By Jennifer Burns Bright
Spring has sprung, and so have Rogue Valley Rosés. Fans of these gorgeous pink wines are firmly in support of drinking them all year long, but they are particularly cheery during the warming days of spring. A picnic or tasting-room stop in the afterglow of a hike or trail ride is a refreshing way to celebrate the Southern Oregon outdoors.
A Delightful Flight
Herb Quady, founder of Quady North Winery in Jacksonville, loves the flexibility and approachability of Rosé. “Rosé is a serious wine if you put serious intent into it,” he says, “but the point of a wine is to give pleasure, and it doesn’t need to be serious. So it’s perfect for afternoons and casual settings.” His new releases include the 2020 Counoise Rosé, which has wildflower notes and a juiciness due to the warm year; the 2020 Grenache Rosé, reminiscent of a peach with its sweetness and acid; and a marvelous blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2020 GSM Rosé. They are available at the tasting room in flights, so you can sample before taking a bottle home.
Flower It Forward
Lindsey Zagar, marketing manager for Del Rio Vineyard Estate, agrees with Quady, noting that the “light and refreshing” nature of Rosé makes it great with spring meals after outdoor adventures. Check out the winery’s recipe blog for co-owner Jolee Wallace’s pairing recipes, like a mesclun salad with pickled beets and goat cheese with the newly released 2020 Rock Point Grenache Rosé. The gorgeous salmon-pink Grenache is one of Zagar’s “absolute favorites” of Del Rio’s wines, and she’s excited about the 2020 Rock Point Pinot Noir Rosé, too, which appears in the lineup for the first time. Enjoy them both at a picnic table outside the historic tasting room in Gold Hill, a stone’s throw from the Rogue River. Bring clippers and a vase to stop at the winery’s U-pick zinnia farm; they ask merely for a donation and to “flower it forward” by picking one bouquet of these bold, bright summer blooms for yourself and another to share with a loved one.
Pedal for Your Reward
For road and mountain biking in the Rogue Valley, a few great trails nearby the tasting rooms allow for a bit of adventure and great views before a celebratory glass. Cathedral Hills Trails, just outside of Grants Pass, comprise 10 miles of loop trails and tons of spring flowers in 400 acres of majestic forest. Single-track riders might opt for the Mountain of the Rogue, with 7 miles of hand-built, state-of-the-art trail to tackle, including challenging rocky grades. Starting May 1, Ashland Mountain Adventures offers guides, rentals and a shuttle service to several mountain bike trails in the Siskiyou Mountains.
Here are more Rosé releases to whet your palate:
- DANCIN Vineyards, 2020 En L’Air Rosé of Pinot Noir
- Hummingbird Estate, 2020 Ruby Rosé and 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir
- Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir
- Troon Vineyard, 2020 Kubli Bench Rosé (Primitivo and Tinta Roriz)
- Weisinger Family Winery, 2020 Rosé of Grenache
- Wooldridge Creek Winery, 2020 Wooldridge Creek Dry Rosé and 2020 Sparkling Rosé (both Tempranillo and Zinfandel)
Mountain of the Rogue trail photo by Justin Olsen; inset photo courtesy of Quady North Winery