I remember the very first time we toured the wineries in Ashland.
Having learned to love wine during time spent in Northern California, I wasn’t sure what I would think of Southern Oregon wines. And actually, I may have been resistant to the idea because vineyards were replacing the orchards from my childhood.
I unfairly compared every wine I tasted to a region with different weather and varietals making my tasting biased from the start. As I arrived at each winery, I had predetermined if I would like or dislike a place on what my thoughts were of their vineyard taking over orchards. Honestly, my first go at visiting the wineries here in town was littered with unfair judgments.
When I finally decided to get back on the saddle and set my emotions aside, I found that we really have some great wines as well as outstanding wineries here in town. The climate and dirt lend to some great varietals such as Barbera, Malbec, and dark earthy Pinots. And the wineries themselves have beautiful views and some of the friendliest and knowledgeable staff.
Here are my top three picks of Ashland Wineries, and they are must-visit locations.
You have to see this place…it easily rivals any Napa winery I have visited with its grand tasting pavilion and the Chateau above. Surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards and outstanding views of the valley, this gorgeous winery offers equally enticing wines. When Rob Folin took over as the winemaker of Belle Fiore, he transformed what were once good wines into outstanding wines. Plus, I have to give a shoutout to the excellent staff here who always go above and beyond.
Irvine and Roberts
A little closer into town, you will find Irvine and Roberts. If you are looking for a venue that features Chardonnay’s and Pinots, this is the place for you. Although from time to time they do offer different varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot are what they are known for, and OMG, they are outstanding. Additionally, the patio features heaters and fantastic views of the hillside around Ashland.
Dana Campbell Vineyards
Across the freeway with amazing views of the small town of Ashland, you will find my last but not least choice of wineries here in town. Dana Campbell Vineyards offers the perfect place to relax and end your wine tasting day. Not only will the view wow you, but their unique blends may catch you by surprise. Specifically, they have a white and red blend (yes, they mixed these two) that was so versatile that you could enjoy it at room temperature or cold.
No matter where you learned to love wine or if you are a native to the valley and find yourself saddened by the loss of orchards, you still will want to give Southern Oregon wines a try. And start here in Ashland, you won’t be disappointed!
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