There’s no bad time to visit wine country. But there’s something magical about autumn, especially in those quiet, misty days after the long days and celebratory nights of harvest wind down. Whether you have a free afternoon or a luscious long weekend, Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley Wine Country offers visitors so many ways to experience the sights, aromas and flavors of fall. Here’s how to live it up this season, because you deserve it.
Overlooking the Rogue River and nestled between the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges, Del Rio Vineyard Estate in Gold Hill offers some of the most spectacular views in Southern Oregon. It also boasts one of the region’s largest vineyards, with 300 acres of more than a dozen grape varieties planted. Pack up a picnic to pair with a glass of Del Rio’s bright, fruit-forward 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon and spend the afternoon at one of the many sheltered picnic tables dotting the grounds. If it’s too chilly to dine alfresco, explore the remarkable former hotel that houses the tasting room. Dating back to 1865, it’s one of the oldest structures in Southern Oregon.
A finalist in the 2018 Sunset Travel Awards, DANCIN Vineyards in Jacksonville is bringing melody back to wine country with socially distanced opportunities for live music all autumn long, with COVID-19 precautions in place. Performers include Jon Galfano, the “singing weatherman,” whom longtime Southern Oregon residents may remember as a TV meteorologist from the 1990s; and David Callahan, who toured and performed with The Carpenters. While you tap your toes, enjoy DANCIN’s extensive food menu, including hand-tossed pizzas and delicious desserts, as well as wines by the flight, glass or bottle (don’t miss DANCIN’s buzzy Barbera). Reservations are highly recommended.
At Rellik Winery in Central Point, you can sip vino in the renovated tasting room while smiling at the family of alpacas and llamas that roam the grounds, including more than 200 fruit orchards. You can also treat yourself to a stay in one of their three cozy suites on the farm to spend more time with the lovable herd.
Applegate Valley AVA
In the lush Applegate Valley, book one of Troon Vineyard’s two vineyard guest houses for a vine’s-eye view of where the magic happens. Just after harvest is the perfect time for vineyard foliage peeping. Plus, a little chill in the air makes Troon’s fantastic Rhône-style wines (try the 2018 Côtes du Kubli Rouge) taste even better. Just down the road, Schmidt Family Vineyards is ideal for sharing a glass ‘round the firepit or watching birds migrate overhead, reflected in their sprawling garden’s waterways.
Southern Rogue Valley
While they’re best known for big, bold reds made from grapes like Tempranillo and Syrah, EdenVale Winery in Medford occasionally works with another variety of fruit: pears. Celebrate the autumn harvest with a bottle of EdenVale’s award-winning organic pear cider, made entirely from estate-grown fruit. While you’re there, visit their heritage orchard, where two dozen of the original pear trees planted by founder Joseph H. Stewart in 1885 still grow today.
Order a free map to help plan your fall adventure.