Drive up America’s West Coast, and you’ll encounter one wine region after another…from Temecula to the California’s Central Coast, from the North Coast to southern Oregon, and from the Willamette Valley to Washington’s Columbia Valley.
About half-way between the Napa Valley and the Willamette Valley is southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley wine country.
Easily accessible from both sides of Interstate 5, the Rogue Valley is home to an ideal “wine country” climate. The long growing season includes both warm days and cool evenings, which give rise to vibrantly-ripened fruit with dynamic flavor profiles that translate beautifully in the finished wines.
The geographical diversity and interior valley locale contribute to wines that are well balanced and food friendly. The “heat units” exceed those in the Willamette Valley to the north, which means that heat-loving varieties thrive. While the Willamette is known primarily for Pinot Noir, the Rogue is home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Malbec, Zinfandel, Syrah and Viognier.
The styles of wine are just as diverse as the varieties. The growers and winemakers are passionate about what they do, and share a deep commitment to sustainability and wine quality.
Today, the Rogue Valley is home to some 200 growers, around 1,800 acres of vineyards, and more than 20 wineries.
So while the Willamette Valley dominates the media among Oregon wine regions, the Rogue Valley is gaining a reputation for both quality and diversity. Along with Crater Lake and Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival, it’s one more reason to visit southern Oregon.