A trip of negotiating the wild Rogue River of Southern Oregon could only be complete by stopping at a few wineries while in the area. Before we jumped on our rafts and headed into the rugged scenery, we took a day to explore this well hyped wine region. After-all, we needed a few good bottles of wine to bring onto the river with us anyways, right?
Not realizing many of the wineries are closed on Mondays, we all jumped in the car and navigated our way towards a small list of recommended wineries and vineyards. As we began to find out the operating hours, we decided to call up a few of the favorited ones on our list. The owner of Cowhorn Winery graciously answered his phone on his day off, and after a brief conversation with my very savvy friend, he decided he would open a few bottles for us down by his vineyard for a private tasting.
Cowhorn Vineyard, named after their practice of placing compost in cow horns and burying them for the winter, is a boutique winery and among the first to be Biodynamic® certified in the U.S. I have learned a bit about biodinamic wines from my wine-enthused friend Evan, enough that I knew there are many different definitions of biodynamic in the wine world. The owner of Cowhorn, described it as a way of farming that best serves the land. Honestly, I find a little difficult to describe myself. Maybe you should just visit Cowhorn and experience it first-hand!
Not only does the Cowhorn Estate grow delicious grapes, they also have beautiful purple and green asparagus varietals, purple and green artichoke varietals (fitting right along with the purple and green wine labels for the red and white wines), and hazelnut trees growing on a gold mine of European black truffles. One of the most intriguing facts about the Cowhorn Winery is that the owner never set out to make wine, as a transplant from Wall Street, he set out to live a simpler life on the farm, then found that the land was ripe for the wine industry.
While in the area, we also had a blast tasting the very inventive and intrepid wines of Quady North, and we stopped by a local farm to buy some fresh produce which turned out to be an adventure of itself (pictured above). The store used the honor system, with produce prices marked and a box to put your money in. I do always enjoy a good adventure, especially ones that involve good wine and fresh food!
Southern Oregon Wineries
Southern Oregon Wine Association