October News Briefs

Umpqua Valley’s First Urban Winery Begins Production

Paul O’Brien Winery, founded by wine industry veterans Dyson Paul DeMara and Scott O’Brien Kelley, announced today the start of production. The establishment, located in downtown Roseburg, will be the Umpqua Valley’s first urban winery. In addition to producing the Paul O’Brien wines, the winery will offer custom crush services and will include a tasting room, marketplace and restaurant. 

A University of California at Davis graduate, Kelley has been director of winemaking for Robert Mondavi in the Napa Valley, La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi in Italy and Australia and general manager of Estancia Estates in Monterey County.

DeMara’s career in the wine industry spans 32 years and multiple continents, including Europe, South America and Asia. He has worked for Pine Ridge and Robert Mondavi Winery, and his experience includes viticulture, winemaking, marketing and research. 

DeMara formerly owned a winery in Napa Valley and is currently owner and winemaker of HillCrest Winery and Distillery in Roseburg. 

“We’re using Old World and New World technologies to make wines that are tailored to our customers’ stylistic goals,” said DeMara. “Our hope is that locals and tourists can have a place downtown to taste wine and really experience wine and food culture.”

Paul O’Brien Winery is located at 609 S.E. Pine St. in the historic Hansen Chevrolet building. Doors open to the public in spring 2014. 

Jacksonville Wineries Organize

The newly formed Jacksonville Wineries Association makes it possible to taste 30 different wines truly representing Southern Oregon’s unique ability to grow a variety of grapes. 

Members include: Caprice Vineyards, Daisy Creek Wine, DANCIN Vineyards, Quady North Tasting Room, South Stage Cellars and the Umpqua Valley Wine Tasting Room.

The association plans to host progressive dinners, classes, vertical tastings, scavenger hunts and other events to highlight the original site of the Oregon wine industry. It is here that Peter Britt planted a vineyard in 1858, a few years after gold was discovered.

The new group’s tag line: Wine, the new gold in Jacksonville. 

By Janet Eastman. Reprinted with permission from the Medford Mail Tribune.

Celebrating American Wine

The Great American Wine Festival (GAWF), a new consumer wine tasting festival featuring brands from regions throughout North America, will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland on Sat., Nov. 16. 

Montana-based wine travel and event organizer Zephyr Adventures is organizing the gathering, happening the day after the Wine Tourism Conference. The annual industry conference, expecting to draw about 230 wine tourism industry leaders from throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond, allows the GAWF to showcase wines from unique wine areas such as Virginia, Idaho and Ohio in addition to more established areas in California, Oregon and Washington.

“With the Wine Tourism Conference hosted in Portland, we have a really unique opportunity to present wines from regions most wine drinkers are not familiar with,” explains Allan Wright, Zephyr Adventures president. “Everyone attending will be able to enjoy established favorites and experiment with new varietals and regions.”

The conference is being co-organized with the existing Northwest Food & Wine Festival (NFWF). Festivalgoers can purchase tickets to either or both events, which will occur at the same time in adjoining buildings. 

“We are very excited to help bring a new wine festival to Portland, especially one that complements the Northwest Food & Wine Festival so well by focusing on wines throughout North America,” says Tina Curry, NFWF organizer.

While the GAWF is new, Zephyr Adventure’s contacts in the wine industry have allowed the company to assemble a strong team of promotional partners, including entities such as Yelp, Whole Foods,, Travel Oregon, King Estate, industry trade group WineAmerica, and others.

 “The Great American Wine Festival is long overdue, as the emergence in the past decade of excellent wine regions throughout all of North America has been astounding,” explains Dan Fox, managing partner of GAWF and partner of Touring & Tasting Marketing & Media. “We cover these regions closely, and to have representation of most of the best regions in North America at one festival for all to appreciate is a remarkable opportunity for wine lovers.” 

Ticket prices start at only $35 and attendance will be limited to approximately 400 people. For more information, please visit

Donovan Joins Irvine Vineyards

Irvine Vineyards announced Sept. 16 that Michael Donovan has been appointed managing director of the winery in Ashland. In his role, Donovan will oversee all sales and operational activities of the Southern Oregon winery brand beginning November. 

Owners Doug and Dionne Irvine are committed to producing ultra-premium wine from their 30 acre vineyard. Immediate plans include construction of a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Ashland in 2014, which will include the winery’s first tasting room. By 2015, they also plan to construct a tasting room at their vineyard site and a winery for the production of 10,000 cases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

Donovan joins Chris Hubert of Results Partners, a vineyard development and management company, and winemaker Linda Donovan, who has been producing Irvine wines at Pallet Wine Company in Medford. 

Prior to joining Irvine Vineyards, Donovan served nearly 10 years as managing director and director of national sales for RoxyAnn Winery in Medford. He previously owned Chateaulin Restaurant in Ashland and has been a board member and past president of the Southern Oregon Winery Association. Donovan currently serves as a board member of the Oregon Winegrowers Association and is on the policy board for the Oregon Wine Research Institute at Oregon State University. In 2013, he was appointed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to serve a second term on the Oregon Wine Board. 

“I am delighted to be able to join Doug and Dionne in fulfilling their vision to produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay here in Southern Oregon,” Donovan said, “and I look forward to contributing my experience in working with the expert team they have assembled to implement that goal.” 

The Irvines say they have been friends with Michael for many years and are thrilled to have him as part of the Irvine Family Vineyards team. “Michael is highly respected not only in the Oregon wine industry, but throughout the Northwest,” they said. “His talents and expertise are in high demand, and his decision to stay in Southern Oregon will continue to have a positive effect on the entire Oregon wine community.”

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable