Road Trippin' : Kriselle Cellars
MEDFORD, Ore. -- Working from home takes on a new meaning when it comes to Kriselle Cellars. Owner and winemaker Scott Steingraber is originally from Oregon and his love for wine began in California.
"My wife Krisell and I would take weekend trips. We'd go wine tasting in Napa and I got the bug for figuring out how to make it," Steingraber said about finding his passion. That wine bug turned into much more. He spent a couple of decades making wine and finding grapes he liked across the west. About ten years ago, he was picking up some Pinot Noir grapes in the Willamette Valley when he tasted some recently picked Cabernet Sauvignon. He traded those the Pinot grapes for the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and made a wine that ended up winning best in show in a Washington competition. Those grapes were from southern Oregon.
"That was when we had our epiphany. At the time, that was our discovery of southern Oregon," Steingraber said.
From there, things moved pretty fast. His wife, Krisell's father bought the property in 2006 on the same day he saw it. The whole idea was Steingraber would grow the grapes and make the wine. After a study of the land, a vineyard went in.
"It's old river bottom soil where the Rogue River has slid its way to the east and it's left us this really rocky, well draining soil. People ask us all the time about why we placed all this rock here, but it's all natural," Steingraber said.
"We all work really hard to make the wines and to make them exquisite, but the most important part is sharing these wines," said Nora Lancaster, Kriselle Cellars director. Lancaster has been in the wine business in southern Oregon for a couple of decades. She says her goal is to share and highlight these wines.
"Day after day I watch opportunities where we could make shortcuts that would take less time and be less expensive but we don't make those decisions," Lancaster said about the process.
Steingraber says southern Oregon has the best of what they like, but most importantly it means home.
Kriselle Cellars is open daily from 11 to 5:30. Wine is available to taste, by the glass or bottle. Food is available all the time and on the weekends, pizza is offered from their wood-fired oven.