Since it shares the same parallel as Frances’ wine country with superior terroir, the 40-plus winemakers in the holy trinity of Applegate, Umpqua and Rogue Valley are able to produce a variety of reasonably priced world- class wines, including Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chards, Cabs, Merlot and Syrah. Tasting rooms are seldom full, and hospitality runs high so you can actually “meet the vintner, hear the story, taste the wine, bring some home, and relive the experience.”
*Henry Estate Winery– was one of the first in the Valley. The story here is that you can talk to the founder who developed the revolutionary Scott Henry Trellis System, used for vine training around the world. It’s a fascinating story best heard while sipping one of his delicious Pinots, or the Muller Thurgau.
*Schmidt Family Vineyard– loved their wines and their tasting room – a converted railway roundhouse surrounded by gardens.
*Valley View Winery– the charming Wisnovsky brothers are getting revved up growth, currently producing around 10,000 cases. They won rave reviews for their 2004 Viognier.
Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards– started by a lovely young couple from New York in 2001. They are the first winery in the states to offer Austria’s Gruner Veltliner- and it was superb.
*Troon Vineyard– offers awesome views of the Applegate Valley from their well-appointed custom built tasting room. Lots of extras like their summer “vinolab’, tapas pairing, bocce ball and an excellent “Insomnia Port.”
Sidebar for all single girls: In 2003, Chris Martin was chosen by Dick Troon to take over the reigns. This hunky vintner (what a catch) is working so hard that he hasn’t had time to find the girl of his dreams, so I offered to put a shout out. When I asked what he was looking for, he thought deeply for a moment and then replied,” I’m looking for a beautiful enigma wrapped in a romantic comedy.” Wow-be still my beating heart!