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A Southern Oregon wine you can’t buy

Here’s a Southern Oregon boutique wine label you’ll never see on the shelf at your favorite wine shop or grocery store — in fact, you can’t buy it anywhere. RAIDER White and RAIDER Red are bottled under a private label for Southern Oregon University, which makes them “pretty unique among public universities,” according to Ryan Brown, head of Community and Media Relations at SOU.

The Southern Oregon University Foundation made the arrangements for the SOU label and holds the license to sell the wine, but has reserved these special bottles for the exclusive use of SOU President Dr. Roy Saigo. The president may use the special vintages as gifts when he visits other academic institutions, during athletic competitions, for example, or on campus for faculty gatherings and special events such as this year’s Raider Club Scholarship Dinner and Auction.

RAIDER Red is a Tempranillo/Malbec blend and RAIDER white is Albariño made in Southern Oregon from Southern Oregon grapes.

“We couldn’t be happier that SOU has chosen local wine as a means to represent the university and the region,” commented Michael Donovan, President of the Southern Oregon Winery Association.

Ashland freelance writer MJ Daspit is co-author of "Rogue Valley Wine."