Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Kriselle Cellars: From Engineer to Winemaker
Some of the original inhabitants of the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon were the Takelma, Native Americans, who settled primarily along the Rogue River. Though their lands were agriculturally fertile, they only seemed to grow a single crop, tobacco. The influx of white settlers into the region during the gold rush of the 19th century caused friction with the indigenous population, eventually leading to the Rogue River Wars of 1855-56. That end result to these wars was the forced relocation of the Takelma to coastal lands in northern Oregon, leaving their fertile lands for white settlers. About 150 years later, some of those lands are now covered by vineyards.
Kriselle Cellars, located on the 200 acre Buxton Ranch, which also raises horses and cows, even producing some American Waygu beef. With their first vineyard planted in 2006, they now have about 25 acres of vitis vinifera, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo, but with small amounts of Malbec, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Their first vintage was 2009 and they now produce 2000-3000 cases annually, with sufficient facilities to accommodate growth, which they intend to be slow. They still buy about 45% of their grapes, though only from other vineyards in the Rogue Valley. Their beautiful tasting room only opened about one year ago.
Michael Hamby, a former football player for the Buffalo Bills.