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Monday, August 20, 2012

A trip through Umpqua

Sandi and Tim took Sandiís mom Anne on a trip though the Umpqua wine region on Saturday. We were celebrating Anneís 75th birthday and wanted to show her Umpqua wines and then finish at Black Bird Bar and Grill, a great restaurant in downtown Roseburg. We hit 6 wineries in all, and had enough wine so that by the time we got to dinner, we did not finish the bottle of Malbec.  One of the highlights of the trip was Chateau NonChalant where Deborah was an excellent hostess and the grounds make for an excellent spot to stop and taste wine.

The wines were quite good and very reasonably priced. Their Tempranillo, Syrah and Pinot Gris were particular hits among our group and as it was Anneís birthday, she got to pick a free bottle and chose a Pinot Noir. This is now a must stop spot on our wine tours, with great wine and great atmosphere. 

We did stop by Abacela, but they were closed for a private event. I was very much looking forward to tasting their new releases, especially their Malbec, so as much as I am impressed that they will close the tasting room for events, I was disappointed that I couldnít taste that wine.


Another highlight was Hillcrest Winery. Hillcrest winery boasts Oregonís oldest estate winery and Dyson DeMara is a treat to listen to, he is passionate about wine making and is not afraid to take chances. He focuses on Old World wine making styles and has impressive offerings.

Of special note are the 2009 Pazzo Collina, Cabernet Sauvignon which is a very different Cab. This wine might not be appreciated by wine purists, but is so different that I had to have a bottle. The 2010 Inside Out, Pinot Noir Blanc was also a distinctive wine, and I couldnít live without it. This was a great experience with a great atmosphere and wonderful people to listen to about wine.

But I have to say, the hit of the day was TeSůAria Vineyard &Winery. Oregon Wine Geeks have tasted and well liked a couple of their wines, but I was confronted with eight different wines Iíd never had before. The amazing thing was, each was better than the one before it and they started off great! John Olsen was an absolute hoot to learn from and to say the John is high energy and driven about wine is to say the Earth is a big rock.

tesoria - John

 John had many exceptional wines and the wine geeks will be writing about some of them in the near future, but one story sticks out that Iíll just tantalize your interest in, and let John tell you the story. The wine is called Bullís Blood and it is based on Hungarian history. I would not do the story justice the way John can, so I invite you to go to the winery and hear it from John first hand.

After we tasted his offerings, he brought us into his barrel room for some barrel tastings that is one of my favorite things to do, taste the wines a wine maker is currently working with and listen to true passion about wine.


Finally we went to Black Bird Bar and Grill for an excellent dinner, and lo and behold, there was Abacelaís Malbec on the wine list! But it was not to be and is a measure of how good this wine is as they were sold out. So we did have an Argentinian Malbec that matched the dinner perfectly.

We got back to Medford, we had cases of wine from the Umpqua and another great day of wine and food that is available right here in Southern Oregon.  Happy Birthday Anne!



Posted By: Tim Morton @ 8:24:15 AM


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