: Pebblestone by Lanessa Pierce

Wine Tasting Around the Rogue Valley

The Rogue Valley is prized for its unique terroir — here are some top spots to taste these fantastic wines year-round.
June 15, 2018 (Updated November 17, 2023)

Oregon wine is famous for its sultry, spicy, smooth and sophisticated pinot noir — but there’s so much more to the Beaver State’s fertile wine scene.

The vineyards of Southern Oregon have become known for their diversity of grapes (at least 50 varieties) and their ability to produce so many exquisite types of wine: everything from reds like syrah, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, tempranillo and malbec to mouth-watering whites like pinot gris, chardonnay and viognier and rosés, too. 

About 180 vineyards have taken root in the Rogue Valley AVA, the southernmost in Oregon, stretching from the Rogue River south to the California border and situated at the same parallel regions as Spain and Southern France. Visit in the winter for a serene vineyard experience with fewer crowds, intimate tastings, and the unique opportunity to witness the vines in their dormant beauty. Cozy up to fireside and enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the landscape. 

The Rogue Valley is prized for its unique terroir — nestled between the Cascade, Siskiyou and Coastal ranges and the Pacific Ocean, the temperature of the seasons enhance the sugar-acid balance and the flavors of the grapes. The hillsides here provide some of the highest elevations in the state, which means that vineyards are planted on hillsides rather than the valley floor. All of that means that winemakers are happily innovating, producing award-winning wine — and visitors to Grants Pass, Medford, Ashland and Jacksonville get to reap the bounty.

Musicians play on a shaded patio.
Pebblestone Cellars' tasting room includes a patio with mountain and vineyard views and plenty of space to spread out on a lawn with a picnic. (Photo by Pebblestone Cellars)

Richard and Pat Ellis have been welcoming visitors to their winery, Pebblestone Cellars, at the base of the foothills just west of Medford in Talent since 2006. Pebblestone focuses on their acclaimed tempranillo, viognier, cabernet franc and pinot gris as well as other varieties. The tasting room is hosted in a large barn, with patio tables with ample space outside. 

We built the tasting room in middle of all the vineyards so people get chance to have a mountain view and vineyard view and enjoy wine on the deck,” Richard Ellis says. In the warmer months, the lawn space with picnic tables also provides space for unwinding and soaking up the views.

For your next trip to the Rogue Valley, here are some other fabulous tasting rooms to explore. 

An aerial view of the lush vineyard.
Vineyards of merlot, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon were first planted at Schmidt Family Vineyards in 2001. (Photo by Schmidt Family Vineyards)

Near Grants Pass

Nibble on made-to-order flatbreads and calzones as you sip your flight at Schmidt Family Vineyards.  Venture far off the beaten path to Williams to visit Plaisance Ranch, a working ranch since 1858, with grapes and cattle on site, plus fresh grass-fed beef for purchase.

Tall glass doors stand at the entrance to Kriselle Cellars.
Kriselle Cellars is located next to the Rogue River, giving their grapes unique character. (Photo by Laura Arbo)

Near Medford

Sip your new favorite wine and nosh on wood-fired pizza at Kriselle Cellars, set on a gorgeous property next to the Rogue River. Rocky Knoll Vineyards is known to have some of the earliest modern grape plantings in the Rogue Valley, planted in the mid-1970s. Gather around the fire pit or bocce court at Padigan, powered by solar arrays and other natural viticulture techniques.

A person sips wine in a wooden lawn chair.
LongSword Vineyard is a family-owned, farmed and operated vineyard and winery. (Photo by Lanessa Pierce)

Near Jacksonville

The Tuscan retreat-inspired Dancin Vineyards was named Oregon Winery of the Year in 2017 by Wine Press Northwest, noted for their chardonnay and pinot noir. Red Lily Vineyards focuses on its all-star lineup of earthy, Spanish-style reds like tempranillo and various blends. LongSword Vineyard is also a family farm and a landing zone for local hang gliders and paragliders, so guests on the tasting patio are often greeted with the spectacle of colorful wings as well as friendly flocks of chickens, geese and sheep.

A charcuterie board and wines overlook the spring vineyard.
Located just 5 miles from downtown Ashland Oregon, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards offers stunning views and acclaimed wines. (Photo credit: Laura Arbo)

Near Ashland

Try the pear and honeydew melon-inspired viognier, a visitor favorite at Paschal Winery and Vineyard. Linger around the fire pit at Dana Campbell Vineyards, with tasting-room views of Pilot Rock, Mt. Ashland and the outskirts of Talent. Lounge outside on the modern and elegant patio at Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, with sweeping views of their estate vineyards as well as the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges.

If You Go:

About The

Jen Anderson
Jen Anderson is a longtime journalist and travel writer/editor who is now Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager, helping to align content for visitors via social media, print and web. She’s called Oregon home for 25 years and loves finding the latest places to eat, drink and play around the state with her husband and two boys. Brewpubs, beaches and bike trails top the list.

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