February 2005 federal authorization of the Southern Oregon AVA
Viticultural Area) was distinct from other recently designated AVAs
in that it defined a kind of macro appellation that completely
encompasses previously authorized appellations in Southern Oregon... the
and Red Hill Douglas County
AVAs, the Rogue Valley AVA
the Applegate Valley AVA (2001), all of
lie within the boundaries of the newer two-million-acre Southern Oregon
AVA in the southwest portion of Oregon State.
(Elkton Oregon AVA - completely
within the Umpqua Valley AVA - was added to the mix in 2013.) A
vast assortment of micro climates can be found throughout these regions.
If you are new to the subject of Southern Oregon wine country, be sure to leave
behind any preconceived
general notions you may have of Oregon's climate or the grape varietals
grown there. When the Southern Oregon AVA was proposed, it was the
differentiation of its climate (as compared with the cool Willamette
Valley to the north) that built the case for federal authorization.
The Mediterranean-like climes of Southern Oregon are generally much
warmer than Oregon's
Willamette Valley AVA.
You don't have to
be a geologist to notice the significant change of the world outside
your vehicle's window as you leave
Eugene, Oregon and head south. The countryside begins to roll
gently, as the flatland of the 3.3-million-acrea Willamette Valley AVA ends
and the Southern Oregon appellation begins. State highways leave
Interstate 5 and meander west along valley floors and hillsides, next to
rivers and creeks, all combining to support a fascinating assortment of
micro climates throughout Southern Oregon.
Generally hot, dry summers and cool evenings
bring ideal conditions for numerous grape varietals
including Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Tempranillo, Merlot,
Malbec, Dolcetto, Grenache, Petit verdot, Zinfandel and Syrah in the
warmer, more arid regions, and Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Riesling,
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer
and others in the cooler areas. Southern Oregon's warm-weather varietals are
often grown with blending in mind, and more recently planted grapes such as
Marsanne are making an already colorful palate even more interesting.
overarching Southern Oregon appellation includes the cities of
Sutherlin, Roseburg, Jacksonville, Grants Pass, Medford, and Ashland, all of which
evoke thoughts of vacations and lots of outdoor experiences in the
hearts of those who have visited this beautiful region.
Travelers will find a wide choice of amenities... historic
inns and lodges, riverside hotels and RV parks, and plenty of B&Bs;
you can also find long-established local
diners as well as gourmet and bistro dining in small, historic towns
like Jacksonville and Oakland.
You may want to use these
cities as your home base during your wine-country venturing. More
than 3,000 vineyard acres and assortment of 70 wineries
await your exploration here in the Southern Oregon appellation, and
plenty more are on the
Southern Oregon AVA
Wine Country Facts
Total AVA Acreage:
Primary Grape Varietals