Hidden away in a remote river valley historically known more for gold than grapes is COWHORN, a boutique, estate vineyard and winery whose first releases were the toast of The James Beard Foundation and Oregon’s emerging eco-culinary scene. Recently in 2013, the 2009 COWHORN Syrah was awarded Best of the West in Sunset Magazine, the 2009 COWHORN Reserve Syrah was named 50 Best Wines by Portland Monthly Magazine, and the 2012 COWHORN Spiral 36 was listed on the 2013 Top 100 Wines by Jon Bonné and the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate rated 5 COWHORN wines 92+ points in November, 2013. In 2012, the 2009 COWHORN Viognier was added to Paul Gregutt’s Top 100 Pacific Northwest Wines list.
Sharing qualities comparable to the world-renowned Chateauneuf-du-Pape region of France’s southern Rhone Valley, COWHORN sits alongside Southern Oregon’s pristine Applegate River. The farm is fringed by frontier forests on the edge of wilderness and supported by soils that are perfectly suited for various Rhone grape varieties, including Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. As a result, COWHORN produces limited, balanced, fine wines with low alcohol and high aroma that express the signature subtleties of the farm’s unique soils.
COWHORN is among the first certified Biodynamic estate wineries and commercial farms in the United States. Guided by wine horticulturist Alan York and consultant winemaker Ken Bernards, COWHORN planted its first eleven acres of vineyard in 2005. Using state-of-the-art technology, winemakers Bill and Barbara Steele gently and patiently nudge native yeast through the fermentation process on a mission to make fine wine with few inputs, going from grapes to glass as purely as possible.
COWHORN benefits from being surrounded by biodiversity that serves as a natural immune system for the vineyard and gardens. When combined with organic and Biodynamic farming methods, this symbiotic relationship not only minimizes the need for petrochemical pesticides but supports the vitality of the surrounding ecosystem. Over half of the 117-acre estate is reserved for habitat, forest and riparian areas. Currently, only 29 acres are in cultivation, including 25 in vineyard and 4 for produce.
Because Biodynamic farming is deeply rooted in the practice of perennial polyculture, crops are selected that pair well in the field and on the table. COWHORN supplies 6,000-7,000 pounds of fresh asparagus to local markets and grocery stores. Depending on volumes and season, club members and tasting room visitors can purchase asparagus or orchard fruit. Other crops in development include 1,000 lavender plants planted in 2012 and 2013.
- Open to Public
- Tasting Room
Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden
1665 Eastside Road
TASTING ROOM INFORMATION
1665 Eastside Road
Tasting Room Hours: Tues thru Sun 11a-4p
Tasting Fee: $5