- The Applegate Valley AVA is a sub-appellation of the Rogue Valley AVA, which is contained within the larger Southern Oregon AVA.
- The Rogue Valley AVA was established in 1991, and the Applegate Valley AVA was separated out in 2001.
- Covering a total area of roughly 275,000 acres, The Applegate Valley AVA has just over 600 acres planted to wine grapes.
- There are 18 member wineries in the Applegate Valley Wine Trail.
- Predominant varietals include those from Rhone, Bordeaux, and Burgundy.
- The valley itself stretches for approximately 50 miles from the California border to the Rogue River west of Grants Pass.
- Average elevation in the AVA is 1330 feet above sea level.
- A moderate climate sees just about 25 inches of rainfall each year, and features warm days and cool nights.
- The Applegate Valley is warmer and drier than the Illinois Valley to the west, but less so than the Bear Creek Valley to the east.
- Though soils are largely granitic, a diverse geology means widely varying soil types. This, combined with a large number of micro-climates, means a wide range of varietals thrive in the AVA.
- Wine grapes were first planted in the region by Peter Britt in the mid-1800s.
- Nearby communities include Ashland, Medford, Jacksonville, and Grants Pass.
- Two major performing arts festivals attract international visitors to the area: The Britt Festival in historic Jacksonville and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
- Small organic farms growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, lavender purveyors, and boutique food producers contribute to a culture of locally-made products.
- The region touts outstanding outdoor activities, including river rafting, hiking, and fishing. The Wild Rogue Wilderness and Rogue River attract tens of thousands of visitors each year to explore the scenic region and raft the waters.
Applegate Valley: Oregon’s rugged wine region
The wilds of Southern Oregon is wine country the way it used to be.
Meticulously tended grapevines ― Chardonnay and Viognier, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon ― march up the steep, narrowing canyon above Wooldridge Creek’s wood-and-stone winery. Curiously, tangled along the vineyard’s edge are a few unkempt rows of Chardonnay. A sacrificial hedge, explains Applegate Valley winemaker Greg Paneitz. More…
From this morning’s Wine Business daily report:
Southern Oregon Wineries Producing Powerful Tempranillo and Malbec — Signature Grapes of the Future?
Though most people think “pinot noir” when asked to name an Oregon grape varietal, in the hotter and sunnier southern half of the state, wineries are producing powerful tempranillos, malbecs and other big reds. They are also grappling with the issue of whether or not they should proclaim a signature grape or two – much like their northern wine neighbors in the Willamette Valley have done with chardonnay and pinot noir. More.
For wine lovers, Southern Oregon’s burgeoning wine region is a great discovery. Jacksonville is the heart and soul of the entire region, and more specifically it is the Gateway to the Applegate Valley Wine Trail. Touring the 20 wineries in the breathtaking Applegate Valley is convenient due to their close proximity to each other and to Jacksonville. They are all within an easy and scenic 25 miles. The Applegate Valley climate is an alternative to Oregon’s cool-climate viticulture and is conducive to Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux red varietals.
More at http://jacksonvilleoregon.com/events-activities/wine-tasting-along-the-beautiful-applegate-valley-wine-trail/