It's not easy to visit all members of a wine trail on a day designated as a passport tour. Wine appreciators find that they have to make quick stops and skip some tasting rooms to squeeze in others. An eight-hour window of time defeats the point of a leisurely exploration of a wine region.
To make the experience more enjoyable — which is the point, after all — passes to tasting rooms in the Bear Creek Boutique Wineries Association are good for a year.
The $10 passport grants three wine tastes at each of the eight tasting rooms in Ashland, Talent and Medford. Typically, a tasting is $5 at each venue.
"This is a fantastic deal," says Paula Brown of Dana Campbell Vineyards in Ashland.
Over the year, visitors can see the vineyards in different seasonal stages and taste new releases. They will also be able to learn about dozens of varieties, including rare tempranillo blanco and Vionillo, a blend of red tempranillo grapes and white viognier grapes.
Here is a sampling of wines offered at the Bear Creek wineries:
- Syrah, tempranillo, chardonnay and viognier wines are available at the western-themed tasting room operated by 2Hawk Winery, 2335 N. Phoenix Road, Medford, 541-779-9463. Open 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 12:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
- Rhone and Bordeaux wines are at Pebblestone Cellars, 1642 Camp Baker Road, Medford, 541-512-1655. Its festive tasting room, once an inn, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.
- Well-aged merlot is sold at StoneRiver Vineyard, 2178 Pioneer Road, Talent, 541-864-9234. The tasting room, once a fresh produce market, has a billiards table and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.
- Bordeaux-style merlot is sold at Aurora Vines, 2275 Pioneer Road, Talent, 541-535-5287. The expansive deck of owner Vicki Nickerson's home is where tastings take place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment.
- Cabernet sauvignon, Growers Cuvee Bordeaux blend, pinot gris, viognier and non-alcoholic unfermented Verjus are available at the hilltop tasting room of Trium Wines, 7112 Rapp Lane, Talent, 541-535-4015. Shady decks with views of the vineyard also are open 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
- Malbec, tempranillo, Vionillo and other wines are at Dana Campbell Vineyards, 1320 N. Mountain Ave, Ashland, 541-482-3798. The tasting room, with expansive views of downtown Ashland and the mountains, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
- Pinot noir, merlot, malbec, cabernet franc, syrah, tempranillo, syrah rosé, a Roussanne-Marsanne blend, chardonnay, pinot gris, tempranillo blanco and other wines are at Grizzly Peak Winery, 1600 E. Nevada St., Ashland, 541-482-5700. The winery, tasting room and picnic grounds are open from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
- Syrah, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petite blanc and others are at Weisinger's of Ashland, 3150 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, 541-488-5989. The chalet-style tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. This Saturday and Sunday, Weisinger's is having a summer warehouse sale with all wines 20 percent to 70 percent off.
Janet Eastman is a reporter for the Daily Tidings. Reach her at email@example.com.