The Oregon Wine Experience in the Rogue Valley city of Medford takes a scholarly approach to its centerpiece wine competition by having Masters of Wine serve as judges, and now it has mapped out a series of consumer classes for the month of August.
Written by LORRAINE D’ENTREMONT RAWLS
Featured in the Mail Tribune: full article here
I have to admit that I’m a cowgirl at heart, so Plaisance Ranch in Williams holds a special place for me. Where else can you go to taste amazing wines among cattle and horses?
The 150 organic acres of Plaisance Ranch are filled with Murray Grey cattle, prized for their ability to flourish on grass. Beyond the pasture one can see the vineyards, andas you step into the old dairy barn/tasting room, Cooper, the Australian shepherdgreeter, will check to see if you might have treats. This is a true working ranch with a history of three generations of tenacious Frenchmen growing grapes.
In 1898, after leaving the Savoie Valley in France, Joseph Ginet settled just outside Jacksonville. Joseph brought grape cuttings from France, and he sold both the fruit and plants. Today,grandson Joe and his wife, Suzi, who started as dairy farmers, are carrying on a long-held tradition of grape growing, with 18 varietals, including imported rootstock from the family vineyards in the Savoie.
This long process involves a quarantine of rootstock for 3 years at Missouri State University. The university makes sure the stock is virus free,and then it will send cuttings back to the Ginets. All in all, it’s about a 12-year project to have enough vines planted, grapes harvested and wine aged in the barrel.
The results have been stellar. The Ginets’ 2012 Rogue Prestige, made with a mondeuse grape from the Savoie, received a 92 in Wine Enthusiast, and in 2015 the Oregon Wine Experience awarded Rogue Prestige a Gold Medal.
Another varietal the Ginets cultivate is Carménère, a Bordeaux that we don’t see too much of in the valley. With the help of winemaker Michael Moore of Quail Run Vineyards, Joe will be donating a barrel of the Carménère for auction at this year’s Oregon Wine Experience.
Although the Ginets have been making wine since the ‘90s, 2006 was the year they started their commercial winery.
Joe and Suzi make about 2,000 cases of wine a year. She brings wines and their organic, grass-fed beef to twogrowers markets a week, prepares food and helps with the once-a-month “Wine Down” get-together, a social event with food, wine and music.
“We’re not marketers, we’re farmers,” says Joe. “Making the wine is the fun stuff.”
Often at the tasting room, the Ginets’ knowledge is vast, and a tour of the operation is both interesting and fun. As Joe says, “It’s all about the experience. Visiting here keeps people coming back.”
This year Joe is excited about his 2015 Petite Verdot, but one of his biggest thrills is bringing wine to France for his relatives. They love it, and I think that’s about the best accolade any winemaker could want.
Plaisance Ranch is at 16955 Water Gap Road in Williams. Hours are noon to 6p.m. Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays). For more information, call 541-846-7175 or see www. plaisanceranch.com.
This will be my last Barrel Notes column. I have a book project to start, and travel is in my future. I appreciate the Mail Tribune for giving me an opportunity to learn and write about our wonderful wine industry here in the valley, and thanks to all of you who read my column. I also want to thank the vineyard owners and winemakers who took the time to talk with me. It is greatly appreciated. Please help support your local farmers, and say hi to me at the wineries!—Lorraine d’Entremont Rawls is a freelance writer and tour guide. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Food is definitely worth celebrating—especially here in Oregon. With tons of delicious produce, fresh-caught seafood, award-winning beer and wine and innovative chefs, Oregon is full of amazing foods and drinks to be discovered. This year, check out some of the wonderful festivals that center on the abundant flavors of Oregon. From grape stomping to seafood festivals, you’ll want to mark these nine awesome events on your 2016 calendar.
MEDFORD, Ore.— Oregon Wine Experience® returns this summer, taking place August 22-28 at the historic Bigham Knoll Campus in Jacksonville, Ore. Produced by the Asante Foundation and the Southern Oregon wine industry, Oregon Wine Experience® showcases southern Oregon’s nationally acclaimed wine region. Over the course of the week, guests will have the opportunity to taste extraordinary Oregon wines as they partake in a variety of unique activities.
Event offerings include the Oregon Wine Competition® followed by a Medal Celebration, a variety of wine related classes, intimate vintner dinners, a Barrel Auction, the Miracle Auction & Salmon Bake, and a Grand Tasting. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Oregon Wine Experience® benefit Asante Children’s Miracle Network and other healthcare programs supported by Asante Foundation. As a CMN designated hospital, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center provides the highest level of pediatric care in the region, treating over 29,000 children last year alone.
In 2015, Oregon Wine Experience® raised over half a million dollars, allowing for a new Child Life Specialist at Rogue Regional Medical Center. Attendees for the events surpassed 2,100 and over 50 wineries participated.
Join the party August 22-28! For tickets and event information, visit www.theoregonwineexperience.com or call 541-789-5025.
Written by Greg Stiles, Associated Press – Feb 07, 2016 4:00 pm
A Rogue Valley sunset casts warm light on a vineyard in Medford, Ore. Jamie Lusch / The Medford Mail Tribune via AP
The winsome wines of southern Oregon are gathering acclaim far beyond the Cascades and Siskiyous.
An industry once summed up by a collection of one-offs in Ashland, Cave Junction, Roseburg and Ruch during the 1970s now boasts 121 wineries and 226 vineyards on 5,886 planted acres in Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties.
The fruit of the region’s vines has drawn accolades from the Atlantic to Pacific, capturing the hearts of wine columnists and judges. Reports in the New York Times, Sunset magazine and Wine Enthusiast, plus an avalanche of medals in January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, are creating reasonable expectations the coming travel season will attract more and new wine tourists.
“This is really an important moment in our transition from a region that’s unexplored and undiscovered to the recognition we’ve received from the national press, and awards coming in,” said Michael Donovan, president of the Southern Oregon Winery Association. “Not to mention the individual wine ratings awards.”
Wine Enthusiast named Ashland one of its “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations” for 2016. Sunset magazine’s October article touting southern Oregon’s myriad wine offerings, reasonable rates and few crowds came on the heels of a similar article in the New York Times the year before. And the San Francisco Chronicle is featuring the region’s wines at its Feb. 13 Grand Tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco, an event expected to draw thousands.
Foris Vineyards’ 2014 Pinot Gris and Pebblestone Cellars’ 2014 Ellis Vineyards Viognier earned Best of Show awards as southern Oregon wineries, including Applegate, Elkton, Rogue Valley and Umpqua Valley locations, reeled in a total of 134 medals in the Chronicle’s competition. Another nine entries earned double golds and 15 garnered golds. All those entries will be available at the grand tasting.
“From the wine growers and winemakers, we’ve really stepped up the game now to the point where we are producing world-class wines,” said Pebblestone Cellars owner Dick Ellis. “I think that can be coupled with a message going out telling the world through social media, advertising and different forms of marketing that this is a real destination to come. It’s great publicity, very good timing. As we get more and more people coming here as a destination wine area, it will help to get the word out of what kind of wine we’re producing here.”
Joe Czerwinski, managing editor of Wine Enthusiast Media, said areas profiled previously in the magazine, such as Virginia and the Texas Hill Country, reported tourist upticks after the articles were published.
“I think the response depends on how able and willing each region is when it comes to promoting the award and what the public awareness of the region is to begin with,” Czerwinski, who resides in upstate New York, said in an email. “If the recipient does a good job getting out there and marketing it, there can be (especially with domestic destinations) an immediate response.”
His long-distance perception of southern Oregon is of a bucolic region “with the sort of real country vibe that might be missing from some of the world’s more developed wine regions,” such as the Napa Valley, while still offering enough in the way of fine dining and accommodations.
With encouraging reviews, affirmative adjudication and international acclaim in hand, the region’s vintners and wine marketers seized on a rare opportunity, turning the San Francisco tasting into a launching pad to greater things. The Southern Oregon Winery Association signed on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Neuman Hotel Group and Travel Medford to promote its cause.
For the full article, visit https://skift.com/2016/02/07/oregon-is-latest-destination-to-see-its-vineyards-as-tourist-draw/
MEDFORD, Ore.–The Oregon Wine Experience® is pleased to announce that a panel of six exceptional judges has been finalized for this year’s Oregon Wine Competition® to be held August 6-7. These nationally renowned experts herald a significant change in the competition. Previously restricted to wines made with 100 percent Southern Oregon AVA grapes, this year the competition will open up to all wines made with 100 percent Oregon AVA grapes. This change represents the evolution of Oregon Wine Experience® and the Oregon Wine Competition® into prominent wine events for Oregon and the entire Pacific Northwest.
The judges for the 2016 Oregon Wine Competition® include:
- Mollie Battenhouse: Master of Wine, Advanced Sommelier.
- Bob Foster: Chief Judge, Central Coast Wine Competition, Paso Robles.
- Tim Hanni: Master of Wine, Wine Industry Faculty at Sonoma State University.
- Richard Jennings: Wine Writer & Critic, RJonWine.com.
- Adam Lapierre: Master of Wine, Teaching Staff at San Francisco Wine School.
- Luke Sykora: Wine Writer, Senior Editor – Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Note: Master of Wine (MW) is the most prestigious title in the world of wine and is issued by The Institute of Masters of Wine in the United Kingdom. There are currently only 338 Masters of Wine in 24 countries.
Full judges bios can be found here.
Have a business meeting or family coming into town this summer? Do what many of our supporters have done and bring your guest to Oregon’s Newest Destination Event.
Looking for a true wine destination trip? Then Wine Enthusiast has the list for you! And Southern Oregon is on that list! Want to know more about our region and event? Give us a call at 541-789-5025 and Join the Party!
There are many sponsorship opportunities at this multi-day destination wine event in support of Children’s Miracle Network and healthcare programs. Organized by the Asante Foundation and local wine industry partners the event features many different venues for a variety of exposure. Sponsoring the 2016 OWE event will increase media exposure, attract participants and accomplish key partnerships and financial goals for all. Plus supporting such a worthy cause it is just good business.