hillcrest Orchard area and RoxyAnn Winery. Sample their diverse portfolio including a refreshing Pinot Gris and popular ‘Claret’.

Ledger David Cellars

Next door, is the tasting room of Ledger David Cellars.  With vineyards located in the Bear Creek region they are the only growers/producers of Chenin Blanc in the Rogue Valley.  Just in their 4th year of production, this is a wine name to watch.

Quick Bites

On to the town of Central Point. This unassuming little burg is home to a world famous cheese-maker, one of Oprah’s favorite chocolatiers and superb wine all next door to one another!.

Rogue Creamery

has been making amazingly delicious cheese for over 80 years. They were sustainable, environmentally conscious and supported ‘local’ before it was considered cool and have been rewarded for their efforts in a multitude of international competitions.  Sample ‘Brutal’ or ‘Caveman’ Blue, and stock up on ‘LaDiDa Lavender’ or ‘Pistol Point ‘Chedder.

Lillie Belle Farms

Enter the lavender colored storefront of Lillie Belle Farms to an explosion of color, aromas, and classic rock music. Glass cases are filled with hand crafted, European style chocolates and truffles, all the brainchild of owner Jeff Shepherd.  But he really excels at the unusual – Smokey Blue Cheese truffles, and organic gourmet bars like ‘Purple Haze”.  Rock star chocolate, indeed!

 

Upper Rogue Valley

lies in the picturesque hillsides northeast of Medford.

Del Rio Vineyard

A quick 16 mile drive north on Interstate 5 will take you to one of the largest vineyards in the Rogue Valley, Del Rio Vineyards. The tasting room, formerly the Rock Point Hotel (1865) and stage stop, is filled with old west charm and knowledgeable, hospitable staff pouring tasty whites, reds and rosé.

Folin Cellars

Traverse quiet vineyard roads to Folin Cellars.  Winemaker Rob Folin honed his skills at Domaine Serene in the Willamette Valley but came home to plant Rhone varieties in this tranquil acreage.  Viognier, Grenache, Syrah and a GSM blends called ‘Miseo’ are delectable examples of what this region is all about.

Kriselle Cellars

When you pull up to the modern, hilltop tasting room of Kriselle Cellars the first thing you notice is the breathtaking views.  But once you sample the estate grown wines of Scott Steingraber, all eyes will be on your glass. The focus is primarily on Bordeaux varietals, but you’ll also find Albarino and Tempranillo. Scott and his wife Kriselle offer a selection of small plates and wood fired pizzas, designed to compliment and enhance the wines. The idea is to create a peaceful wine/food experience and when you relax on their inviting terrace, it’s mission accomplished.

Agate Ridge Winery

A short distance away is an area known as the Agate Desert. These volcanic soils are home to the vineyards of Agate Ridge Winery, owned and operated by mother/daughter duo Kim Kinderman and Ashley Cates.  The adorable farmhouse tasting room is the perfect spot to sample their Pinot Noir, Primitivo, and other award winning estate wines.

Stop in the town of Eagle Point home to Butte Creek Mill.  Built in 1872, it’s the last water-powered flourmill still in operation in the US.  Chances are owner (and Mayor) Bob Russell will be available to show you around this fascinating, historic venue.

LINK: www.buttecreekmill.com

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About The Author
Hilarie Larson
After settling in Southern California, Wine Educator and Sommelier Hilarie Larson and her husband, Winemaker Craig Larson, decided to create their own venture, Northwinds Wine Consulting, in order to share their devotion for all things wine.The Larsons bring a deep appreciation for the love and labor that goes into every bottle and are thrilled to express that passion through wine education and winery consulting.

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