Dec 30, 2009
Dec 29, 2009
Growing up close to Jacksonville I always hated that town. Why, you ask? How could someone dislike charming ol' Jacksonville? The speed limit is why. As a sixteen year-old driver, no one likes to slow down to 25 mph for 10 blocks! However, now that I am (slightly) older I find Jacksonville to be a wonderful place to visit despite the slow speeds.
We made a trip to Jacksonville right before Thanksgiving and stopped in at South Stage Cellars. (South Stage Cellars’ wine is another winery on the long list that employs Joe Dobbes as their winemaker). I had never visited their Tasting Room before, but was looking forward to trying their wines because I have been impressed with the Griffin Creek wines that are made from South Stage Cellar’s Quail Run Vineyards.
A unique characteristic of South Stage Cellars Tasting Room is they pour wines from other wineries that source grapes from their vineyards- Griffin Creek, Spangler, Belle Vallee, Chateau Lorane, Dobbes Family Estate, Flying Dutchmen and Volcano Vineyards.
Don and Traute Moore, the founders of Quail Run Vineyards and South Stage Cellars own ten vineyard properties and farm almost 300 acres in the Rogue Valley AVA! They have one vineyard specifically used for lesser known varietals such as Carmenere, Pinotage, and Semillon to name a few. This is interesting as it shows they are willing to branch out and try new things.
Larry was working the bar that day and greeted us warmly. What started off as a five wine tasting menu turned into a twelve wine extravaganza due to Larry’s hospitality, "If you like that one then I think you should try this one too!", he said as he scrambled about. Larry was so knowledgeable and eager to share information that even if the wines were terrible, which was definitely not the case, I would have had a great experience.
In the mix was the 2007 Early Muscat, 2007 Pinot Gris, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 Viognier, 2006 Dobbes Family Estate Skipper Pinot Noir, 2007 Monte Rosa, 2006 Merlot, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2004 Chateau Lorane Syrah... The last three escape me, perhaps due to the first nine! The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon was the standout in the lineup for me that day, enough for me buy a few bottles and I also got the $5 tasting fee waived for the purchase. It was a very smooth Cab with only slight pepper to be found, but instead tasted of rich chocolate.
Unfortunately for people who do not live close to Jacksonville, South Stage Cellars does not distribute their wines (devastating, I know!). However, the 2006 Cab is well worth the scenic drive and they do offer an accommodating wine club. The South Stage Cellars Tasting Room is located at 125 S Third St in Jacksonville and they are open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily except when it stays open until 8 p.m. on Fridays for a rowdy locals night. All in all, if you are touring Southern Oregon, South Stage Cellars is a must stop, I've already been back to buy some more Cab!