The last stop on the Applegate Wine Trail has visitors seeing red. Frank Ferreira Jr. decided to call his winery Applegate Red because he makes only red wine. But the theme is reflected in other ways. Buildings are painted red. Even the bag used to wrap your wine purchase is likely to be red.

The last stop on the Applegate Wine Trail has visitors seeing red. Frank Ferreira Jr. decided to call his winery Applegate Red because he makes only red wine. But the theme is reflected in other ways. Buildings are painted red. Even the bag used to wrap your wine purchase is likely to be red.

Applegate Red is at 222 Missouri Flat Rd., west of Applegate on the north side of the river. It adjoins Rosella's and Schmidt Family Vineyards.

The site is about 27 miles from Medford, so some might think twice about making the drive, considering the price of gas. But the scenery is gorgeous and the wine is interesting, and it's sold only at the winery. You can't get it anywhere else. For that matter, visitors could include stops at Rosella's and Schmidt as well.

"My approach as a wine grower is to keep it simple," says Ferreira. "It's not the Old World; it's just the way it used to be. Choose a great location and get back to basic, sustainable farming practices."

"I now dry farm (without irrigation) naturally and non-chemically," he explains. "Crop loads are carefully controlled with dry farming."

He says his wines are "all natural, nothing added, nothing taken away."

His property consists of 75 acres, of which 20 are planted in grapes. He has merlot at 40 percent (eight acres), syrah at 20 percent (four acres), cabernet sauvignon at 20 percent (four acres) and cabernet franc at 20 percent (four acres).

These percentages come somewhat close to reflecting the blend of his signature wine, Applegate Red.

Besides Applegate Red ($28) he offers Merlot at $22, Bougainvillea (another blend) and Cabernet Sauvignon, each $28; and a Syrah and Syrah Blend, each $30. All are 2005 releases.

The Bougainvillea blends merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, while the syrah blend mixes cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon with 50 percent syrah.

Born and raised on Maui, Ferreira moved to Oregon because he wanted to experience the four seasons and grow grapes.

The vineyard was first planted in 1997. His concept originally was to sell grapes to others but he eventually decided to make his own wines. The 2005 vintage was his first official one.

He describes his reds as "straight-forward, big, full bodied, robust."

I tasted four of them and would agree for the most part.

The Applegate Red tasting room is open from noon to 5 or 6 p.m. daily except Tuesday. The first three tastes are free. There's also a picnic pavilion available for the public to rent.

To get there, take Highway 238 to Applegate, then turn west on North Applegate Road about five miles to Kubli Road. You bear right onto Kubli, pass Troon and proceed another mile and a half or so to Missouri Flat Road, where you again turn right.

Rosella's comes up on the left almost immediately. Applegate Red is the next driveway. The tasting room and winery are another three-quarters of a mile away via a one-lane gravel road.

THE APPLEGATE RED WINERY may not be the final stop on the Applegate Wine Trail after all. The Web site www.applegatewinetrail.com lists one more, Soloro Vineyard at 9110 N. Applegate Road, over towards Murphy. It's open from 1 to 5 p.m. weekends.

ASHLAND VINEYARDS HAS reopened its tasting room for the summer. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Monday. Tasting fee is $4.

THE REGENCY GRILL at Medford's Rogue Regency Inn has added a new feature to its wine list — private label wines. Rogue Regency wines, from Valley View of Ruch, include Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, each $5 a glass or $20 a bottle. I had Chardonnay with salad and Cabernet Sauvignon with the entrée, both very good.

EDEN VALLEY ORCHARDS, HOME of EdenVale Winery, is again offering its Thursday Night Jazz in the Gardens Series. Music is performed from 6 to 9 p.m. each Thursday through Sept. 18. Cover charge is $5. Wine and other fare are available. A number of other summer concerts are scheduled. Call 512-2955 or check www.edenvalleyorchards.com. Eden Valley is at 2310 Voorhies Road, Medford.

Cleve Twitchell is a retired Mail Tribune editor and columnist. E-mail him at clevelinda@msn.com