: Abacela Winery

Foodie Bliss in the Umpqua Valley

A Portland foodie's journey to Southern Oregon waterfalls and restaurants in the winter.
January 30, 2020

Visiting Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley? You’re in for a treat — well, many treats. Along with Wild and Scenic rivers and more than a dozen waterfalls, this area is home to the Great Umpqua Food Trail featuring 70 delicious stops that focus on local ingredients. Here’s the itinerary I took for a fun and tasty road trip.

  • Gathering Grounds Coffee in Roseburg
  • Susan Creek Falls off Highway 138
  • River Ranch Olive Oil Farm in Glide
  • Colliding Rivers Viewpoint off Highway 138
  • Brix Grill in Roseburg
  • Backside Brewing in Roseburg
  • Abacela Winery of the Umpqua Valley AVA
  • Reustle Prayer Rock Winery of the Umpqua Valley AVA
  • True Kitchen + Bar in Roseburg
  • The Parrot House in Roseburg
  • Cooper Ridge Vineyard and Guest House of the Umpqua Valley AVA
A pillow says "coffee, books and rain" next to table with coffee.
Gathering Grounds Coffee House serves coffee and baked goods in a historic building in Roseburg.

Gathering Grounds Coffee House

Start the day at Gathering Grounds Coffee, a cozy coffee shop in downtown Roseburg. The lavender dream latte and fresh baked scones are a great way to fuel up before adventures.

A view of the Umpqua River in winter shows green trees and blue skies.
The North Umpqua River includes 33.8 designated Wild and Scenic miles.

Umpqua River

Venture to the picturesque Umpqua River along Highway 138, known as the Highway of Waterfalls and part of the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway. Watch for highway signs for many parks and hiking trails along the way.

A waterfall gushes between rocks to a stream.
Susan Creek Falls cascades some 40 feet — and is quite the sight to see.

Highway of Waterfalls

The waterfall at Susan Creek Falls is less than a mile hike from the trailhead, and is a beautiful and easy hike for all ages.

The sun peeks through the trees behind a wooden bridge.
The Susan Creek Falls trail is an easy 1.6-mile out-and-back hike.

Susan Creek Falls Trail

Need a break? There are lots of benches and bridges along the Susan Creek Falls trail.

A bottle of olive oil is gently placed in between olive branches.
River Ranch Olive Oil captures the magic of its riverside orchards. (Photo by Joni Kabana)

River Ranch Olive Oil

On the way back, we stopped at the River Ranch Olive Oil for a tasting of the local oils made from olives planted on the Glide, Oregon, farm. Call ahead to make an appointment for a tasting of the Arbequina and Arbesona olive oils.

A rock barrier separates the viewpoint to the colliding rivers below.
Across the street from Colliding Rivers Viewpoint is the North Umpqua Ranger Station along the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway.

Colliding Rivers Viewpoint

On the way back into Roseburg on Highway 138, the Colliding Rivers viewpoint makes for an interesting and scenic quick stop, where we witnessed the convergence of the North Umpqua River and the Little River.

A knife sticks out of a hearty burger at Brix Grill.
Enjoy American fare with Pacific Northwest flair at Brix Grill in Roseburg.

Brix Grill

Next we enjoyed a hearty lunch at Brix Grill. The downtown Roseburg restaurant offers a large menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The 527 burger is a crowd fave.

An amber ale looks ready to drink at Backside Brewing.
Since 2012, Backside Brewing has been a local favorite in Roseburg. (Photo by Joni Kabana)

Backside Brewing

Then we grabbed some of the best pizza and beer in town at Backside Brewing. (Bonus: They’re now experimenting with brewing hard seltzer too.)

The vines at Abacela might be bare in the winter, but they're still stunning.
Founded in 1995, Abacela Winery might now be best known for its tempranillo.

Abacela Winery

Abacela Winery, a family-owned winery lead by Earl and Hilda Jones, was the first to plant tempranillo grapes in Oregon in 1995 and continues to produce award-winning wines.

Colorful painted stones line the way to a quirky small building.
The courtyard at Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards is photo-worthy.

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, another family-owned winery in the Umpqua Valley AVA. It was the first to plant Grüner Veltliner in the United States. The large vineyard property is a mix of whimsy and grandeur in Roseburg. My favorite wines were their grüner veltliner and syrah.

Four scallops are topped with bacon, herbs and white sauce.
True Kitchen + Bar is known for their bacon-seared scallops (and more).

True Kitchen + Bar

We feasted with friends at Roseburg’s True Kitchen + Bar, a downtown upscale dining spot that serves creative comfort food dishes with a modern twist.

Mood lighting makes the interior of Parrot House romantic.
The Parrot House is located in a charming building built in 1891.

The Parrot House

Looking for a romantic or special occasion dinner spot? We opted for The Parrot House, a charming residential house-turned-restaurant that is on the National Historic Registry.

The winery's grapevines can be admired from a second-story balcony.
The private balcony at Cooper Ridge Vineyard's guest house affords one-of-a-kind views.

Cooper Ridge Vineyard

Cooper Ridge Vineyard (also a family-owned winery) has some of the best views in town — and some incredible wines. We tasted a tempranillo on the terrace and chatted with owners Lisa and Robin Ray. Winemaker Charlie Kidd was also on the scene to talk about their wines. Then we soaked up the stunning vineyard views at the Cooper Ridge Guest House, which can be reserved for up to four guests. The beautifully designed private house across from the winery was the perfect place to rest up after a blissful journey.

About The

Marlynn Schotland
Marlynn Jayme Schotland is a food, wine, and travel writer and photographer who lives in the sweet spot between Portland and Willamette Valley wine country. In addition to her freelance writing, photography, and social media management work, she writes the 13-year-old food, wine, and travel blog Urban Bliss Life. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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