By K.M. Collins
Tucked among green pastures and ancient oaks on Slagle Creek, Schultz Glory Oaks Winery is the quintessential vineyard stop in Southern Oregon’s bountiful Applegate Valley. Owners Greg and Debbie Schultz have been farming using only organic practices and products since 2016. They also use biodynamic practices, such as having their chickens take care of pests on the vines and having their sheep help fertilize the soil, which they believe produces higher-quality fruits and better wines. Here, they chat about their favorite winter wines, picnic pairings and outdoor activities in Rogue Valley Wine Country.
1. What are your most crowd-pleasing wines this winter?
Greg: Maybe it’s the weather, but our four red wines are especially tasting good right now. The Pinot Noir, Merlot, Tempranillo and Syrah are each a 2016 vintage. Our Pinot Noir is a rare gem. Made entirely of the 777 clone from the Pearl Family Vineyard, this wine is medium bodied and garnet colored with notes of cherry, plum preserves and vanilla.
2. Does the tasting room ambiance of Glory Oaks hint at your Southern roots?
Debbie: Hailing from Louisiana, Greg and I greet all of the vineyard visitors with Southern hospitality! The tasting room is in a charming restored 1940s farmhouse motif. [Call ahead to check the latest status of indoor tasting, and book a reservation for the best experience.] Folks say it’s warm, comfortable and inviting. There’s also plenty of outdoor seating from which to soak in the beauty of 8 acres of vines, our farm (which uses some biodynamic practices) and the surrounding Siskiyou Mountains. It’s the perfect location for a picnic.
3. Can you share favorite on-site picnic pairings and at-home meal matches?
Greg: The soft tannins and rich fruit notes of our Pinot Noir are delightful with a cheese plate of brie, feta and gruyère, and sides of mushrooms and beets. It’s also decadent with a hearty dinner like roast chicken with smashed potatoes and cucumber salad. Our award-winning Tempranillo is fabulous with a charcuterie picnic of Spanish olives, capers, roasted Marcona almonds and crackers. Or enjoy it with blackened pork tenderloin in a cream sauce, garnished with garlic-cilantro carrots and homemade bread.
4. What’s the local scoop on outdoor recreation and wine-tour mashups in the Applegate Valley?
Debbie: Within a 6-mile loop, there are six tasting rooms including us. Within 10 miles there are about 30 vineyards. There is also the Enchanted Forest Trail, less than a mile from us. Glory Oaks is 1 mile from the Applegate River and a stone’s throw from a rustic pioneer cemetery. Folks can gold pan and walk trails lined with lush moss and tall oaks. In summer big events like the Southern Oregon Lavender Festival and Oregon Shakespeare Festival bring out-of-towners, racers and even paragliders. [Check websites for updates on 2021 events.]
Greg: In the last couple years, Debbie and I have indulged in a celebratory glass of Glory Oaks chardonnay while snowshoeing at Crater Lake and while fly-fishing on the Applegate River.
5. Outside of the tasting room, how can folks enjoy Glory Oak wines?
Debbie: To share in the Southern hospitality of Glory Oaks from the comfort of your own home, join our wine club or order online. This year, online demand for Schultz’s wines have increased dramatically. Don’t miss out on your chance for a virtual picnic experience. Order a bottle, decant in your living room, then check out @schultzwines on Instagram for vineyard and farm happenings.