2020 Oregon Winery to Watch: Trella Vineyards

by Eric Degerman, Wine Press Northwest

ROSEBURG, ORE.

It was a triple at the 20th Platinum Judging for young Trella Vineyards, but considering who makes the wine for Umpqua Valley growers/doctors Stephen and Susan Williams, those three Platinum awards didn’t come as a surprise.

And while Terry Brandborg crafted those wines, which came into last fall’s competition riding a long trail of gold medals, the farming done by the Williams family along the base of the Callahan Mountains near Roseburg, Ore., shows foresight and skill with Tempranillo and Grüner Veltliner.

“If Terry decides at any point to retire, we’ll figure out some way for him to make our wines on the side,” Stephen said. “We think he’s a genius, and he’s really done fabulous work for us.”

The combination of Williams family grapes and Brandborg’s winemaking led Wine Press Northwest to select Trella Vineyards as the 2020 Oregon Winery to Watch. They teamed up for Platinums with a 2016 Tempranillo, 2016 Grüner Veltliner and 2016 Gewürztraminer, but it’s been a story in the making since 2007 when the Williamses arrived in Southern Oregon to practice medicine.

Stephen is an oncologist and hematologist from the University of Texas-San Antonio who completed residency at Johns Hopkins with a fellowship at Georgetown. Susan, an orthopedic surgeon and spine surgeon, graduated from Stanford, earned her doctorate at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and went on to George Washington University.

“Best-case scenario is that when you meet us it is in the tasting room,” Stephen quipped. “And Susan is clearly the brains of the operation. She has two degrees from Stanford and is a very talented surgeon.”

Soon after her fellowship at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, they set their sights on Oregon as the place to raise their family. They purchased 80 acres on the other side of the hill from historic HillCrest Vineyard, close enough to town that the commute to their separate practices is about 10 minutes.

“We started off the search in the Portland area, but a recruiter suggested we look here,” Susan said. “It is just so beautiful when you drive into Roseburg the way it is nestled in the mountains.”

Neither of them grew up in wine country — Stephen is from North Texas and Susan grew up in New Jersey — but they soon found themselves visiting tasting rooms throughout the Umpqua Valley.

“We would pass all these vineyards on our way to work and started getting interested,” Stephen said. “We went to them all and made friends. We have 500 bottles in our cellar, and they are all from a 10-mile radius of our house.”

They struck up relationships with Stephen Reustle of Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards, Earl Jones of Abacela and his son, famed climate researcher Greg Jones, who toured the future home of Trella Vineyards.

“He gave us the bad news on what we couldn’t do, and Sangiovese was among those,” Stephen said.

They established their vineyard in 2012, planting half of their 7 acres that first year.

“Our first real legitimate harvest was going to be in 2015, and it was that summer — with grapes on the vine — when we said to ourselves, ‘What are we going to do?’ ” Stephen said.

Brandborg’s reputation as a hired gun was attractive.

“One day on my lunch hour, I pulled into a parking lot and cold-called him,” Stephen said. “It was fortuitous for us because two years earlier he might have told us we were too small for him.”

Stephen tends the vineyard with his father. Their two daughters and son, ages 10, 12 and 13, help out during harvest. At this point, they don’t plan to grow beyond 1,000 cases, and Brandborg seems comfortable with the arrangement.

“Obviously, they are very sharp people,” Brandborg said. “I don’t have anything to do with their grape growing, but the fruit we get from them makes my job very easy. And they are very nice people as well.”

Trella Vineyards showcases the diversity of the Umpqua Valley in delicious fashion. They grow clone 1 and clone 2 Tempranillo, and their Pinot Noir is a 50/50 split with Pommard and Wädenswil. There’s also Malbec, Pinot Gris, and Grüner Veltliner.

Not from their estate is the award-winning Gewürztraminer. That is grown at historic Bradley Vineyard and Anindor Vineyard in the tiny town of Elkton, just around the corner from Brandborg’s winery, and his work with that aromatic grape earned praise from New York Times columnist Eric Asimov.

Gold medals for their 2016 Tempranillo included a best-of-class award at the Monterey (Calif.) International Wine Competition. The 2016 Grüner returned best of class at SavorNW Wine Awards, a double gold at East Meets West Wine Challenge in Sonoma and platinum at Monterey, while the 2016 Gewürz was gold at SavorNW and best white at the Astoria Seafood and Wine judging.

And rather than ask folks to drive out to their vineyard, the Williamses invested in historic downtown Roseburg for a tasting room on Jackson Street, which they opened in 2018. Along the way, they also purchased the shuttered Roseburg Beauty College, a 6,000-square-foot building that’s a couple of blocks away and near Paul O’Brien Winery.

“We have a great relationship with those guys, but that space is too big for a tasting room for us,” Stephen said. “But we would love to see that turn into a really nice restaurant or perhaps a brewpub. There’s no reason that Roseburg, Oregon, can’t be another Walla Walla where you walk from place to place, and the potential for that is really exciting. We’ve got our day jobs, so we can take a very long-term view and approach to this.”

In the meantime, Stephen and his father, Michael, remain hands-on with the vineyard.

“I’m spending most of my Fridays all year long doing farm work back at dawn on Saturday,” he said. “And it’s very therapeutic and invigorating to be out there every harvest.”

Brandborg points out, “Stephen’s mom and dad come out to deliver the grapes, and when Stephen and Susan come out to taste, they bring their kids with them, so it’s fun and a family situation.”

Stephen adds, “With the three kids, It’s going to be a battle royale for who is going to have the palate to take this over when I retire.”

In looking back, the 20th annual Platinum Judging proved to be another showcase for Brandborg at a variety of price points. In addition to the awards for Trella, his winemaking led to a Platinum for the Monte Ferro 2016 Pinot Noir, as well as the Brandborg Vineyards & Winery 2017 Coastal Cuvée, an aromatic white that leans Alsatian.

“I always want the customer to get the recognition,” said Brandborg, who received Wine Press Northwest’s Oregon Winery of the Year award in 2015. “It’s nice to see them doing well and know that you’ve had a hand in it, and it’s good for our region. By helping to build upon the reputation of the Umpqua, it benefits everybody.”

ERIC DEGERMAN is co-founder and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. Learn more about wine at GreatNorthwestWine.com.

TRELLA VINEYARDS

642 SE Jackson St., Roseburg, OR 97470
TrellaVineyards.com
(541) 671-2018


Northwest Wine: Oregon’s innovative Abacela turns 25 this spring

Eric Degerman; Tri-City Herald

ROSEBURG, ORE.

On Memorial Day 1995, Earl and Hilda Jones were living examples of an antiquated Spanish term for planting a grape vine — abacelar.

A quarter of a century later, Abacela Winery near the Southern Oregon city of Roseburg remains a pioneer and icon for the Pacific Northwest wine industry, particularly with Spanish varieties Tempranillo and Albariño. If only Earl’s father, who farmed row crops in Kentucky, were alive to see all that has been accomplished.

“Son, you’ve lost your damn mind,” is the quote that’s become part of the legend surrounding the 76 acres carved out of the 463-acre oak savannah in Umpqua Valley.

His son gave up a decorated career as an immunology researcher to grow grapes and make wine. At the age of 80, Earl chuckles now as he looks back upon the day Fault Line Vineyards was established, which came not long after uprooting his young family from the Gulf Coast.

“You should ask Hilda about that. She can give you a more terse summary,” Earl says with a hearty laugh. “We planted 10,000 vines that spring — 12 acres. The first day, we worked all day and only planted 300 vines. We both couldn’t believe it. Our backs were breaking with the watering. It took us forever to get the 12 acres planted.”

Those were the first commercial Tempranillo vines in the Northwest. Now, there are more than 350 acres of Tempranillo growing in Oregon alone, and more than 50 wineries in that state pour a Tempranillo.

“It used to be, ‘I’ll have a Tempra-NELLO,’ ” Earl says. “And now almost everyone knows it’s Tempra-KNEE-O.”

That’s largely because of the work done by Earl and Hilda, who have become ambassadors in the United States for Tempranillo and Albariño. In 2015, they each were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Wine Board.

It all began with Earl’s fascination with three regions in Spain – Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro. In particular, he points to the Tinto Pesquera by innovative winemaker Alejandro Fernández that led to researching the unique influences of the Duero River.

PICTURE: Cobblestone Hill serves the centerpiece of the 76 acres planted by the Jones family and reflected on the label of their Abacela wines. (Andrea Johnson Photography/Courtesy of Abacela)

Armed with data input from his son, Greg Jones, a climate researcher, Earl toured the Pacific Northwest. In time, he ruled out Washington and Idaho because of their occasional harsh winters. He decided upon a parcel not far from the wildlife safari near Winston. The future home of Abacela was secured in 1992, and the variety of soil types found beneath Fault Line Vineyards have fascinated geologists around the globe.

Less than three years later, that memorable Memorial Day planting began at Cox’s Rock, a parcel named for the family that arrived before the Civil War.

It was 13-year-old daughter Hanna’s tasteful artwork of Cobblestone Hill that served as the inaugural labels for most of Abacela’s history and remains the inspiration for the current look. Her talents are apparent to anyone who visits Abacela’s Vine & Wine Center, which Hanna designed and her parents opened in 2011.

Ironically, Abacela’s inaugural commercial wine was a 1996 Cabernet Franc, a mere 36 cases. The headlines stemmed from the 1998 vintage, which produced an Abacela Tempranillo that earned a double gold medal at the 2001 San Francisco International Wine Competition. It also beat out 19 entries from Spain on its way to best of class.

Fault Line Vineyards remains an ongoing research project for Earl, who has experimented with 25 varieties across the family’s estate. The disappointments have been few. Zinfandel was removed after six years. Among the longer trials that have since been transitioned are Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Franc.

PICTURE: Hilda and Earl Jones spent Memorial Day 1995 planting the first Tempranillo vines at Abacela in Roseburg, Ore. (Photo Courtesy of Abacela)

And while most of Abacela is planted on rootstock, the scientist in Jones includes some own-rooted examples of each variety as research. Interestingly, that first Tempranillo — Clone 1 — arrived as budwood from Southern Oregon researcher Porter Lombard. A quarter of a century later, there are six clones of Tempranillo planted across 22 acres. Clone 1 remains the chosen one, albeit rather fickle. Meanwhile, Clone 2 has become the workhorse and the secret sauce for Abacela’s flagship Fiesta Tempranillo.

“I like to pair Tempranillo with something that absorbs the tannins of a young wine,” Earl said. “A lot of foods will do that, but something that has a high-fat content such as meat. Some fish will even work pretty well.”

Five years following the historic Tempranillo planting came Albariño — a variety Abacela again was the first in the Northwest to plant, produce and bottle. These days, Andrew Wenzl, well into his second decade as the Joneses’s winemaker, produces more than 2,000 cases of the brisk white wine from 11 acres.

And when it comes to Wine Press Northwest magazine’s Platinum Judging, a third of Abacela’s 15 career Platinum awards have come with Albariño.

Below are a handful of recent releases from Wenzl and the Jones family that our panels have tasted this winter. Look for them at your favorite grocer or wine merchant, or contact Abacela directly.

Abacela 2018 Estate Albariño, Umpqua Valley, $21: This wildly successful experiment at Abacela began in 2000, and it began with a half-acre on the north side of a hill. Picked at 21 Brix, there’s no oak involved, allowing the grape to exude fanciful aromas of lemon meringue pie, papaya and orange Creamsicle. And yet it is brilliantly bone-dry, making for a delicious, mouth-filling and mouth-watering drink of stone fruit and slate. Enjoy with seafood, paella or a fruit and cheese plate that features quince paste.

Abacela 2015 South Face Block Estate Reserve Syrah, Umpqua Valley, $44: After Tempranillo and Grenache, Syrah is the third-most planted red at Abacela, and some of these vines now are 25 years old. The barrel program of French oak, 28% new, sets the stage with a theme of cherry, milk chocolate and vanilla. It’s far from flabby on the palate as blackcurrant and pomegranate come with plum-skin tannins that combine for a pleasurable and juicy finish.

Abacela 2015 East Hill Block Estate Reserve Malbec, Umpqua Valley, $42: There’s nearly as much of this Bordeaux red planted at Abacela as Syrah, and its roots also stem from 1995. Dense aromas of blackcurrant candy and cherry jam include squid ink and smoke. Inside, it’s a big yet rich wine with huckleberry and plum flavors, backed by boysenberry acidity. As one would expect with the Bordeaux red, Wenzl builds this for the long haul.

Abacela 2015 South East Block Estate Reserve Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $49: Aside from the fun and screw-capped Fiesta, the rest of Abacela’s Tempranillo program often doesn’t begin to show its promise until seven years beyond the vintage. The 2015 South East Block is an exception. A deft touch with French oak, just 14% new wood, makes charming levels of baking spice and toast just behind purple fruit tones of plum and black cherry. Its layers of cherry pie and Craisins make for a bright and juicy structure capped by a bit of fresh-baked brownie.

Abacela 2016 Estate Tinta Amarela, Umpqua Valley, $30: This Portuguese variety is a core component to Wenzl’s stellar Port program, yet its success as a red table wine has prompted the Joneses to ramp up Tinta Amarela beyond a wine club offering. Longtime vineyard foreman Darin Cook has no trouble with its ripening, exemplified by the Sept. 16 harvest date. It’s a perfumy, robust yet balanced, bringing a theme of plums on parchment paper, Bing cherry and sweet herbs as bright tannins make for a long finish.

Eric Degerman operates Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning media company. Learn more about wine at greatnorthwestwine.com


Brandborg Gewürztraminer, 93 points


Exploring The Wines Of Southern Oregon

By Joseph V Micallef

This is the first portion of a three-part series exploring the wines of southern Oregon. Subsequent columns will explore the wines and wineries of the Umpqua and Rogue Valley regions.

Over the last several decades Oregon has emerged as a major wine producer. The Willamette Valley, in particular, has gained worldwide fame for its pinot noir. The valley has certainly become the center of Oregon’s wine universe, accounting for around 71 percent of the grapes grown in the state.

Along the way it’s been forgotten that southern Oregon was the birthplace of Oregon’s wine industry. Grapes were first planted in the region in the mid-19th century. In the mid-1850s, Peter Britt, arguably Oregon’s first commercial wine producer planted a vineyard, Valley View, still in operation, next to his house overlooking Jacksonville in what is now the Applegate Valley AVA in the Rogue Valley. He produced his first wine in 1858.

Britt may also have been the first to plant pinot noir in Oregon. During his lifetime, he is believed to have planted some 200 different varieties of grapes in his vineyards. One wine that he produced carried the designation Burgundy. It’s not clear, however, if that wine was made from pinot noir.

The first documented planting of pinot noir in the state occurred in southern Oregon. In 1964, Richard Sommers planted pinot noir at his HillCrest vineyard in the Umpqua Valley. That was a year before David Lett and Charles Coury planted pinot noir in the Willamette Valley. The first Oregon Wine Growers Association was organized in southern Oregon and its founding members were all vineyard owners in the Umpqua Valley.

Today, southern Oregon has been largely eclipsed by the vinicultural fame of the Willamette Valley. All too often the region is dismissed as being too warm to grow quality pinot noir, the one variety most closely associated with the state, and relegated to the role of being a supplier of bulk grapes to winemakers in northern Oregon and California. There are many other grape varieties grown there, however, from tempranillo to viognier, some with the potential of producing world class wines, but these are little known outside the area.

That’s unfortunate because southern Oregon is a world class vinicultural region, presenting a complex geology and a terrain and mesoclimates, which lends itself to the production of a broad array of quality grapes from both cool and warm climates. Only now is its true vinicultural potential being discovered and appreciated.

The geology of southwest Oregon is very different from that of the northwest corner of the state.  The entire west coast of North America, from Alaska through California, was created by the amalgamation of a series of what geologists call accreted terranes or continental arcs. Numbering about nine in total, these slivers of continental crust were joined with North America as a result of tectonic forces pushing various continental plates against the North American plate. When this process started, about 200 million years ago, the west coast of North America corresponded to Idaho’s current western boundary.

As tectonic forces pushed these continental arcs into North America, they often also pushed up portions of the oceanic crust. Volcanic activity also often accompanied this process, resulting in volcanic eruptions or volcanic intrusions into the uplifting oceanic bedrock. The result was a complex geological layer cake consisting of alternating strata of continental and oceanic crust and marine sediments interspersed with the residue of volcanic eruptions and magma intrusions.

In the Willamette Valley, however, this bedrock geology was overlain by a series of repeated, massive, flood basalt eruptions, often termed fissure eruptions, which ejected some 42,000 cubic miles of lava across southern Washington and northern Oregon. That’s enough lava to bury the entire United States under 40 feet.

These deposits were further shaped by a series of gigantic floods that marked the end of the last ice age. These floods, potentially numbering several hundred over a period of roughly 3,000 years, between 15,000 and 18,000 years ago, were created when ice dams holding back Great Lakes sized bodies of water repeatedly burst, unleashing a wall of water amounting to several hundred cubic miles across eastern Washington and the drainage of the Columbia River. These massive floods created the scab lands of eastern Washington and the Columbia gorge, and were responsible for depositing hundreds of feet of rich sediments in the Willamette Valley.

The fertile soils that resulted made the Willamette Valley one of the most productive agricultural regions on earth. Such regions, however, often do not lend themselves to quality wine production. Instead, those higher elevation areas, whose nutrient poor soils remained above the flood waters unleashed by the various ice age floods and which were not subject to the deposition of sediments, would centuries later become the Willamette Valley AVAs.

Southern Oregon was spared the impact of those flood basalt eruptions, as well as the later ice age floods. Unlike the Willamette Valley, the bedrock geology was not buried under hundreds of feet of sediments. The result is a complex mosaic of some 50 different soils, many tens of millions of years old, spread across a heavily faulted landscape. It’s not uncommon in southern Oregon to walk a vineyard and see a fault line dividing it with two very different soil types on either side of the fault.

Moreover, the intersection of three mountain ranges, the Coast Range, the Klamath Mountains and the Cascades, creates an undulating landscape across the Umpqua and Rogue AVAs, which presents a variety of aspects and elevations. Each 100 feet of elevation typically affects average temperatures by one to two degrees F. A north facing slope at a higher altitude can easily be five to ten degrees F cooler than a lower elevation, south facing slope.

The river valleys funnel cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean, 50 miles away, further extenuating those differences. The peaks surrounding the intermountain valleys often act like natural calderas, trapping heat and creating warm zones on the valley bottom. The result is that cool clime varietals, like riesling or pinot noir, can often be found in close proximity, sometimes literally kitty corner, to warm climate varietals like grenache, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon or viognier.

The result is that over a length of roughly 150 miles, the southern Oregon AVA can host a range of grapes, which in Europe would span from Alsace to central Italy and from Ribera del Duero to the Rhine, making the southern Oregon AVA one of the most unique vinicultural zones in the world.

The Southern Oregon AVA

The southern Oregon AVA covers some 2.2 million acres, of which only about 8,000 acres are in vineyards. It consists of five separate AVAs, separated by four major rivers and includes portions of three mountain ranges.

Moving from north to south, those AVAs are: the Elkton, Red HillUmpqua ValleyRogue Valley and Applegate Valley. The Elkton and Red Hill AVAs are enclosed within the Umpqua Valley AVA, while the Applegate Valley AVA is largely enclosed within the Rogue Valley AVA.

The principal grape varietal grown in the southern Oregon AVA is pinot noir. It amounts to 44 percent of the total vineyard acreage. Most of these grapes are sold in bulk to wine producers in the Willamette Valley and northern California. That’s unfortunate, because southern Oregon pinot noir, when properly cropped on the right sites, can have a very distinctive aroma and flavor profile.

The warm climate ensures both physiological and sugar ripeness, while the pronounced diurnal temperature variation ensures the retention of acidity. The result, on cool sites, when cropped at levels of around three tons per acre, can be lush, fruit forward wines with a backbone of well-integrated tannins and medium acidity.

Pinot gris amounts to 10 percent of the vineyard acreage, meaning that more than half of all of the vineyard acreage is devoted to pinot varietals. Syrah amounts to nine percent, cabernet sauvignon to seven percent and merlot to four percent of plantings. These warm climate varietals can thrive on the right site, producing cabernet’s reminiscent of Sonoma, while the syrah’s have a decidedly northern Rhone-like quality to them.

Chardonnay amounts to seven percent of total plantings. Tempranillo is generally considered a warm climate grape, but it has the advantage of early ripening. Its name is derived from the word temprano, Spanish for early. It accounts for three percent of total plantings, as does riesling, another cool climate varietal. There are approximately 70 other varietals that account for the remaining 16 percent of vineyard plantings.

The climate in the southern Oregon AVA varies from maritime to Mediterranean, with cool, damp winters and warm, dry summers. Site selection, however, can have a big impact and can offer a range of cooler and hotter mesoclimates.

Cooler portions of the Umpqua AVA, at higher elevations, are rated at about 1700 Growing Degree Days (GDD), roughly equivalent to cool climate regions like Champagne or Tasmania.

The southern portion of the Umpqua AVA is rated at around 2300 GDD, roughly equivalent to the Willamette Valley, Burgundy, Alsace or Ribera del Duero. Conversely, the warmer regions of the Rogue Valley AVA can rate as high as 3000 GDD, roughly equivalent to Bordeaux, Piedmont or Portugal’s Douro Valley.

Significantly, the southern Oregon AVA also has one of the most pronounced diurnal temperature swings of any wine producing region in the world, on average about 30 degrees F during the growing season and especially during the critical ripening period.

The region has more than 50 different vineyard soils. These soils fall into three main categories: volcanic, marine sedimentary bedrock and river sediments. The volcanic soils are different and far older than the volcanic soils in the north Willamette Valley. These soils are associated with two very different, albeit related, geologic processes. The volcanic soils in the north Rogue Valley are derived from the volcanic eruptions that created the Cascade Range to the east, which date from 10 million to about 50 million years ago.

To the west, there are volcanic soils associated with the amalgamation of the Siletz terrane, the last terrane to get absorbed into the west coast of North American. These volcanic soils were the result of underwater volcanoes and magma intrusions associated with the uplift of the oceanic sea floor as the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate collided with and was subducted under the North American plate.

These Jory soils make up a large portion of the Red Hill AVA in Douglas County and are similar to the Jory soils found in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley. Additionally, there are pockets of volcanic soils, associated with local eruptions, scattered throughout the southern Oregon AVA, especially on its western side.

These volcanic soils are 35 to 45 million years old, making them roughly three times as old as the volcanic soils of the north Willamette Valley. They are more weathered, which means they have higher clay content, an advantage in southern Oregon as it allows for more water retention, and have even less nutrients.

Although they are all basaltic in origin, the volcanic soils in southern Oregon are associated with the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate, rather than the hot spot induced flood basalt eruptions, and have a different geochemical profile.

The marine sedimentary soils are part of the oceanic crust, and its related sediments, which were forced up and accreted to North America as the tectonic plates collided. These are similar to the marine sedimentary soils found in the north Willamette Valley. These soils have a higher clay content than the sedimentary soils in the Willamette Valley and a darker red hue. They also tend to have more nutrients than volcanic soils.

The last major category of soils are stream terraces and alluvial fans that were laid down by ancient rivers beginning some two million years ago. These terraces consist of soils that have been eroded from higher elevations and mark the ancient courses of rivers. They are comprised of a mix of silt, sand and gravel. The combination of the three components being determined by the speed of the water carrying them.

The complex geology of Southern Oregon, its various soil types and wide-ranging topography permit the region to grow a broad range of grape varietals. Additionally, the extended hang time and the pronounced diurnal variation ensures both physiological ripeness and the retention of acidity. That’s the reason why southern Oregon can produce full bodied, aromatically complex, fruit forward wines with the acidity and tannic backbone that gives them the structure for prolonged aging.

Next, we will look at the wines of the Umpqua Valley.


Read the full article and subsequent articles here.


Reustle 2017 Syrah “Best of Class” at San Diego

For Immediate Release
Ken McGinnis
kmcginnis@reustlevineyards.com

Reustle’s 2017 Syrah Wins “Best of Class” at San Diego!

This year’s San Diego International Wine Competition saw Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2017 Syrah continue to earn high praise by winning “Best of Class” honors and a 94 point rating. Known for producing award-winning wines across the spectrum of wine, Stephen M. Reustle, Owner/Winemaker of Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards, also received a Platinum Medal with another 94 points for his flagship 2017 Gruner Veltliner along with Gold Medals (92 Points) for his 2017 Syrah – Winemaker’s Reserve, 2017 Gruner Veltliner – Green Lizard (90 Points), and 2016 Tempranillo (90 Points).

Stephen M. Reustle was obviously pleased when he noted, “I was thrilled to see our wines do so well in San Diego. Receiving medals and scores like these validate year’s of hard work, from the beginning with vineyards site selection all the way through refining our wine-making protocols and every decision we have to make each year. It is rewarding to be recognized for making good wine…really good wine in the Umpqua Valley. We are encouraged by our success, it drives us to work even harder to produce the best wines we can.”

So far this season, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards has earned 4 “Best of Class” designations and 25 Gold or Higher Medals in major wine competitions. With several other major wine competition yet to be held, it will be interesting to watch Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards‘ wines as they continue to bring the wine spotlight on the Umpqua Valley.

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Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards, Wine Press NW’s 2017 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year, 2015 Six Nations Wine Challenge Top Syrah producer, 2015 Terroir Award Recipient & Riverside Int’l Wine Competition’s 2010 Small Winery of the Year, is 100% estate grown and produced from 40 acres of steep, hillside vineyards in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. Family owned and operated since 2001, Reustle – Prayer Rock Vineyards produces approximately 8,000 cases annually.