Searching For Good Holiday Wines In The Oregon Wine Country

Posted by Robin Buckley on

It is the weekend before Halloween and the weather forecast has us at a high of 72%.  With the exception of some morning fog, we are experiencing some pretty nice sunshine breaking through the clouds.

We started our wine country journey this weekend in Roseburg OR where we have recently discovered a treasure hunt of majestic scenery and some pretty awesome vineyards and wineries. 

This is our second trip to this authentic and rich region located in Southern Oregon along side of the Umpqua River.

First up as we arrived Friday early evening is dinner at True Kitchen and Bar. True is a restaurant that is a destination in of itself.  We enjoy dinning in the bar because it's decor and ambiance is so inviting, comfortable and relaxed.  The food is consistently exquisite. It's one of those menus that allows you to build your own meal with an array of small plates (that are not so small).  The wine list is an indicator of which wineries should be visited in the area.The owner of True, Lisa has an eloquent grasp on where we should visit, so with that said, tomorrow is mapped out.  

First up is Abacela. They feature a few Italian verities such as Dolcetto and Tempranillo but we did enjoy their Syrah Reserve. Unfortunately that was sold out, so my choice here was the 2013 Tempranillo Barrel Select. 

This photo is a partial view of their vineyard with a map below it that details the different micro climates.   

Abcella winery

Abacella Winery

Our next stop was Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards. 

Prayer Rock

Fall is the perfect time to visit Reustle Prayer Rock since the colors of the different varietals are clearly on display as you gaze on the hill-slope above the pond.  These different colors of vines as seen in this photo represents their plantings of Pinot Noir, Syarh, Tempranillo, Malbec and Merlot.  

Tastings at Reustle's are paired with light bites and served in their amazing and whimsical cellar cave.  This is one not to be missed.

Our pick for our holiday wines from their selection was a mixed case of 2014 Syrah, 2014 Winemaker's Reserve Pinot Noir, and a 2014 Winemaker's Reserve Tempranillo, all estate grown and produced.

After a truly enjoyable time at Reustle's Prayer Rock we were off to Melrose Vineyards which was not only a tasting room but a gift shop full of tempting items.  They have a vast amount of vineyards reaching out over 200 acres. 

The wine was wonderful and our tastings led us to purchase their 2012 Tempranillo, their 2013 Baco Noir and their their 2012 Equinox which is a delicious blend of Tempranillo, Baco Noir, Merlot and Syrah.  The Equinox will be a perfect pairing to all of the flavors of Thanksgiving. 

As we made our way back to Portland the next day, I decided to visit a winery that I have always been fond of but have not visited for several years, Cristom located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The founder of Cristom Vineyards, Paul Gerrie named all of his vineyards after both his grandmothers, his mother and his wife.

After our tasting it was determined that our favorites would be the Pinot Noir from both the Marjorie Vineyard and the Louise Vineyard. Both are 2015's.

The views are as lovely as their wine.  Here are a few photos from our visit.

Cristom Vineyards

Cristom Vineyards

Cristom Vineyards

Cristom Vineyards

And He Cooks at Cristom Vineyards

Needless to say, it was one fabulous weekend.  Any time of year is a good time to visit these exceptional wineries but with the beautiful colors of Autumn, it really is one for the bucket list. 

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