Showing posts from 2010

2010 Organization of the Year: Southern Oregon Wine Institute

Congratulations to Umpqua Community College's Southern Oregon Wine Institute being named Oregon Wine Press' 2010 Organization of the Year!
Abacela supports the growth and education of the wine industry in the Umpqua Valley and Southern Oregon. The viticulture and enology students are the first step to that growth!
Full Article

2009 Albarino wins Platinum from Wine Press Northwest

Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging Owner Earl Jones was among the first in the Northwest to grow and make wine from this racy Spanish white grape, and he remains one of the best. Albarino is know for its steely acidity and bright purity of fruit, and this is an impressive example - as good as any from Galicia, remarked one of our judges. Its aromas reveal minerality and citrus, while the palate gives way to flavors of lime, tropical fruit and crisp apple. A pairing with crab dip will be heavenly. Won gold at the Riverside International Wine Competition.

Field Trip to Abacela

Mrs. Bates 1st grade class from Lookingglass Elementary visited Abacela for their 15th annual vineyard tour on Wednesday. This tradition started when Earl and Hilda's youngest was in Ms. Bates class and now 15 years later they still get excited to host the tour.

"It is so fun to introduce the students to scientific observation and after the tour do a definitive grape (not wine) tasting," Hilda commented. Each year the students are challenged to use their senses and observe everything around them. For example, they visually compare grape cluster colors and sizes. They get to see the weather station and learn what a wind sock is and how it works with the anemometer as well as the drip irrigation lines and raptor houses for the kestrels and owls. Then they get to go down the experimental vine spacing rows to see how when the grape plants are spaced farther apart the trunks grow bigger. Finally, they get to use their taste buds to determine which grape they think tastes the b…

Wings and Wine Gala

Klamath Bird Observatory is celebrating 10 years of conservation at their 3rd annual Wings and Wine Gala this Saturday, September 25th from 6-10 p.m. at the historic Hanley Farm in Central Point.

There will be complimentary wine tasting from seven regional producers (including us), beer from local brewers, small bites by Helena Darling Fine Catering, a not-so-silent auction, and live music by Siskiyou Summit. This year's celebration will also debut a Best of the Bioregion Wine Competition. 

Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door. You can purchase them at Northwest Nature Shop in Ashland, Wild Birds Unlimited in Medford or by phone at 541.201.0866.

About the Klamath Bird Observatory:
Built on two decades of efforts in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California, KBO is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing bird and habitat conservation through science, education and partnerships. KBO's work focuses in this bioregion, renowned for …

Three 90+ wines in Wine Enthusiast

Great news in the October issue of Wine Enthusiast. We were the only winery to have three wines rated in the 90s, with our Blanco Dulce receiving a 94 points, the highest rated white wine reviewed!

Food Pairing with Tempranillo

Tempranillo wines are perhaps one of the most food-friendly wines around. Why? Because of their bright fruit and earthy flavors, firm tannins and balanced acid levels.

We have approximately 20 acres of Tempranillo planted at our Estate vineyards producing 3-5 various styles of Tempranillo each year. This past week our 2008 Tempranillo, a lighter, less tannic style of Tempranillo, was released in our Tasting Room. For fuller-bodied styles try our 2006 Estate and 2005 Reserve Tempranillos. Both styles lend themselves perfectly to food pairing. Here are some food pairing suggestions for our signature varietal:

An easy tip to remember in food and wine pairing is that the food from the region typically compliments the wine from the region (e.i. sangiovese and spaghetti). The same goes for Tempranillo. It can hold up to Spanish style dishes (paella, tapas, chorizo) and other strongly flavored foods. Earl Jones discovered Tempranillo enhanced the spicy meats and peppery foods he enjoyed and t…

Abacela makes the cover of Vineyard & Winery Management magazine!

Cover Story - Vineyard & Winery Management:  Abacela Winery- Putting tempranillo on the map
Our story of how we ended up in the Umpqua Valley pioneering Tempranillo planting in the United States is the most unique attribute of our winery. Years of scientific research as well as copious amounts of faith went into Earl and Hilda's decision, which is all captured so well in this new cover story by Paul Gregutt for Vineyard & Winery Management. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

"Starry-eyed newcomers setting out on a life-changing, Mission Impossible-type quest to make great wine are not unusual; the wine industry is full of such stories. But by any measure, Earl and Hilda Jones, owners of southern Oregon's Abacela Winery, set the bar about as high as anyone could."
""Many people find the list of wine grapes we grow at Abacela unusual, but we didn't follow fashion," Earl Jones said. "Rather, we selected the varieties based on whether…

Marveling from the [newly repositioned] Gazebo

It would be too easy to say a picture is worth a thousand words in this case...
Recently we repositioned our gazebo to the top of our Syrah slope. It was not the easiest process to haul up the steep hillside- just ask Earl and the crew who worked about 24 hours inching it up and then creating a platform of huge stones. But, the end result is quite the reward. 
In fact, not even a half an hour after the construction was completed, Hilda mentioned the addition to a visiting couple and with no hesitation they hiked on up there to enjoy a refreshing bottle of Albariño. We replicated their experience the moment work was done for the day. And you can see why:

Our Tasting Room is open daily from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., so there is plenty of time to enjoy the gazebo for yourself. Request a chilled bottle of Albariño or Grenache Rosé and enjoy our vineyard views!

World of Wine Festival

Last Saturday was the World of Wine Festival in Gold Hill, OR. Both Earl and Alex were there pouring our Gold Medal winning 2008 Garnacha and our 2008 Dolcetto and 2009 Albariño.

Over 723 wine enthusiasts were in attendance tasting wines from over 40 Southern Oregon wineries, nibbling on food from local artisan producers, and enjoying music by One Horse Shy.

Thanks to all who came and tasted our wines!

Seattle's Sustainable Sommelier features Abacela wines and environmental efforts

Here is an excerpt from today's blog post by Sustainable Seattle featuring our winery:
More News from our Sustainable Sommelier A recent trip to Southern Oregon brought me to visit quite a few of the plentiful wineries exploding in the Umpqua River Valley. I tasted quite a few great wines, but wanted to pass on three wineries to our readers who are really doing things the right way. Not only making great wine, but practicing sustainable farming and taking great care of the earth that supplies them with their grapes. Definitely worth a trip to visit. Or pick up a bottle from your favorite wine retailer, or ask them to procure one for you if they don't yet carry it.

I hold on for dear life as Earl Jones’ tractor careers along the steep grade of his Umpqua vineyards, and he explains to me why he and his wife decided to set up a winery in this little known corner of Southern Oregon:
He was sipping a phenomenal little Ribera del Duero (Spanish wine made from the Tempranillo gr…

Our Port visits Portugal!

Port takes its name from the city of Oporto, Portugal, which is situated at the mouth of the 560-mile long Rio Douro or "River of Gold." Port became famous in 1678 after two Englishmen arrived in Lamego, a mountain town in the Douro Valley, and discovered the sweet, fortified concoction produced at a local monastery. The abbot of Lamego practice mutage, arresting the fermentation of his wines with brandy while sugar was still present. The Englishmen sent the wines home where the strength, richness and durability earned it wide popularity. 
Our Port is crafted from the five traditional Douro wine grapes grown on our estate- Tempranillo, Bastardo, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Cáo and Touriga Naçional. It has been recognized by Wine Press Northwest as "Outstanding, one could call this the Northwest's most honest Port-style wine for a variety of reasons, starting with Earl Jones' adherence to Portuguese varieties..." and by Paul Gregutt saying, "I have not had a fi…

FIESTA like a Llanero!

Although everyday seems like a "fiesta" here, once a year we make it a formal event by hosting our "Llaneros" Wine Club Fiesta. It is one of our most anticipated events of the year with our loyal members flocking in for a day of Spanish varietals, themed dinner and flamenco guitar and dancing. 

This year's theme was "Under Construction" to commence the groundbreaking on our new Visitors' Center (more information coming soon). Our construction shirts were a big hit:

Before the official party started, our winemaker, Andrew Wenzl, held an exclusive comparative Tempranillo tasting. He guided a group of 20 members through a tasting of Tempanillos from Spain and our own Library selections. 

This year we featured three dueling paellas, our very own along with two other guest chef's creations. And what would a fiesta be without plenty of tapas served?
Under the wine tent we made food and wine pairing suggestions as well as pouring some of our newest rel…

Abacela 2009 Albarino "Top Pick" in Sunset Magazine

A wine fiesta The West's hot new grapes are Spanish and just right for sipping now by Sara Schneider, August 2010
Abacela 2009 Albariño Ripe, golden apple and peach rounded out with a touch of almond and orchard blossoms.
Why it belongs in your fridge: This wine strikes a balance between crisp, refreshing citrus and aromatic stone fruit and blossoms - great for winding down a warm August afternoon.
Foods that make it taste even better: Seafood. If it ever sported a fin or a shell, it's the right pairing - shrimp, crab, scallops, halibut, sablefish... Try all of the above with lemony aioli or mint pesto. Don't let the summer get away without an Albariño-and-paella party (the wine loves mussels and saffron)
A Tease of Spain Tonight by Janet Eastman (18. Jul, 2010) One way to taste a refreshing Albarino wine is to join the crush and cigarette smoke of Spanish humanity at an authentic tapas bar, say on Diputacion Street in Bilbao. Wrestle your way to the wet mahogany counter, plant a foot on the bar railing above discarded napkins and toothpicks, grab the attention of the overworked bartender, use your high school Spanish to ask for a glass of mejor (better) wine and point at the pintxos that pique your interest: mini jamon sandwiches, Gildas (olives with anchovies) or for the more adventurous, morcilla (blood sausage) with cachuete (peanuts). Another way is to join the fun at Tease Restaurant in Ashland tonight for a Spanish wine dinner with one of Southern Oregon’s most distinguished producers. You’ll linger over calamari, chicken and veal, expertly paired with wines from Abacela, the much-celebrated Umpqua winery that long ago planted the distinctive grapevines of Northern Spain…

2009 Albarino named Wine of the Week by Wine Press Northwest

Abacela 2009 Estate Albarino
Wine of the Week:
Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010 Appellation: Umpqua ValleyEarl Jones continues to commit more acreage to this Iberian variety, and his team delivers a big victory. By eschewing oak, winemaker Andrew Wenzl allows for a cross-current of fruit to gush, and the amazingly complex aroma profile includes quince, dusty apple, Circus Peanut candy, orange and pineapple. Of course the annual hallmark of this wine is its bracing acidity and flaky minerality on the entry. And yet there's peach, pineapple, apple and French vanilla flavors and a remarkable lemon cream in the farewell. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.Price: $18. Cases produced: 1,148 cases.Food matches: Pair with crab dip, chicken pico de gallo or seared scallops.

Wine Press Northwest Reveiws

Wine Press Northwest recently reviewed the following wines in their Summer 2010 issue:
Abacela 2007 Malbec
Outstanding: Fanfare continues to grow for this minor Bordeaux variety, and many may not know that Earl Jones was one of the first in the Northwest to bottle Malbec on its own. This ranks among the best - and least expensive. There's still some adolescent to its nose with plums, cassis, blackberry, cherry cola, vanilla and fresh fig. Dark fruit plies its way to the smooth and balanced palate, joined by Montmorency cherry acidity and some crushed leaf. Chocolaty tannins give it length. (380 cases, 13.6% alc.)

Abacela 2008 Estate Dolcetto
Excellent: Here marked Andrew Wenzl's first vintage as head winemaker at Abacela, so this bodes well for the future. Black cherry, red currant, blueberry and Italian herb aromas lead to blueberries and more currants in the tongue-coating drink. The preservation of acidity and minor influence of oak make it very lively and rather It…

Abacela at World of Wine Festival

The World of Wine Festival is Southern Oregon’s premier wine event showcasing the outstanding wines made exclusively with Southern Oregon grapes. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, August 28th from 5-9 p.m. at Del Rio Vineyards in Gold Hill.

In its eighth year, World of Wine highlights the expertise of local wine grape growers and the creativity of regional winemakers. Over forty wineries, including ours, will be in attendance pouring wines to pair with a delicious array of gourmet foods prepared by local artisan producers and renowned restaurants.

A professional judged wine competition will also take place before the festival with medalists announced just in time to taste at the event.

Tickets are $75 and available at or at Del Rio Vineyards, RoxyAnn Winery, Elegance Fine Wines, Schmidt Family Vineyards and Pacific Wine Club.

Come sip your way through our wonderful region!

Abacela to pour at TAPAS event in San Francisco

TAPAS Third Annual Grand Tasting

The most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines in North America will take place this year at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

On Saturday, June 5, 2010, wine writers, retailers, distributors, and consumers will have an opportunity to taste wines produced by TAPAS members from grape varieties indigenous to Spain and Portugal that are now cultivated in America, in a delightful walk-around setting where they may chat with the TAPAS growers and producers.

Fort Mason Center
Herbst Pavilion
San Francisco, CA

Another 2009 Grenache Rose write up!

Abacela Winery 2009 Grenache Rosé
Annette Solomon, Statesman Journal, May 27, 2010
This polished, young rosé offers a mélange of aromas backed by a well-balanced structure. The seductive flavors include lush strawberry, raspberry, walnut, cream and violet.

— Annette Solomon

Abacela featured in Register Guard Article

Oregon’s finest vinos de España
By Paul Omundson, The Register Guard, May 26, 2010

At Abacela Winery, in a Rioja-like climate, Earl and Hilda Jones coax lauded Oregon wines from traditional Spanish varietals.

It’s a dream of all wine aficionados — go from rank amateur to world-renowned winemaker in the wink of an eye. Well, it happened to Earl Jones and his wife, Hilda, who own Abacela Winery near Roseburg. They are pioneers in developing Spain’s flagship wine, tempranillo, and many other Spanish varietals on American soil.

Nobody had seen these warm-weather grapes in Oregon before the couple started building their vineyards in 1994 and planted their first grapes in 1995. Jones laughs when he recalls one neighbor thinking tempranillo meant “temporary,” and that Jones was just killing time until he planted the “real” vines.

Jones made his first tempranillo in 1997, and his second wine (1998) became the first American tempranillo to best the Spanish in international wine competition, taking…

Abacela article in The Spokesman-Review

Oregon winery thrives on focused approach
Paul Gregutt, The Spokesman-Review, May 26, 2010

My general advice to small, startup wineries is to focus. Make something your calling card. Don’t try to make 30 different wines until you’ve figured out how to do three or four well.

Abacela, located in southern Oregon, is a fine example of a winery that started with a specific focus, built on it and now offers a breathtakingly large lineup of estate-grown blends and varietals, including some never before seen in the Northwest.

Owners Earl and Hilda Jones set out to find the optimal growing conditions for a single grape: tempranillo. Using a strict scientific, climate- and soil-driven approach, they settled (to their surprise, as much as anyone’s) on the Umpqua Valley.

The region, they contend, “has the most beneficial climate structure for growing grapes in the state … the longest growing season, the lowest risk of both spring and fall frosts, and low-ripening period rainfall and temperature extrem…

Abacela can now ship to Kansas!

We are pleased to announce that Abacela can now ship directly to Kansas residents for offsite purchases made via phone, email or web. We recently applied for and were granted a Direct Shipping License. Kansas residents may also join our Llaneros Wine Club. Please visit our website at:

We look forward to sharing our wines with the residents of Kansas!

2009 Albarino in the Oregonian's 2010 Spring Wine Guide

2010 Spring Wine Guide: Fine pours for picnics
The Oregonian, May 24, 2010
A picnic is our favorite way to break up a day of wine tasting. But what to drink? We chose some tempting takeout foods and asked four local wine pros to pair them with affordable Northwest wines: 2009 Albarino "Cured meat... begs for a refreshing, bracing white wine, and this albariño is just the thing." - Kimberly Paley, Paley's Place

2009 Viognier Reviewed...

Cellar Dweller: A summery choice
Wed, 05/19/2010 - 5:55 pm By Matt Meador, The Vancouver Voice
Viognier is one of those wines that seems to bridge the gap between reds and whites, at least to some degree. Red-lovers are inclined to appreciate the dry acidity of Viogniers while white-o-philes can acknowledge its crisp hint of sweetness with more than a wry smile. Altogether, Viognier is one of those wines that can be enjoyed by wine lovers from both sides of the aisle.
The Abacela 2009 Viognier from Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, released on May 1, is a grand example of just what Viognier is all about. They say that Viognier was introduced to the Rhône Valley in Roman times, but repeated invasions by bloodthirsty Huns and other undesirables drove it to near extinction. When the Romans left Gaul, which was really pre-France, the vines grew untended for many years until a handful of locals rediscovered them and began to recultivate them. What covered only a small number of …

2009 Albarino reviewed

wine in the spotlight: abacela 2009 albariño
Paul Gregutt,, May 18, 2010

Beginning today, I’ll do an occasional profile of a single Northwest wine that is especially deserving of your attention. This is a great bottle to begin with...

I did a search on the Wine Enthusiast database to see if I’d reviewed any other albariños from the Pacific Northwest over the years. Didn’t expect to find any, and none were there, except for previous vintages from Abacela.

Just out (and already a gold medal winner) is the 2009. From the estate’s Fault Line Vineyards, this was harvested at 22.5° brix; pH 3.26; TA 7.11 grams/liter. The AVA is Umpqua Valley, and the cooperage was stainless steel all the way. In keeping with the times, the winery has dropped the price from $23 to $18, which means you can probably find it for $16 if you look around.

Winemaker tasting notes: “This Galician style wine exhibits aromas and flavors of crisp golden apples, citrus fruits, fleshy peach, almonds, and delic…

2009 Grenache Rose Review...

Matt Kramer on wine: It's spring, and the rosés are in bloom
The Oregonian, May 15, 2010
The time has arrived -- finally! -- for what might be called the first rosé of the season. Where previously (10 years ago) rosé wines were derided, today they are among the hottest categories in the wine business.
Wine producers love rosés because it's a low-overhead, high-profit wine. There's no expensive cellar aging or need for low yields in the vineyard, and the "palate demand" is nowhere near as exigent as it is for, say, pinot noir.
The downside for the producers is shelf life: Nobody wants last year's rosé. This makes producers, as well as wholesalers and retailers, wary of committing too much inventory to it. Once summer is over, so is the rosé season -- and rosé sales, too.
Abacela Grenache Rosé "Estate Grown" 2009 -- The tastiest rosés are made with grenache, a red grape variety notable for its intense, luscious cherry-scented fruitiness.
Spain has by f…

2009 Albarino wins Gold Medal

Our 2009 Estate Grown Albarino has won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Riverside International Wine Competition. We think the 2009 vintage is a great bottle, and it's only fitting that it win Gold after being released less than two months! Enjoy a glass today...

Abacela has planted a garden!

Abacela has always sourced local produce, cheese, bread, meats and chocolates in an effort to support the local farmers and artisans. To that end, we have finally planted an extensive garden. From tomatoes to corn, lettuce to kohlrabi, and peas to brussel sprouts, our winery events will be even more focused on what we grow and produce here at Abacela. The garden is located between our oldest vineyard, Cox's Rock, and our newest planting, Esperanza Block.

TAPAS Grand Tasting

TAPAS Third Annual Grand Tasting

The most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines in North America will take place this year at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

On Saturday, June 5, 2010, wine writers, retailers, distributors, and consumers will have an opportunity to taste wines produced by TAPAS members from grape varieties indigenous to Spain and Portugal that are now cultivated in America, in a delightful walk-around setting where they may chat with the TAPAS growers and producers. Tickets

June 5, 2010
2:00 to 5:00 PM
Fort Mason Center
Herbst Pavilion
San Francisco, CA

Abacela completes Carbon Neutral Challenge

Roseburg, OR – April 27, 2010: In 2007 the Oregon Environmental Council and the Oregon Wine Board joined together to lead an initiative for Oregon wineries and vineyards to assess and reduce their carbon footprint, with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. Fourteen Oregon wineries participating in the Carbon Neutral Challenge have completed their first year of the carbon neutral program.This is a unique effort of businesses working voluntarily to reduce their carbon footprint, and the largest effort within the wine industry in the United States. Oregon wineries and vineyards – many of which have already adopted sustainable agricultural practices into their operations – recognize that climate change will have a significant impact on their ability to grow grapes and produce quality wines.While the state’s wine industry is not a major emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, it is directly impacted by climate change. The wine industry is the “canary in the coal mine” f…

Earl Jones to pour at Mondo Vino in Denver

Earl Jones will be pouring his wines at Mondo Vino in Denver, Colorado on April 23rd from 3:30 to 7:00 pm. Earl pioneered Iberian varietals, specifically Tempranillo and Albarino, in the Pacific Northwest. Stop by and taste the wines and learn about Abacela's unique history.

3601 W 32nd Ave, Denver, (303) 458-3858

Abacela and the Portland Opera

Abacela is a proud sponsor of the Portland Opera's Camerata Circle!
Earl & Hilda Jones enjoyed a fabulous dinner last night (April 15th) at the Benson Hotel's Mayfair Room in Portland celebrating the upcoming opening of the Barber of Seville on May 7th. Over 150 guests enjoyed operatic vignettes and classic Andalusian cuisine paired with Abacela's 2008 Abariño and 2005 "South East, Angle, and Knoll Block Reserve" Tempranillo. See the opera

Abacela's 2007 Port Reviewed...

By Paul Gregutt (

...As it happens, Abacela – an Oregon winery specializing in Iberian varietal wines – makes both a Claret and a Port, and both are quite good. The 2007 Abacela Port, which I sipped on throughout a long evening of guitar playing last night, is the poster child for a truly outstanding American Port. It’s labeled Port, which may be due to 1) label approval before the new law took effect or 2) being grandfathered in, as some Claret producers are. In any event, it’s a wine that any Port lover should experience, for I have not had a finer American version.

The estate-grown blend includes 53% Tempranillo, 19% Bastardo, 13% Tinta Amarela, 9% Tinta Cão, and 6% Touriga Naçional. These five traditional Douro grapes were grown at Abacela’s Fault Line vineyards. I don’t know what neutral spirits were used, but they are of a higher quality than most, with none of the burn that affects a lot of domestic fortifieds. This is a creamy, sexy, chocolate an…

Vintner's Blend #10 Reviewed...

"Get out of that taste rut with these originals." by Matt Kramer, The Oregonian, Sunday April 11, 2010

Abacela "Southern Oregon" Vintner's Blend #10 Red Table Wine: Various wines from Abacela winery in Roseburg have appeared in this space numerous times over the years. The reason is simple: Abacela makes terrific wines with grape varieties that other in Oregon never previously pursued.

Most of these exploratory varieties were Spanish grapes such as tempranillo and albariño. But Abacela also planted grapes that other in southern Oregon were already tinkering with, such as syrah, malbec, grenache, cabernet franc and viognier.

Abacela regularly purchases grapes from its southern Oregon colleagues. And that, in effect, is the story of its annual bottling designated Vintner's Blend red table wine. This latest version, Vintner's Blend #10, is sourced from five vineyards in addition to Abacela's own plantings: Alta Seca Vineyard, Delfino Vineyard, McCorquodal…

Earl pouring at Pour at Four in Tacoma

Umpqua In The House: Earl "Don't Call Me James" Jones, owner of Abacela Winery in the Umpqua Valley of Oregon, will pour complimentary tastes of the fruits of his labor Tuesady April 6th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Pour At Four in Tacoma.

Rastus found!

Our winery dog Rastus went missing last night... we searched for hours in the pouring rain this morning. We went online about Noon and found a Craigslist posting that someone found him last night! We called and will get him back tonight. Yeesssss!

Bud Break at Abacela!

Over the past week Bud Break has occurred in numerous grape varieties, especially Grenache, Albariño, Mourvédre, and the Port varietals. Despite cold morning hours the vines tender leaf structure survived, and that’s no April Fools'!