SOWA Pours in Portland

by Karl Klooster

On Sunday, Nov. 13, two dozen wineries presented their latest releases to a crowd of more than 300 wine appreciators to attend the Southern Oregon Winery Associations’ Grand Tasting in Portland.

Set in the elegant surroundings of the Portland Art Museum, the tasting afforded the opportunity to sample more than 100 wines from wineries located in the Rogue, Umpqua and Applegate Valley AVAs.

Whereas some examples of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris — varieties that thrive in the north — were presented, the list of varieties planted most successfully in the state’s southern regions predominated. Whites included: Albariño, Viognier, Roussanne, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The reds: Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Zinfandel and a number of blends.

A trade-only tasting was held at Davis Tavern in Portland’s Pearl District on Monday, Nov. 14. Retailers, restaurateurs and others involved with the industry attended.

Quality and value are a strong combination that mark Southern Oregon wines, and the trade is paying attention.

When contemplating the region’s future, many industry members and supporters are excited about the possibilities for placing more emphasis on blending. The palate pleasers that have already come forth underscore that opinion.  

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