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Southern Oregon: Southern Oregon AVA, Umpqua Valley, Rouge Valley, Applegate Valley

If there is region on the rise in Oregon, it’s the Southern Oregon AVA and the sub-regions within.

To begin with, it’s one of the most beautiful regions in the country. Over 70% of the land is hillside, making for dramatic valleys, amazing vistas, and bucolic little towns.

Add to that the warmer temperatures. While parts of this area are cool enough for Pinot Noir production, other parts are focusing on Grenache and Mourvedre. There is something for everyone here, no matter what your wine preference. But this makes for a marketing problem: what are they best at? What are they known for? We’re still trying to answer that. During the 2000s it seems Syrah was destined to be the focus grape here, but then Syrah (over planted in California) fell out of fashion. Some are now leaning into Loire Valley grapes, specifically Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Still others are sticking with the tried-and-true Chardonnay and Cabernet.

Let’s break down each region and AVA.

Southern Oregon AVA

The larger, more encompassing region that contains the AVAs listed further below.

Winesearcher: Southern Oregon AVA

Oregon Wine Board: Southern Oregon AVA

Travel Southern Oregon: Wine Country

Sevenfifty Daily: A Guide to Southern Oregon Wine

Umpqua Valley AVA

Winesearcher: Umpqua Valley AVA

Oregon Wine Board: Umpqua Valley AVA

Umpqua Valley Winegrowers: Official Site (with maps, winery listings, history, and more)

Liz Thatch MW: Seven Small Wineries to Visit in the Umpqua Valley

Rouge Valley AVA

Winesearcher: Rouge Valley AVA

Oregon Wine Board: Rogue Valley AVA

Rouge Valley Wine Country: Official site

The Crafty Cask: A Brief History of the Rouge Valley Wine Region

Travel Medford: Rouge Valley Wine Trail (great maps, graphics, and photos)

Applegate Valley AVA

A sub-region within the Rogue Valley AVA, which is inside the Southern Oregon AVA. Following along? In terms of regions I have not yet visited in America, this has moved to the top of the list. It looks like heaven. Warm and dry, it defies what most people think of when they hear “Oregon wine region.”

Winesearcher: Applegate Valley AVA

Oregon Wine Board: Applegate Valley AVA

Applegate Valley wine region: Official site

NorCal Wine (Fred Swan): Applegate Valley AVA (lots of tidbits here)