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Paschal Winery — a repeated success

When Roy and Jill Paschal purchased a Talent property in the mid 1980s from a friend, they set their sights on expanding a small vineyard that had been planted and building a tasting room.

Roy, a former radio announcer and owner of stations in Alaska and Texas, is a world traveler who is always up for a new adventure. Jill loved the property and saw what it could become.

The first Paschal Winery vintage came in 1998. Shortly afterward, they visited their daughter-in-law Sylvia Paschal in Poland, where they met Sylvia's sister, Agnieszka Stachurska, who was attending fashion school in Krakow and owned a clothing store of her own creations.

The Paschals forged a bond with Stachurska and saw possibilities to incorporate her ideas into their new tasting room.

“I came with one suitcase and never left,” says Stachurska, who threw herself into expanding her knowledge of wines.

Gus Janeway, the Paschals' first winemaker, "was very talented and very committed,” Stachurska says. Joe Dobbs became the winemaker in 2002 and remained until 2009, when the Paschals, wanting to simplify their life, sold the winery.

Stachurska moved to Portland and opened a coffee shop, but unfortunately for the new owners, business did not go well. The wine club that had once reached 1,000 individuals dwindled.

The Paschals eventually bought the winery back. It reopened in June of 2013, this time with Aga as a partner. And there was a surprise. In the basement, they found cases of wines Joe Dobbs had made.

“I had no idea they existed, and it carried us over for a year," Stachurska explains. "Other vineyards chipped in as well with their extra fruit. One of the first to call was Laura Lotspeich, owner of Trium Winery, and this speaks to the camaraderie of the Rogue Valley.”

The Paschals bottled Trium’s cabernet sauvignon fruit and won a silver medal at the Oregon Wine Experience competition.

Although the process of rebuilding has been arduous, many silver linings have emerged. One was Rene Eichmann, an accomplished winemaker from Germany who tasted the Paschals' wines and offered his services to refresh the wine program.

“I make all the wines with Aga as my sidekick, so we both evaluate before it gets bottled,” Eichmann says. “While I do value my German heritage, I have been an Oregon import since 1980, so I consider myself a 'New World' winemaker and — more important — an Oregon winemaker.”

When asked what he sees in the future for the winery, he says, “I look forward to a very diverse wine future offering high-quality wines, handcrafted in limited production, and to keep it interesting.”

Varietals at Paschal include viognier, pinot gris, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and riesling.

A good value is Jills Rose’ 2014 for $25. A blend of pinot noir, pinot gris and moscato, it is a nicely balanced dry rose. Try it with our local apples and Rogue Creamery lavender cheese.

Paschal’s signature Civita 2013 ($36) blends tempranillo, syrah, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

The winery is open from noon to 6 p.m. every day except Wednesday and Friday, when it's open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday Cork ’n’ Fork includes $10 dinners from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 541-535-7957 for reservations.

While you're out and about, pick up the October issue of Sunset Magazine, which features an article titled, "Local’s guide to Southern Oregon wine country." Among the restaurants and wineries mentioned are Irvine Vineyards, Cowhorn, Jaxon, Dancin and Quady North.

Lorraine d’Entremont Rawls is a freelance writer and tour guide who lives in Talent. Email her at wildprovence@gmail.com