• WOW: Eleventh World of Wine event uncorks a few firsts

    Eleventh World of Wine event uncorks a few firsts
  • The Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival sure looks like a series of carefree parties.
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    • 2013 WOW winners
      People who attended the Southern Oregon World of Wine Awards Dinner last night, Aug. 9, were the first to hear results from the WOW competition.

      Official 2013 WOW winners

      Best of S...
      » Read more
      2013 WOW winners
      People who attended the Southern Oregon World of Wine Awards Dinner last night, Aug. 9, were the first to hear results from the WOW competition.

      Official 2013 WOW winners

      Best of Show

      White – Pebblestone Cellars 2012 viognier

      Red – Spangler 2010 claret

      Other category: Cuckoo's Nest Cellars 2012 fizze

      Double gold

      (required unanimous gold medal scores by all judges)

      Cuckoo's Nest Cellars 2012 pinot gris

      Daisy Creek 2010 malbec

      Foris Vineyards 2012 pinot blanc

      Irvine Vineyards 2009 pinot noir

      Jaxon Vineyards 2011 grenache

      Quady North 2009 4,2a syrah


      Folin Cellars 2010 petite sirah

      Kriselle Cellars 2010 tempranillo

      Quady North 2012 Pistoleta white blend

      RoxyAnn Winery 2009 merlot

      Serra Vineyards 2010 pinot noir

      Serra Vineyards 2008 Bendock Estate pinot noir

      Soloro Vineyards 2011 Solitaire Reserve viognier


      Abacela Estate Vineyards 2012 viognier

      Abacela Estate Vineyards 2009 malbec reserve

      Agate Ridge Vineyard 2009 petite syrah

      Bridgeview Vineyards 2012 viognier

      Cliff Creek Cellars 2007 claret

      Cliff Creek Cellars 2009 sangiovese

      Cuckoo's Nest Cellars 2012 Aromatique

      Daisy Creek 2012 marsanne

      Daisy Creek 2010 syrah

      Del Rio Vineyards 2011 viognier

      Del Rio Vineyards 2011 pinot noir

      Del Rio Vineyards 2011 cabernet sauvignon

      Foris Vineyards Winery 2011 riesling

      Foris Vineyards Winery 2011 Maple Ranch pinot noir

      Girardet Wine Cellars 2011 Old Vine baco noir

      Girardet Wine Cellars 2011 baco noir

      Irvine Vineyards 2010 pinot noir

      Jaxon Vineyards 2011 Tradicion

      Jaxon Vineyards 2011 tempranillo

      Kriselle Cellars 2012 viognier

      Kriselle Cellars 2012 sauvignon blanc

      Kriselle Cellars 2010 cabernet sauvignon

      LaBrasseur Vineyard 2011 Ethan Cole

      Ledger David Cellars 2010 tempranillo

      Misty Oaks Vineyard 2012 Julio's Hill pinot gris

      Paschal Winery and Vineyards 2012 viognier

      Pebblestone Cellars 2012 pinot gris

      Pebblestone Cellars 2008 melange

      Pebblestone Cellars 2009 cabernet franc

      Pebblestone Cellars 2009 syrah

      Plaisance Ranch 2011 viognier

      Plaisance Ranch 2011 pinot noir

      Plaisance Ranch 2010 Rouge Prestige

      Plaisance Ranch 2010 syrah

      Quady North 2012 Steelhead Run viognier

      Quady North 2011 GSM

      Quady North 2008 syrah

      Red Lily Vineyards 2012 Lily Girl rose

      Red Lily Vineyards 2009 Red Lily tempranillo

      RoxyAnn Winery 2009 claret

      RoxyAnn Winery 2009 tempranillo

      Sarah Powell Wines 2008 pinot noir

      Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 chardonnay

      Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 albarino

      Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 doce nectar

      Schmidt Family Vineyards 2010 malbec

      Schmidt Family Vineyards 2010 merlot reserve

      Schmidt Family Vineyards 2010 reserve cabernet sauvignon

      Schultz Wines 2011 Mission viognier

      Serra Vineyards 2012 Rosa Marie

      Serra Vineyards 2010 merlot

      Slagle Creek Vineyards 2011 syrah dessert

      Slagle Creek Vineyards claret NV

      Soloro Vineyard 2011 Thunderegg Cut

      South Stage Cellars 2011 albarino

      South Stage Cellars 2010 pinot noir

      Spangler Vineyards 2010 cabernet franc

      StoneRiver 2004 Red Velvet merlot

      StoneRiver 2003 syrah

      TeSoAria Vineyard and Winery 2012 vermentino

      TeSoAria Vineyard and Winery 2011 Bull's Blood

      Trium Wines 2010 cabernet sauvignon

      Troon Vineyard 2011 chardonnay

      Troon Vineyard 2011 Insomnia port

      Troon Vineyard 2010 syrah reserve

      Valley View Winery 2011 Anna Maria viognier

      Valley View Winery 2009 Anna Maria chardonnay

      Valley View Winery 2012 Anna Maria sauvignon blanc

      Valley View Winery 2008 Anna Maria late harvest sauvignon blanc

      Provided by WOW (www.worldofwinefestival.com)
  • The Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival sure looks like a series of carefree parties.
    But from its start 11 years ago, it's had a serious goal: Attract discerning wine buyers.
    The grape-growing founders of the summer wine event, which returns to Jacksonville Aug. 21-24, needed local wine grapes to be known for their quality.
    That way, the growers reasoned, they could sell more varieties to vintners and create a vineyard destination out of undefined farmland.
    To accomplish this, WOW originators — Lee Mankin of Carpenter Hill Vineyard in Medford, Joe Ginet of Plaisance Ranch in Williams and Cal Schmidt of Schmidt Family Vineyards in Grants Pass — went about it the hard way.
    They created a wine competition, hired out-of-state judges and demanded that they be critical.
    From the judges' unfiltered remarks, then-fledgling wine producers would learn how to improve their process and the region would start to build a stellar reputation.
    The idea is working.
    Southern Oregon is getting attention from national wine experts and publications, and the number of wine brands here has tripled since the first WOW event in 2003.
    Today, judges Christy Canterbury, Peter Marks and Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, all with hard-earned Masters of Wine credentials, will complete their two-day task of blind tasting and evaluating about 180 wines made from grapes grown in the less-recognized southern part of the state.
    From these entries, they will decide which deserve a medal.
    Their thoughts — good, bad and honest — will be revealed tonight at a dinner that, for the first time, will be open to the public.
    "The region's wine has advanced dramatically," says Les Martin of Red Lily Vineyards, who volunteers with WOW. "You now have professional winemakers working here, like John Quinones at RoxyAnn Winery (in Medford), and the judges have noticed the improvement."
    Tonight's World of Wine Awards Dinner at Hanley Farm in Central Point is the prelude to four days of wine-centric events to take place in two weeks at the Bigham Knoll Campus in Jacksonville.
    It's fitting that the events are centered around a historic school.
    Education has helped fuel the region's enology success, says WOW co-founder Mankin, who has graduated to making his own wine, as have Ginet and Schmidt.
    On Saturday, Aug. 24, more than 700 people will gather at the Grand Tasting on the campus in search of their favorite syrah, chardonnay or one of the other 70 locally grown varietals.
    Making the tasting event unique is that the 50 family-owned wineries usually send the winemaker, grape grower or tasting room manager to answer questions about the decisions made in the vineyard or the barrel room.
    Want to know why Earl Jones' once-rare Spanish varietals from his Abacela property in Roseburg now grow across the region?
    Wonder how Traute Moore of South Stage Cellars decided to buy a six-acre vineyard in Talent in 1989 that has spread to more than 300 acres and supplies grapes to the state's top vintners?
    Curious about Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden outside Jacksonville and owner Bill and Barbara Steele's biodynamic vintages that Wine Spectator and Robert Parker have rated at 90 points or higher?
    Just ask.
    Since education is a foundation of WOW, there are wine seminars that lead up to the Grand Tasting.
    People comparing winning wines can take home Riedel Vinum glasses and those in climatologist Greg Jones' presentation will learn about the world's varying vineyard geography, geology and weather.
    WOW first-timer Margaret Pashko, who moved from California to Jacksonville in May, bought a $30 ticket to a sensory evaluation of wines on Thursday, Aug. 22, led by Dwayne Bershaw of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute at Umpqua Community College.
    On Friday, Aug. 23, the wine institute is putting on a professional conference at Bigham Knoll focused on the economic wine forecast, viticulture varieties and building a $1 million winery.
    Wine novice Pashko won't be there, but she will listen to Peter Adesman, a WOW speaker who has been conducting blind tastings in his Medford home since 1991. He will compare Old World wines to Southern Oregon's.
    "I know what I like to drink," Pashko says, "but I don't know the process."
    Sampling wine and tapping experts during a party, she adds, is an easy way to gather information.
    "Now that I'm living here with all these wonderful wineries," she says, "I want to know more. WOW will make that fun."
    Reach reporter Janet Eastman at 541-776-4465 or jeastman@mailtribune.com
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