Imagine soaking in a hot tub, glass of wine in hand, with views of a pinot noir vineyard just steps away. That’s entirely possible at the newly renovated Vineyard Cottage — a quaint but luxuriously cozy and peaceful place to stay while wine touring along the Bear Creek Wine Trail in Southern Oregon.
The cottage is part of Weisinger Family Winery, the oldest and southernmost of 13 wineries on the trail, which spans 21 miles from Central Point at the north to Ashland at the south. The trail follows the path of Bear Creek, the 29-mile stream that drains the Rogue River into the fertile valley below.
You can experience the Bear Creek Wine Trail in a comfortable span of a few days, or pop into just a few tasting rooms on your next road trip to Southern Oregon. It’s part of Oregon’s southernmost — and also warmest and driest — winegrowing region, the Rogue Valley AVA, known to produce award-winning wines from pinot noir to gewurztraminer, tempranillo, malbec, viognier and more.
“I was a kid when my dad planted the grapes in 1978; I remember then wondering if my future would have anything to do with them,” says Eric Weisinger, owner and winemaker of Weisinger Family Winery. Fast-forward to 1988, when the winery did its first crush, then became the first tasting room to open in Ashland a year later, in 1989. After his father retired, Weisinger took over the business and works on-site every day.
It’s typical to see owners and winemakers involved in daily operations in Southern Oregon tasting rooms, Weisinger says: “You have wonderful Southern hospitality. When we have guests, they get to know who we are.” Here’s how to tour the Bear Creek Wine Trail, starting from the southernmost point.
I wanted to take a moment and thank our board and subcommittee members for their dedication and hard work this past year. I also want to thank our members and our partners for supporting RVV. As you might notice, we have a brandable logo now and the marketing committee is busy working with Holly developing marketing tools so as we progress into 2020 RVV can proudly and confidently roll out its first marketing plan.
The list of accomplishments and tasks completed for 2019 is to long to list here but a couple of highlights to mention are that Asante has completed their move to their new offices. Because of our partnership with the Asante Foundation this means that RVV now has a permanent meeting space and access to office space, telephone, and intern assistance. What all this means in the big picture is we now can begin to move forward with the process of hiring an Executive Director.
The Solidarity project is the other 2019 highlight that I want to update everyone on. All the Solidarity wines are sold out except for the Pinot Noir which is expected to sell out by year end. Once this happens RVV will receive the proceeds and while I don’t have a firm number to announce I can tell you that it will be a substantial sum. These funds will be a catalyst for grant funding and other opportunities for RVV allowing it to continue to expand its marketing and promotion of the Rogue Valley AVA bringing more benefit and opportunity to its members.
I wish you all a joyous holiday season,
President, Rogue Valley Vintners