When it comes to wineries in Oregon, the famous Willamette Valley often receives most of the attention—and with good reason. The region has a unique, cool climate and is home to a number of outstanding wineries that produce some of the best Pinot Noir in the country. Southern Oregon also boasts a number of exceptional wineries that produce outstanding, award-winning wines.
Check out the following list of two of the best wineries in Southern Oregon.
The southernmost vineyard in the Pacific Northwest, Foris Vineyards is located in the Rogue Valley. The winery is owned and operated by the Gerber family, with Stephanie Pao serving as a winemaker. The winery’s award-winning wines include the 2017 Chardonnay, which won the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Made exclusively from estate fruit, this wine features aromas of Meyer lemon and honeysuckle and the flavors of toast and stone fruit.
Foris Vineyards’ award-winning wines also include the 2016 Dry Gewürztraminer, which received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast. This wine possesses aromas of rose petal, cardamom, and citrus blossom, as well as the flavors of white peach and Asian pear.
White wine enthusiasts should also try the 2017 Pinot Blanc. The winner of both the Double Gold Medal from SipNW Magazine and the Gold Medal from the Oregon Wine Awards, this white wine offers aromas of Meyer lemon and tuberose and features a palate of citrus and pear.
Foris Vineyards’ red wines include the 2017 Rogue Valley Pinot Noir. Made exclusively from estate grapes, this wine was crafted from grapes grown on the winery’s Maple Ranch and Cedar Ranch vineyards. This wine features a diverse array of aromas, including red plum, rose petal, mint, and pine resin. The flavors are just as diverse, from tart cherry and rhubarb to orange zest and clove.
Red wine enthusiasts should also try the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. Made from grapes grown on a single lot at Stargazer Vineyard in Applegate Valley and aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, this wine has red and black fruit flavors, as well as a bit of cedar and baking chocolate.
Visitors to Foris Vineyards and Winery can sample these and other wines every day in the tasting room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about this outstanding Southern Oregon winery, visit www.foriswine.com.
Located in the Applegate Valley, Troon Vineyard is situated at 1,400 feet above sea level and offers beautiful views of the surrounding Siskiyou Mountains. This pristine location, where the Rogue and Applegate rivers meet, allows for cool Pacific breezes to enter the vineyard during the afternoon.
Committed to caring for the land in this beautiful location, Troon Vineyard farms in a sustainable way that gives back more than it takes from the soil. With Biodynamic®, organic, and Salmon Safe certifications, the winery goes to great lengths to care for the land. Troon Vineyard ensures that the grapes are sorted by the same staff members who cared for them all season, which is one way that the winery aims to emphasize the vineyard more than winemaking techniques.
Troon Vineyard also uses exclusively native yeasts during fermentation and avoids the use of commercial sugars, acids, additives, and enzymes. Furthermore, the winery uses only mature French oak barrels to ensure that wine enthusiasts can enjoy every nuance of the grapes grown in this fertile valley.
The winery’s red wines include the 2017 Estate Vermentino, which earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast and the Slow Wine Award from the 2019 Slow Wine Guide, the latter of which noted the wine’s flavors of lime, lemon, and savory grilled peach.
Vermentino enthusiasts should also try the 2017 Vermentino, Orange Wine. Orange wines are white wines made according to the red wine process, which means they are fermented on the skins. The result is a wine with an orange hue and a unique flavor and aroma. This particular wine was given 92 points by Enobytes, which noted the wine’s flavors of white peach, green apple, apricot, and lime.
Those looking for a unique red wine should try the 2016 Estate Cuvée Pyrénées, which is named after the Madiran and Cahor appellation regions near the Pyrénées Mountains in southwestern France. Troon Vineyard made this wine by co-fermenting Malbec and Tannat, two of the most predominant grapes grown in these regions. The result is an excellent wine that received 92 points from James Suckling and 91 points from Decanter.
Troon Vineyard welcomes visitors to sample these wines in its beautiful tasting room, which is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The winery also features a tasting room in the Willamette Valley at the Troon Carlton Wine Bar in Carlton. To learn more about Troon Vineyard and its award-winning wines, visit www.troonvineyard.com.