The New Wine Pioneers

Greg Robeson and Barbara Steele, Guest Author
May 17, 2012 (Updated May 31, 2013)

Barbara Steele – Biodynamic Oregon Vintner:
After years in the corporate world on Wall Street and in California, Barbara Steele and her husband Bill moved to Southern Oregon in 2005, bought a farm, and built Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden. On this 117-acre tract outside of Jacksonville they created a certified Biodynamic® farm and winery where they grow asparagus and cherries in addition to wine grapes. Their handcrafted Rhône-style wines quickly gained cult status and their 2,000-case annual production is snatched up by wine lovers. Here are a few of Barbara’s tips for exploring her part of Oregon:

Start your day:
Among the vineyards of the Applegate Valley is a little town called Ruch. Grab a cup of coffee or a latte at the Pit Stop coffee kiosk and then take a morning drive as the fog lifts over the vines.

Can’t-miss dinner:
Gogis Restaurant in Jacksonville creates wonderful menus using ingredients from their own farm. Located at the foot of the beautiful Britt Gardens, the dining room is really intimate and friendly.

Grab your camera:
A 15-mile drive southwest of Jacksonville is a little piece of heaven called Woodrat Mountain. From there you can look down on the entire length of the Applegate Valley and will often see eagles circling in the swirling winds.

Unique sleeps:
Buckhorn Springs in Ashland is a rustic retreat in a former mineral springs resort nestled in its own small valley with a year-round creek, old oaks, ponderosa pines, cedars and open meadows with small cabins and inspired healthy menus.

You’ve gotta see this:
The Soda Mountain Wilderness is an ecologic treasure where desert meets towering fir forest. Its rugged majestic terrain is perfect for day hikes with a backpack full of Oregon’s bounty.

A treat worth driving out of your way:
Up in the forest towards Crater Lake is the tiny town of Prospect. Here you’ll find a rustic little café named Becky’s, and the legendary huckleberry pie made with fruit foraged nearby. Also home to the historic Prospect Hotel.

Meet the maker:
Summer Jo’s near Grants Pass is food nirvana. Stroll through the organic garden and farm stand, then drop into the bakery and see what baker Doug Hudson has in the oven. Fabulous restaurant and wine list, too.

Want some inspiration to help create your own tasty trail? Download our Trails To Feast booklet featuring seven culinary paths throughout Oregon.