Wine Talk

Snooth User: umpquawineau

Umpqua Valley AVA

Posted by umpquawineau, Oct 20, 2009.

Hello from Oregon. Thought that Oregon is just Pinot Noir? Not so. Umpqua Valley is located around the town of Roseburg and our climate is more like California's than the cooler wetter Willamette Valley.

We can grow everything from A (Albarino) to Z (Zinfandel). Come enjoy our Syrah, Cab, Riesling, and more.

Anyone had the Hillcrest 2005 Syrah "San Roc"? Amazing!

What's your favorite Umpqua Valley wine?

Replies

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 20, 2009.

I would love to learn more about all the nooks and crannies in Oregon. It's on my, admittedly long, list of region to visit. What can you tell us about the Umpqua Valley?

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 21, 2009.

Ditto to Greg's comments, umpquawineau, would love to hear more about the wine in your neck of Oregon...

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Reply by umpquawineau, Oct 21, 2009.

Thanks for asking. I'll give you a bit of background. More later, as we are off to conduct another wine tour!
Umpqua Valley AVA (UV) was were the modern era of fine wine making started in Oregon.
In 1961 Richard Sommer came up from CA, against the advise of UC Davis, to plant the very first Pinot Noir grapes in Oregon! The winery he established is still going strong: Hillcrest, now under a new owner/wine maker Dyson DeMara. Dyson is truly a purist, using many Old World techniques, including cement tank fermentation.
Today there are 22 tasting rooms. Are wineries are spread out over a large region. The notion of one large valley like Napa must be dismissed. We call the area "The Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua", giving us a variety of micro-climates.
Among other "firsts" are the first plantings in the US of both Tempranillo and Gruner Veltliner. This is no surprise given the pioneer spirit of our AVA. We are still all family owned wineries here.
I'll be back soon as I am off to taste some great wine.

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 21, 2009.

Thanks, umpquawineau. Will look forward to hearing more when you have the time!

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Reply by umpquawineau, Oct 21, 2009.

I think what makes this AVA so unique is the passion that the wine makers put into their wines. Many of our wine makers are transplants from other regions. They come here for the amazing opportunities to create world class wines. Some are old hands at the game coming from Napa, etc because they know the potential of our climate and soils. Some have picked UV to express their dream of making wine. It is truly a splendid mix. None of the super egos of CA wineries. Many are under 1500 cases. Most wine is sold at the wineries where you can talk to the wine maker behind the tasting bar. More than anywhere it's about the place. Drop dead gorgeous. World class fly fishing and uncrowded farmland boarded by forested mountains. Eh, it's just a 3 hour drive South of Portland....come on out!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 22, 2009.

Umpqua,

I don't know if you are aware but Snooth accepts contributions from authors which we publish in our articles section. Perhaps you might want to consider writing an article or two?

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Reply by umpquawineau, Oct 23, 2009.

Be glad to. In the meantime, check out my blog at http://umpquawine.blogspot.com/
and Diane's blog at http://thegirlongrapes.blogspot.com/

Stopped by yet another tasting room that will be opening soon yesterday!

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Reply by schellbe, Oct 24, 2009.

This is timely that a just tried the Brandborg (Dry) Riesling 2005 (Umpqua). I am not a big fan of west coast Rieslings, but this was really nice, with mineral qualities of a good European version and none of the heavy syrupy flavors of most of the west coast products. Definitely better than Eroica. And the Wyoming Liquor Commmision carries it! (not that this is a concern for most of you). I ordered a case at our local store. I don't know how easy it is to find as I happened on this early last year, I think, in a Cheyenne store, and I haven't checked in other states.

If you can't find this, you could try the Oregon Pinot Noir Club; they have a wide selection of both reds and whites from OR and WA.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 25, 2009.

Buying wine in Wyoming. Now correct me if I am wrong, but that sounds like a challenge.

Hate the thread drift but I just had to say...

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Reply by schellbe, Oct 25, 2009.

No more challenging than in other sparsely populated areas, but the selection is limited, especially French and Italian.

But the state does take back corked bottles, regardless of when you bought them. When I buy mail order from Zachys, Brown Derby et al, I consider corked bottles a cost of doing busineess, as the offending bottle was probably bought several years in the past.

But back to topic, buy the Brandborg Riesling, or the Brooks Riesling. The latter is not Umpqua, but is available from the Oregon Pinot Noir Club.

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Reply by Kheldarstl, Oct 25, 2009.

Thanks for the insight, I am partial to River's Edge, a Pinot Noir wine produced in the Umpguaa valley, I like the subtle, Burgundian aspects of the wine.

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Reply by umpquawineau, Oct 26, 2009.

Glad to hear that our local wines are getting out there. And it's Umpqua. Funny that both wines reviewed here are from the Elkton area, which is closest to the Ocean, producing nice cool weather wines. Drive 40 miles inland and you get the heavier Rhone, Spanish, Italian wines.
I'll be honest here. I am pushing the fact that we do more than Pinot Noir. Too many people think of Oregon has a one-wine state. Not true. Beacause of our rather low case lots our wines are not that widely distributed, meaning that you should come and visit to really get the whole story.

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Reply by Kheldarstl, Oct 26, 2009.

Wow, I knew about some of the Italian varietials, and Syrah that was being grown in Oregon, but as you stated, One almost needs to visit in order to get some of the "less trendy" varietals - Can you share with us some of the "less trendy" varietal wines produced in the Umpqua (Sorry about the misspelling above, I was tired when I wrote that) I would love to hear what spanish grapes are being grown and how they express in the microclimate.

Thanks

Keith

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Reply by umpquawineau, Oct 27, 2009.

I hope to put together a larger article on the Umpqua Valley AVA soon, in the meantime, I will cover some of the more unusual varietals that our region offers. It may be interesting to know that Roseburg is on the same latitude as the Rioja area in Spain and Tuscany in Italy. As I mentioned above, our AVA was the first to produce the Tempranillo and Gruner Veltliner (Austrian) varietals.
There are at least three wineries producing a Dolcetto. One makes a Granacha (Spain) wine. Viognier (Rhone: Condrieu) is very popular here with some stunning results.
We also produce some of the usual suspects: Malbec,Merlot,Zinfandel, and Chardonnay.
Stay tuned for a complete overview of the Umpqua Valley AVA!


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