Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Del Rio Vineyards: From Pears to Grapes, via the Loire
After previously posting about the Ten Things You Should Know About Southern Oregon, I want to get into some specifics, to discuss some of the individual wineries I visited there on my media trip. Our first winery visit was to Del Rio Vineyards & Winery, one of the largest wineries of Southern Oregon, though they actually only produce about 20,000 cases, which wouldn't make them large by any means in many other regions. It is also a winery set within a historical area, one important to the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon.
A to Z Wineworks.
Rock Point, and constitutes their less expensive, more value based wines. We did not taste any wines from that label but I am glad to see that they are producing some wines under $15, something I believe is needed more from Oregon.
Del Rio Vineyards & Winery, you'll be initially greeted by Barry the Barrel Man, a jovial sort who drinks right out of the bottle. He is not a guard, merely a symbol of the joys of wine.
He believes that his greatest challenge is to maintain the quality of the wine, as well as its more artisan style, despite the winery's rapid expansion. For Jean-Michel, he finds it much easier to produce white wines as that is where he possesses more experience. During his time at Del Rio, he believes that the quality of his white wines has continued to increase, while the red wines have had their ups and down as he has grown in his knowledge and experience. Each year, he adapts to the grapes, especially because of the vintage variation in Oregon wines.
Beat Hotel, which serves over 20 wines on tap, though Del Rio wines are not yet available in Massachusetts. Interestingly, Del Rio exports about 5000 cases to China, about 25% of their production.