Saturday, September 25, 2010

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 best. This year Thompson seedless, Red Flame, Suffolk red, and a Syrah grape were all contestants in the tasting. Each child gets to vote and this year the Red Flame won.


Hilda predicts, "We may have some future winemakers in this group."

Monday, September 20, 2010

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 its outstanding biological diversity. For more information, visit http://www.klamathbird.org/.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

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!

Monday, September 13, 2010

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 that's how the dream of Abacela was started back in the 1960s. 

  • Sheep farming is a major industry in the Rioja and Ribera del Diero regions of Spain. Roast lamb, along with sheep milk cheeses, are ideal accompaniments to Tempranillo. 
  • The rugged, earthy character and fuller body make Tempranillo a natural for pairing with grilled items, from hamburger to steak.  
  • Tempranillo is typically higher in tannins. Tannins are a plant plyphenol that comes from the skins, seeds and pips of the grapes.  They can feel astringent when young in the mouth, but act as a preservative in the wine and mellow out over time. Tannins can cut through foods higher in fat like creamy mushroom risottos. 
Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

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 their homes of origin share a similar climate to that at Abacela. Even after all this, it's not over when the plant is in the ground. We remove from production varieties that do not produce fine wines consistent with being produced at of near their marginally cool limits. Already we have removed a half-dozen experimental varieties and replaced them with others more suited to the site climate."






To read the FULL ARTICLE, click here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

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! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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!