Southern Oregon's wine grape bloom began in late June and set occurred about July 10, according to a report from the Oregon Wine Board released on Wednesday.

Southern Oregon's wine grape bloom began in late June and set occurred about July 10, according to a report from the Oregon Wine Board released on Wednesday.

Temperatures have been near ideal, in the 80s and 90s — well below the blistering 100 degree weather often associated with July.

While the crop is a few days behind last year, local wine growers said, overall grapes appear much better at this time. A year ago, Southern Oregon experienced poor weather through bloom and significant frost damage. Warm temperatures in June and July have helped the crop catch up to last year. Even so, the crop is behind what is considered normal.

Statewide, the grape crop continued to make good progress as it moved through bloom and to set over the past several weeks.

In the Willamette Valley, bloom was late by about a week to 10 days compared with last year.

While winegrowers don't expect the crop to catch up to last year, they are hopeful that a hot or even warm fall will produce an excellent finish by harvest, which now is expected around Oct. 15.

Restaurateur Dave Thomason has acquired Elmer's Restaurant in Springfield and the adjacent Trackstirs Sports Bar.

The Grants Pass entrepreneur now owns eight dining-related facilities, including six Elmer's operations, the Taprock Northwest Grill, and the Event Center. Last July, Thomason added the Albany Elmer's to his portfolio of properties, making the Springfield franchise the second one he's purchased outside Southern Oregon.

Thomason is past president of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, a former recipient of the Restaurateur of the Year for the state of Oregon and most recently his company received the Restaurant Good Neighbor award for Oregon. He and his wife, Doneta, have owned more than 40 restaurants in Oregon and Northern California.

Compiled from staff reports