Saturday, September 24, 2011

Abacela, proud sponsor of the Portland Opera!

The Portland Opera's BIG NIGHT was Saturday, September 24th and owner Earl Jones and winemaking intern Jose Tejedor attended as sponsorship guests. Here are  a few pictures from the event:
Street Fair and concert in the Keller Fountain Plaza
Earl and Jose enjoying a glass of Reserve Tempranillo.
The Notte Grande Gala Reception was held in the Keller Auditorium and featured Abacela's 2010 Albarino and 2007 Reserve Tempranillo.

Yellow capsules!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Except from a new article about Southern Oregon wineries...

Sampling Southern Oregon’s marvelous wines.
By Roy Stevenson, September 16, 2011

Southern Oregon is fast becoming recognized as a viticultural powerhouse, as it’s wines keep gaining national and international recognition. Two appellations in particular, the Umpqua Valley and the Rogue Valley, are the primary engines behind this wine renaissance, with a remarkable array of reds, whites and varietals that wine lovers a diverse selection indeed.

The Umpqua Valley’s wine legacy can be traced from Richard Summers, who first planted vines in Roseburg in 1961, making the Umpqua Valley the oldest continually producing wine region in the Pacific Northwest and the cradle of the Oregon wine industry.

Summers, founder of Hillcrest Winery, planted his vines against the advice of Californian vintners who believed the climate and soil were not right for grapes. It turned out that the valley’s different geologic terranes produced a rich diversity of landscapes and microclimates along its 45-mile length, which in turn have yielded a phenomenal array of grape varieties. This is Oregon’s (and probably the U.S.A’s) most complex and interesting wine-growing region.

The cool north valley region, with its good sun exposure and coastal maritime influence produces outstanding Pinot noir, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer. The warm temperatures of the valley’s central sub zone are responsible for great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and many varietals. The southern valley region, with broad, steep oak forested hillsides and southern exposure receives plenty of sunshine leading to some superb Baco Noir, Viognier, Cabernet, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, and Syrah.

Despite its impressive history, this appellation is often referred to as “America’s last Undiscovered Wine Region”, and boasts 19 wineries, each with its own distinct history and ambiance....

Picturesque Abacela Vineyards and Winery is on the same latitude as northern Spain, and physician turned winemakers Earl Jones and Andrew Wenzl specialize in Spanish varietals on this immaculately maintained vineyard. Located on a steep, dry, south-facing series of hills, Abacela makes a spectacular vista, and can almost be mistaken for an aged Italian or Spanish vineyard.

The undulating hillside has so many terroir micro-pockets that Earl has an impressive variety of grapes growing in tidily marked lots including tempranillo, syrah, malbec, Grenache, albarino, dolcetto, and garnacha. He specializes in big, deeply colored reds that are aged for several years, to yield intense varietal character, a hint of fruit and oak, with a solid body. Earl’s Abacela tempranillo has won international awards, making it the first American vineyard to do so for this varietal.
...A wine tour of the Umpqua Valley will provide the taster with an excellent and diverse selection of Southern Oregon’s wines, and just as important, provide some marvelous memories and experiences as you visit these distinctly different wineries and meet their winemakers.

These then, are a sampling of some of the Umpqua Valley and Applegate Valley’s wineries—not a complete listing by any means. One of the most enjoyable things about wine tasting in this area is the tremendous diversity in the ambiance and atmosphere of each of these wineries. All are unique in their size, shape and service, but all have one thing in common—their outstanding wines.

If you plan on visiting the area to do some wine tasting, allow several days to fully appreciate each winery, rather than rushing from place to place. These graceful winery valleys are relaxing if you ease back and let them slow you down to country time.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Up and Coming Red Wines - Cabernet franc

A new review of our wine by's Chuck Hill in his online column Wines of the Week. (Part 2 of 4)

Abacela, 2007 Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon, $27.00
Sourcing fruit from different sub-regions proved to be an important consideration in the creation of Abacela's 2007 Cabernet Franc.  The fruit from the estate Fault Line Vineyard in Roseburg was combined with Rogue Valley fruit from Alta Seca and Pheasant Hill Vineyards.  Owner Earl Jones feels that the warmer Rogue fruit contributed ripe blueberry, lavender and sweet vanilla, while his estate fruit supplied savory aromatics of floral notes and herbs along with a backbone of fine-grained tannins.  A nice combination of the new- and old-world styles, it was the top-scoring wine in our tasting with mixed grill of lamb and goat.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Another great story by wine columnist Janet Eastman

Abacela Tempranillo celebrates Tempranillo Day

photoby Janet Eastman

Earl and Hilda Jones of Abacela winery introduced Tempranillo and other Spanish varietals to Oregon decades ago. And although Earl Jones is in Portugal now on his way to Spain, he reminds us that today, September 1, is the First Annual International Tempranillo Day. The Roseburg resident will be celebrating with his son, climatologist Greg Jones, at an international workshop and tasting in Regua in the Douro Valley.

Since Tempranillo means “early” in Spanish, we suggest you start thinking about ways to celebrate Tempranillo this morning. Here are some events organized by the Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS) in Oregon, California and Washington:

* Vertical Tasting at Abacela - A tasting of library Tempranillos from several vintages, including Abacela’s 1997 Estate Tempranillo, the first commercial bottling of 100% varietal Tempranillo produced in America in the modern era, starting at 1 p.m today.

* Wine Tasting at Joe Monkey-Chimps Hangout Wine & Martini Bar – Various samples of Tempranillo wine (including Abacela) from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. today at 500 SE Cass St., Roseburg, 541-679-5444

[*Abacela's Earl Jones is in Portugal celebrating Tempranillo Day as well!]

Read the full blog here.

International Tempranillo Day 2011 - September 1st

We've already seen lots of tweets, blog, and FB posts about Tempranillo Day... 
Starting with Earl Jones in Portugal: 
"Enjoying a bottle of 2006 Foral Reserva (tempranillo based wine) with friends and dinner at Quinta Tourais in Requa Portugal welcoming in tomorrow (International Tempranillo Day)!". 

Then to blog already posted by @winerabble:

How do you plan to celebrate this wonderfully inky noble wine?

For beginners out there who haven’t yet tried this grape varietal, I highly recommend seeking it out! (It’s pronouncing tem • pra • ne-yo just so you know!) Born and raised in the higher elevations of Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions of Spain, the noble Tempranillo has now migrated across the globe.  The neighboring country of Portugal refers to it as Tinta Roriz and when it first arrived to the United States, it was called Valdepenas.

Since Tempranillo has traveled out west, I thought it would be a great adventure to take a short trip down to the pioneering winery that first brought this grape to the state of Oregon. Earl and Hilda Jones at Abacela Winery, located in the heart of the Umpqua Valley, saw the full potential of Tempranillo grapes and planted acres of them at their Fault Line Vineyard. Just a few short years later their efforts were well rewarded when an Abacela wine was awarded top honor over almost twenty other Spanish-made Tempranillos.

Having enjoyed Abacela’s wines on a number of occasions including a winery visit last winter, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to celebrate International Tempranillo Day than with the pioneers who had so much faith in this grape!

If you’re inspired to celebrate International Tempranillo Day, please enjoy a glass of Tempranillo with your pre-Labor day BBQ and a toast to the inventive Americans who have ensured Tempranillo’s future in our country. If you’d rather commemorate the grape’s Spanish origins, share your wine with friends over tapas! Either way, enjoy this full-bodied, jammy noble wine with a hearty “salud!”

Wow... and it's not even 10:30 am yet!
More info: