Local Living: Serra Vineyards
APPLEGATE VALLEY, Ore. -- Whether you've lived in southern Oregon for a year or several, this region has a lot to offer. I wanted to share some of my favorite spots and new finds in a new series, Local Living.
On a sunny fall day, the drive out to the Applegate Valley from Medford was gorgeous and part of the fun in visiting Serra Vineyards. The winery is nestled in the "nook", as the crew at Serra likes to call it and has a spectacular view of the valley. The owners, Scott and Krissa Fernandes, chose the site that was formerly owned by Frank Ferreira, occupied by his Applegate Red Winery. Scott says he learned a lot from Frank and that he did everything right on the property, planting Syrah, Cabernet Saugivnon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.
"He had a following and kind of an Applegate legend that people still comment on, so we're happy to continue hopefully in Frank's dream of this property," Scott says about the former owner.
The first thing I notice when I drive up is the view. The tasting room sits on the back of the property and has an open patio so guests can take in the entire, panoramic view. The word "serra" means "view from a high place" in Portugese, giving a nod to Scott's Portugese heritage. Krissa says it also derives from Father Serra, who was the first to bring wine grapes to North America.
Liz Wan is the assistant wine maker at Serra. She says from Viogniers to Pinot Noirs, the winery has a lot to offer first-time wine drinkers and connoisseurs alike. When asked, she says naming her favorite wine is easy.
"Cabernet Franc. The rare thing about our 'cab franc' that I love... it's 100 percent cab franc. So unlike many of these single variety Bordeaux that you can find out there, there's usually five, ten, 15 percent of something else mixed in. For those of us who are true cork dorks and just love to geek out on the grape, you're not getting the vision of what you're hoping to see," Wan says.
Beyond the views and the wine, what you may notice the most about Serra are its people. It's obvious Scott and Krissa love their jobs and the property giving up the fruits of their labor, but what's more important to these two is their love for each other.
"It's finding those moments to be successful, otherwise you can be consumed by the business and you forget about your spouse, the love of your life, the one you've married... and not just an employee," Scott says about their relationship.
Explore this winery for yourself. Serra Vineyards is open everyday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., year round. They offer what Liz calls a small "instant picnic," although you can bring your own. The winery is pet and family-friendly and is within a few-minute drive of a handful of other wineries.
Have a new spot you want to share or an old favorite you'd like to highlight? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your idea of Local Living in our region!