San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition results

Congratulations to all the Umpqua Valley wineries that won medals at the 2017 SF Chronicle Wine Competition!

Abacela 2014 Grenache Double Gold
Abacela 2013 Malbec Reserve Silver
Abacela 2015 Albariño Silver
Abacela 2013 Tempranillo Barrel Select Silver
Brandborg Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir, Hundredth Valley Silver
Brandborg Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir, Love Puppets Silver
Brandborg Vineyard 2015 Riesling Silver
Brandborg Vineyard 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Silver
Brandborg Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir, Westbrook Vineyards Bronze
Delfino 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Silver
Delfino 2013 Tempranillo Bronze
Delfino 2012 Zinfandel Bronze
Girardet 2015 Riesling Gold
Girardet 2013 Tempranillo, Bush Vines Gold
Girardet 2014 Chardonnay Silver
Girardet 2014 Sangiovese, Bush Vines Silver
Girardet 2014 Barbera, Bush Vines Bronze
Girardet 2015 Pinot Gris Bronze
Henry Estate 2015 Muller Thurgau Double Gold
Henry Estate 2015 Pinot Gris Silver
Henry Estate 2014 Pinot Noir Silver
Melrose 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Gold
Melrose 2015 Syrah Gold
Melrose 2015 Chardonnay Silver
Melrose 2015 Pinot Noir Silver
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2014 Italian blend Gold
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2015 Baco Noir Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2015 Grüner Veltliner Best of Class & Double Gold
Reustle Prayer Rock 2015 Grüner Veltliner, Smaragd Double Gold
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Pinot Noir Double Gold
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Riesling Double Gold
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Syrah Double Gold
Reustle Prayer Rock 2015 Grenache Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2015 Malbec Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Grüner Veltliner, Reserve Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Pinot Noir Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Syrah Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2015 Tempranillo Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Tempranillo, Reserve Silver
Reustle Prayer Rock 2014 Gruner Veltliner Bronze
Season Cellars 2013 Phoenix Gold
Season Cellars 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Silver
Season Cellars 2015 Viognier Bronze
Spangler Vineyards 2015 Viognier Double Gold
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Claret Silver
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Silver
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Grenache Silver
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Petit Verdot Silver
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc Bronze

Umpqua Wineries Win Big at Sunset Wine Competition

Here are the results for Umpqua wineries from the Sunset International Wine Competition:


Best of Class & Gold – 2015 Albariño
“This Oregon take on the white wine of Spain’s Rías Baixas region is a home run, with vibrant white peach, pear, and citrus fruit and complex hints of mineral, chamomile, and white pepper.”

Silver – 2013 Fiesta Tempranillo

Bronze – 2015 Muscat

Bronze – 2015 Blanco Dulce


Henry Estate Winery

Bronze – NV Veraison

Bronze – 2014 Pinot Gris

Bronze – 2015 Muller-Thurgau


Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards

Best of Class & Gold – 2014 Smaragd Gruner Veltliner

Silver – 2014 Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah

Bronze – 2014 Masada Bloc Syrah

Abacela Hires New Winegrower


ROSEBURG, OR. – July 18, 2016; Abacela Winery is pleased to announce that Chris Lake, a native of California, will become the manager of Abacela’s Fault Line Vineyards in July of 2016. Chris obtained a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science at Fresno State University in 1993 and has over 20 years experience in the wine industry.

Abacela and its Fault Line Vineyards are celebrating their 21st year in the industry and are best known as pioneers of Tempranillo and Albariño in America. Abacela has also introduced several other site-climate matched grape varieties to the region and in 2013 was recognized as the “Oregon Winery of the Year” by Wine Press Northwest magazine. In 2015 the Oregon Wine Board presented Earl and Hilda with the industry’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Chris will bring to Abacela’s production team valuable experience from California, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He comes to Abacela directly from Umpqua Community College where he headed up the Southern Oregon Wine Institute and directed its educational and administrative matters for the past eight years. Chris voiced, “After serving as a teacher and administrator for these last eight years I look forward to getting back into the field in one of Oregon’s premier estate vineyards and wineries.”

He will join the Abacela wine team, which consists of Earl, the general manager, Andrew Wenzl, head winemaker, and Ryan Dudley, assistant winemaker in the growing and crafting of award winning wines.

Earl added, “We are pleased that Chris is bringing a blend of practical and academic thought to help us develop one of Oregon’s most interesting vineyard properties to its full potential.”

Umpqua Wines win Big at Platinum Judging!

The Platinum Judging, conducted by Wine Press Northwest magazine, is a beauty contest. Only wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho that have won gold medals at any of about 40 competitions worldwide in 2015 are eligible to enter.


Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2013 Golgotha Bloc Malbec, Umpqua Valley • $31
Stephen Reustle is earning a reputation for being Southern Oregon’s most versatile winemaker, as it seems there are no styles of wine he is not great at crafting. This Malbec is the latest example. It opens with appealing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, thyme, savory, violet and mild oak impressions. On the palate, this is loaded with flavors of dark chocolate, spice and black pepper. Smooth tannins give this drink-now approachability. (150 cases; 13.2% alc.) Qualifying Medals: Savor Northwest (Double gold), Los Angeles International Wine Competition (Gold)

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2013 Revelation & Sorek Bloc Grüner Veltliner, Umpqua Valley •  $24
This Austrian grape is quite the darling right now, especially amid influential sommeliers, and Stephen Reustle makes several examples. This luscious version would make Austrians proud, thanks to aromas of minerality and tart apple, followed by flavors of crisp orchard fruit and saltwater taffy. Enjoy with pork chops, seared scallops or even nopalitos con huevos. (670 cases; 13.6% alc.) Qualifying Medal: Great Northwest Wine Competition (Gold)

Bradley Vineyards 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir, Elkton Oregon • $28
John Bradley began planting grapes in the cool Elkton, Ore., region more than 30 years ago, providing his fruit to nearby wineries until launching his winery in 2000. Bradley died in 2014, and this superb effort is a tribute to his pioneering efforts in this area of Southern Oregon. It opens with classic aromas of saddle leather, forest floor, orange zest and cranberry, followed by elegant flavors of Christmas spice, Montmorency cherry and mild oak influence. (46 cases; 15.2% alc.) Qualifying Medal: Savor Northwest (Double gold)

Season Cellars 2014 Transparency White, Southern Oregon • $18

Scott Henry IV, whose family has a long history of winemaking and viticulture in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, is now producing wine under this label. This is a delicious blend of Müller-Thurgau, Early Muscat and Riesling that opens with aromas of ripe orchard fruit, including Granny Smith apple, and sweet herbs. On the palate, mouth-filling flavors of poached pear and fresh apricot are backed with vibrant acidity that gives way to long and balanced finish. (438 cases; 11% alc.) Qualifying Medal: Oregon Wine Experience (Double gold)


Girardet Wine Cellars 2012 Bush Vine Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley • $59

Second-generation winemaker Marc Girardet has been at the helm of his family’s winery since the late 1990s, and this Tempranillo is among his best yet. Resplendent aromas of blackberry and damp earth meld with notes of anise. On the palate, flavors of boysenberry cobbler coat the mouth. Brisk acidity and focused fruit combine for pristine balance and a luscious finish. (73 cases; 13.8% alc.) Qualifying Medal: SavorNW Wine Awards (Gold)

Abacela 2014 Estate Albariño, Umpqua Valley •  $21

This winery near Roseburg, Ore., was among the first in the Pacific Northwest to focus on Albariño, a sleek, bright Spanish white variety, and continues to produce one of the best. Aromas of green apple and pineapple lead to flavors Asian pear, lemongrass and citrus. Just a kiss of residual sugar helps amplify the flavors. (1,758 cases; 13.2% alc.) Qualifying Medal: Oregon Wine Experience (Gold)

Melrose Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir, Umpqua Valley •  $22

Based in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, this winery has proven through the years to be a producer of consistently high-quality and understated wines. This delicious and affordable Pinot Noir opens with complex aromas of cedar, raspberry and spice, followed by flavors of red cherry and cranberry backed by fruit-lifting acidity. (1,000 cases; 13.8% alc.) Qualifying Medals: Savor Northwest (Gold), Critics Challenge (Gold), Oregon Wine Awards (Gold)

Abacela 2014 Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley •  $18

Grenache rosé was one of the first delicious wines when the Northwest began focusing on using European grape varieties in the ‘60s, and this example from Southern Oregon is true to the variety. Aromas and flavors of Rainier cherry, light strawberry and dried cranberry are backed by beautiful spiciness and lingering acidity. A delicious and versatile wine. (878 cases; 13.1% alc.) Qualifying Medal: Sunset International Wine Competition (Gold)

Spangler Vineyards 2012 Zinfandel, Alexander Valley • $25

Owner/winemaker Patrick Spangler occasionally heads to California for grapes, and this is one of those examples: a Zin from Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. It is an impressive effort with aromas and flavors of strawberry, red currant, raspberry and pomegranate. It’s a delicious, drink-now red. (325 cases; 14.9% alc.) Qualifying Medal: Tasters Guild International (Gold)

2016 Greatest of the Grape – Winners Announced

Here is a list of the winners of the professional judge’s medals and the people’s choice awards presented Saturday night during the 46th Greatest of the Grape wine event at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville.


Professional Judges Awards:

Silver Medal
Del Rio Vineyards – 2014 Pinot Gris
Paul O’Brien – 2013 Pinot Noir
HillCrest – 1998 Trop
Spangler Vineyards –  2013 Malbec
Troon – 2013 Zinfandel

Gold Medal
Anindor – 2014 Gewürtztraminer
Daisy Creek – 2013 Malbec
Chateau Lorane – 2008 Petite Sirah

Platinum Medal
Jaxon Vineyards – 2012 Tempranillo

Best Food – Professional Judges
Winner – O’Toole’s Pub
Runner Up – The Gathering Place at Seven Feathers

Best Restaurant/Winery Presentation – Decor
Winner – Tolly’s Grill
Runner Up – The Gathering Place



People’s Choice Awards:

People’s Choice – Best White Wine
Winner – Brandborg Vineyard & Winery 2014 Riesling
Runner Up – Season Cellars 2014 Transparency

People’s Choice  – Best Red Wine
Winner – Becker Vineyard 2014 Syrah
Runner Up – Delfino Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo

People’s Choice – Food & Wine Pairing
Winner – Abacela and K-Bar Steakhouse, K-Bar Ranch Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin w/Pomegranate Molasses Demi-Glace & 2012 Northwest Block Reserve Malbec
Runner Up – Troon and Creative Catering, Smoked Duck Breast Crostini w/Rosemary-Current Coulis & 2013 Zinfandel

Abacela – 2012 Northwest Block Reserve Malbec