As I entered the tasting room of Troon Vineyard, I was immediately greeted by the effervescent, knowledgeable staff. I found myself surrounded by the seemingly endless number of varietals and blends lining the shelves. Troon is known for its innovative blends, including their flagship white, vermentino, as well as zinfandel, malbec, tannat, riesling, chardonnay, viognier, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, syrah, tempranillo and petite sirah. Quality and pride of product was evident everywhere I turned; trying to count the plethora of accolades and awards bestowed upon Troon proved to be difficult due to sheer numbers (their website lists an astonishing 95).
The day I visited Troon proved to be an especially beautiful spring day in Southern Oregon. As I stood at the tasting bar gazing out the large picture windows in front of me, I was struck by the serenity and beauty of my surroundings.
I was soon greeted by the smiling face of Chris Cunningham, Troon’s General Manager. Although a recent transplant from North Carolina, Chris quickly made a point to let me know he was no stranger to the Applegate Valley, having spent the majority of his youth here.
Then there was Stephen Hall. Passionate, dedicated and not afraid to push the envelope, Stephen joined the Troon team as winemaker, overseeing the wine and vine decisions of the day-to-day operation which yields a yearly production of 10-12,000 cases. Stephen brings a passion for creating the best wines available and believes that the wines speak for themselves. (Tip: Stephen says to watch for the release of a 2014 Troon Sangiovese.)
Dick Troon was the true pioneer and visionary of Troon Vineyard. Dick grew up a farmer and an engineer by trade, but he quickly turned toward wine after a trip to Healdsburg, California. He was especially impressed with cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel and thought these two grapes could be grown very successfully in Southern Oregon. Introducing one of the first vineyards into the region, Dick Troon planted cabernet and zinfandel in 1972.
I appreciated the variety of wines offered during my tasting experience. It was here I was introduced to Druid’s Fluid Red. This unique blend tops the offerings at Troon as the #1 selling red wine blend in the state and represents nearly half of total Troon sales. Offering both a red and a white variety, Druid’s Fluid is labeled as “The Wine for Everyone.” The red is a blend of merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel and contains hints of vanilla and pie spice and aromatics of blackberry and black cherry. Druid’s Fluid White is a blend of riesling, viognier and gewürztraminer with aromatics of fresh pear.
Offering stunning views and a lovely tasting room, staff and products, Troon represents the Applegate Valley Wine Trail well and could easily top my list as the Crown Jewel of the Applegate Valley.