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Through the Grapevine: Gardens and wine are winning blend

Southern Oregon is known for sweeping mountain vistas, often with vineyards nestled into the hillsides, or rows of grapes striping the landscapes of the valleys. Gazing out across the vineyard rows can be like an optical illusion, dizzying, even before a first sip of wine.

There are days when sitting at a winery table, sipping and watching the light and colors change across the mountains is all one needs.

But then there are days when a place more intimate is sought. When it’s not necessarily about expansive views, but a more leisurely sensibility within a cozy sanctuary of greenery. Wine gardens tend toward a more immersive space, relaxed in design with a surrounding emphasis on colors and textures. Generally, there’s a mix of wild landscaping and cultivated space with trees, foliage, perennials and, in summer, lovely color-filled pots of annuals.

In summer here in Southern Oregon, when the hills are often brown, these curated, ornamental grounds offer a respite from heat and sun with shade and lushness. Wine gardens are the embodiment of vineyard seating and reframe our enjoyment of an artisan wine created by the winds, soil and sun of outdoor landscape. Outdoors and wine are just such a good blend.

These local favorites each have their own distinctive style in wines, and in their gardens. Most offer fire pits and/or heaters, all offer high quality, and the diversity of wines so exceptional to this area. Spring is near, but don’t wait to find your garden paradise.

Through an arched gate is Awen Winecraft’s welcoming brick patio garden in downtown Jacksonville. Low-slung Adirondack chairs and high-strung lights are part of the garden’s magical charm. Wood burning Solo stoves keep the chill at bay. Blooming trees and umbrella tables create a festive atmosphere in the warmer months. Ask about their Inspiration Blend (awenwinecraft.com).

Daisy Creek Vineyard is currently closed and will reopen in May. They have a delightful flower-filled garden that looks out to the vineyards and mountains. The open-air tasting room evokes a vacation or holiday mood. Try their Triple Play (daisycreekwine.com).

Del Rio Vineyards & Winery garden is spacious with big trees, picnic areas and lots of grass. Beautiful views of the vineyards and mountains peek through the trees. Check out their Syrah Port (delriovineyards.com).

The grounds at EdenVale Winery surround the historic Voorhies mansion. Mountains, pear orchards and vineyards surround the wine gardens. They currently have some enclosed open space with fire pits, along with outdoor sitting areas. Walking the grounds with a glass in hand is a full sensory treat. Their sangria and Winter Glogg are specialties (edenvalleyorchards.com).

Wandering through Lithia Springs Resort & Wine Garden is quite captivating. Private sitting areas, walking paths, a meadow and fountains are some of the delights to enjoy on their 4-plus acres of gardens. They feature wines from the Applegate Valley (lithiaspringsresort.com).

Plan to be enchanted by the garden at South Stage Cellars. In summer it’s about 10 degrees cooler under the canopy of trees — shady and breezy, yet dappled with sun. Connected with the 1864 brick tasting room, it’s refined, yet deeply rustic in the historic downtown of Jacksonville. Their vineyards grow 31 varietals (southstagecellars.com).

The enclosed and private garden at Trium Wines is a portal for romance. Fire pits glow, starlight shines. Go for Love Potion #3 (triumwines.com).

Reach Paula Bandy at pbthegrapevine@gmail.com and connect with her on Instagram at @pbthroughthegrapevine.