Wine lovers can embrace Jacksonville, Oregon as the Heart of the Southern Oregon Wine Region. With over 100 wineries, this region is establishing its reputation as being the next big thing in the world of wine.
Noted in Wine Enthusiast Magazine (February 2016) as one of the Top 10 Wine Destinations in the World and in Sunset Magazine as “the undiscovered wine country of your dreams: For the wine minded traveler, this destination feels almost utopian. Here, tasting fees cost less than a latte; hotel rates are actually reasonable; wineries go way beyond water crackers…and unlike any other wine regions in the West- all kinds of grapes thrive.”
Rugged mountain valleys with many diverse climates are perfect for growing a wide variety of intensely flavored wine grapes- over 70 varietals are grown in this region. The cooler areas of Southern Oregon are known for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. Warmer, more arid regions produce incredible big reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Merlot, Malbec, Zinfandel, and Syrah.
Jacksonville is the Gateway to the Applegate Valley Wine Trail, one of Oregon’s newest wine appellations with 18 wineries.
The Applegate Valley climate is an alternative to Oregon’s cool- climate viticulture and largely protected from coastal influences, creating warmer and drier growing seasons than most of the state. Vineyards are located mainly on stream terraces with granite soils which provide excellent drainage.
Combined with higher elevations, the valley is conducive to Chardonnay, Viognier, Syrah and Bordeaux red varietals, proving that Oregon isn’t just about Pinot Noir. You can take just a couple of hours or easily fill a day or two touring the vineyards and wineries.
The wineries are small and intimate and you will often find yourself talking with the wine maker in person. In addition to great wines, the scenery is spectacular. Nothing beats enjoying a glass of wine while letting your eyes feast on the inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
There are also five tasting rooms right in town – making the Southern Oregon wine tasting experience very convenient. Okay, two of the tasting rooms are just outside of the city limits, but by no more than a mile. These exquisite wineries offer an astounding array of fine wines, from Rhones and Bordeauxs to some of Oregon’s most sensational Pinot Noirs. The in-town tasting rooms offer music, food and enchanted gardens, while the rural wineries feature expansive views of the valley from outdoor patios. Jacksonville has become the destination for wine enthusiasts – just 7 miles off of I-5 at Medford and 20 minutes from Ashland.
In addition to the Applegate Valley Wine Trail, there are the Bear Creek Boutique Wineries, the Upper Rogue Valley, Umpqua Valley that comprise the rest of the Southern Oregon wine region – all within an easy drive.
So plan on several days to fully explore the wines of Southern Oregon from the comfort of small town Jacksonville, Oregon. All of the wineries and tasting rooms are just minutes from town with some right in town. You may also want to check out several of the seasonal events that provide you with easy access to multiple wines and wineries.