By: Seven Costanza
As a wine enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the beauty of Oregon’s wine country. Southern Oregon is home to some of the most stunning vineyards and wineries in the world. One of my personal favorites is the Applegate wine trail, which boasts of unique and flavorful wines. In this blog, I will share my experience of the Applegate wine tour, where I explored some of the best wineries in Southern Oregon.
My first stop was Apricity Vineyards in Grants Pass, Oregon is a hidden gem nestled in the picturesque Rogue Valley. From the moment you arrive, you’re greeted with breathtaking views of vineyards stretching across rolling hills and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
The first thing that stands out about Apricity Vineyards is the dedication to producing exceptional wines. The vineyard specializes in cool-climate varietals, and their attention to detail is evident in every bottle. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, you’ll find something to delight your palate.
The tasting room at Apricity Vineyards is a cozy space with rustic charm. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are eager to guide you through their selection, sharing insights about each wine and offering recommendations based on your preferences. Their passion for the craft shines through as they educate and engage with visitors, making the tasting experience both enjoyable and educational.
One of the highlights of Apricity Vineyards is their outdoor patio area. It’s the perfect spot to savor a glass of wine while taking in the stunning surroundings. The panoramic views of the vineyard and the valley create a serene ambiance, making it an ideal place to relax and unwind.
In addition to the exceptional wines, Apricity Vineyards also hosts events and offers wine club memberships. Their events showcase the beauty of the region and provide opportunities to connect with other wine enthusiasts. The wine club allows members to access exclusive releases and discounts, ensuring that the enjoyment of Apricity Vineyards extends beyond the initial visit.
Overall, Apricity Vineyards is a must-visit destination for wine lovers exploring the Grants Pass area. The combination of stunning views, superb wines, and passionate staff creates an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or a chance to expand your wine knowledge, Apricity Vineyards will leave you with lasting memories and a desire to return again and again.
As you can take a few directions the next zig zag stop was Belle Fiore Winery. They have some extraordinary wines, classic food pairings, live music, winemaker paired dinners, high end events and strolls amid the scenic gardens and vineyards. Set on 31-acre vineyard they cultivate extraordinary wine varietals producing classic vintages which encapsulate our French, Italian, and Spanish heritage. Offering culinary food pairings and are open Wednesday through Sunday 12pm – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 12pm-7pm. No reservations required!
The scenic route that winds through the Applegate Valley, showcasing the stunning views of the Siskiyou Mountains. The trail is home to over 20 wineries, each with its unique flavor and style. My next stop was the Troon Vineyard, a biodynamic winery that produces some of the best wines in the region. The vineyard is known for its unique approach to winemaking, where they use the lunar calendar to determine the best time to harvest the grapes.
As I walked through the vineyard, the aroma of the ripening grapes filled the air, and I couldn’t help but feel excited to taste the wine. The tasting room was cozy and inviting, and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. I tried their Zinfandel, which had a bold and spicy flavor with a hint of blackberry. Next, I sampled their Vermentino, a refreshing white wine with a crisp finish. The Troon Vineyard was a great start to my Applegate wine tour.
The next stop was Kriselle Cellars; unless you have a reservation apparently which is required by them for wine tasting … don’t waste your gas. As I entered the vastly empty tasting room I was rudely asked if I had reservations. That was the start of an experience that continued to go downhill. The wine tastings were less than desirable, and that’s all there is to say about that.
My next stop was the Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden, a biodynamic winery that uses holistic farming practices to grow their grapes. The vineyard is situated on a hilltop, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valley. As I walked through the gardens, I was amazed by the variety of fruits and vegetables growing alongside the vines. The tasting room was cozy and rustic, with a warm fireplace and comfortable seating. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, sharing the story of the vineyard and the wines they produced like the award-winning wines, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Viognier, Chardonnay and various white and red blends. We also produce our own estate-grown, organic pear cider and pear cranberry cider blend. We feature flights for tasting, light fare to pair with wines and talented wine educators to inform and entertain while you visit.
I sampled their Syrah, which had a smooth and silky texture with notes of black cherry and chocolate. The Grenache Blanc was another standout, with a crisp and refreshing taste with hints of citrus and tropical fruit. The Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden was a unique and memorable stop on my Applegate wine tour.
Before heading to the next one detoured off a bit and headed back to Schmidt Family Vineyards. Schmidt is a vineyard, winery and tasting room that offers wine flights, barrel tastings, tours, a full food menu, and beautiful grounds. Located at 330 Kubli Road they are open year-round every Tuesday through Saturday 12-5 with extended hours every Friday from 5-8 for live music. They are a three-generation wine making family that has been working hard since 2001 to make clean, full-bodied wines from the 20 varietals on their estate vineyard. Schmidt specializes in making small lots of boutique wines and has crafted a relaxed environment to enjoy a beautiful afternoon. Their dining is centered around our woodfired pizza oven and can be enjoyed inside our Timber-frame tasting room or on our patio, lawns, or flower gardens. We are a destination where you can come with your family, do a barrel tasting, take a tour through the winery, then get a flight to taste on the lawn while enjoying a pizza and listening to live music.
I then embarked out to EdenVale Winery their beautiful tasting room with formal gardens and the 1890’s Voorhies Mansion is well worth the stop. It was nice just to relax and enjoy a glass of wine with some new friends on the patio. You can also tour the beautiful historic property without the need of a reservation. The views are memorable– take in Oregon pear orchards, vineyards, and the Siskiyou Mountain range. Edenvale is family friendly everyone is welcome.
The final stop on my wine tour was the Red Lily Vineyards, situated on the banks of the Applegate River. The vineyard is known for its award-winning Tempranillo, a bold and complex red wine with notes of blackberry and spice. The tasting room was spacious and elegant, with a large fireplace and comfortable seating. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, sharing the history of the vineyard and the winemaking process.
I sampled their Rosé, which had a light and fruity taste with a crisp finish. The Tempranillo was the star of the show, with a full-bodied flavor and a smooth finish. I also tried their Syrah, which had a bold and spicy taste with notes of black pepper and cherry. The Red Lily Vineyards was a perfect end to my Applegate wine tour.
In conclusion, there were many more vineyards that we could have done but like for us time allowing the Applegate wine tour is a must-visit for any wine lover. The stunning views, unique wineries, and flavorful wines make for an unforgettable experience. From the biodynamic practices of Troon Vineyard to the holistic farming at Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden and the award-winning Tempranillo at Red Lily Vineyards, the Applegate wine trail has something for everyone. So, grab your friends, and head out for a fun-filled wine tour in Southern Oregon.