Dad's day to sip wine

People don't usually escort their moms to wine-tasting rooms when it's Mother's Day, but on Father's Day — stand back to avoid the stampede. That may be because dads go with vineyards as easily as do well-managed kids, dogs and Frisbees.

Ashland resident Porscha Schiller, who works for South Stage Cellars, explains the allure of papas and wine tasting best: "Ah, to sit down with a beautiful glass of red wine and watch his wife chase after their kids as he relaxes and knows this is the only day he does not have to participate in corralling them."

To encourage displays of daddy devotion, Bear Creek Boutique Wineries (Aurora Vines, Grizzly Peak Winery, Ledger David Cellars, Paschal/Tenuta Winery, Trium Wines, Pebblestone Cellars, StoneRiver Vineyard and Weisinger's of Ashland) are hosting Grape Expectations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17.

Tickets to a day's wine tasting, appetizer samples and opportunities to spend time with the wineries' owners cost $20 in advance, $25 the day of the event, and are available at www.bearcreekwineries.com.

"Dads love to get away and drink wine," says Virginia Lange, who owns StoneRiver Vineyard with her husband, Paul. "The whole family can play on our regulation shuffleboard for free."

On Father's Day weekend, Lange and her daughter-in-law, Jamie Lange, will be hosting the StoneRiver's tasting room, which is in a converted fruit market near their vineyard at 2178 Pioneer Road, Talent.

The Langes used to sell fresh-picked peaches and other fruit in the old building. They bought the 50-acre property, formerly known as Brookbank Farms, about three decades ago. Registered as a farm in 1914, the property was covered in orchards until a few years ago.

In 2001, the Langes installed a small vineyard and launched StoneRiver Vineyard the next year. The name was inspired by a river that once flowed through the property. They now have 11 grape varieties growing across 30 acres.

Their tasting room opened last year, later adding a jukebox and a piano to make the space more family-friendly. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday April through October.

While Virginia and Jamie Lange work the counter this Sunday, their guys will have the day off.

"We'll have a barbecue for them later that day," Virginia Lange says.

StoneRiver's 2003 Merlot ($20) goes great with grilled meats, and the fruity, spicy 2003 Syrah pairs well with a chocolate dessert.

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