Road Trippin' : All in the family
EAGLE POINT, Ore. —
Gorgeous Rogue River front property, horses and wine tasting; a brand new tasting room in the Rogue Valley almost sounds too good to be true.
“We have about seven acres of lake on the property filled with bass and we've got a quarter mile of Rogue River frontage here, so just to walk on this property is a special treat, let alone come here and have a glass of wine and pet a horse at the same time,” Jim Bayer laughs.
Bayer and his family moved to Southern Oregon from Las Vegas, Nevada about two decades ago. He and his wife wanted to raise their two daughters here. The horses tagged along.
“This used to be a commercial horse facility, we used to train out of it. It's now being converted over to an event center to assist with our wine ventures now,” Bayer says.
Bayer Family Estate recently opened their tasting room near the arena, but this was an idea Bayer had years ago.
“I had this wonderful western facing slope that I couldn't get anything to grow on it and one of my neighbors told me to contact Randy Gold to see if we could plant grapes here. And of course he did and said yeah, this would be a great hill to plant grapes on, the sun is fantastic, now we have 16 acres of vineyard and off we're going. We’re making wine and enjoying it,” Bayer says.
Bayer’s love for wine started decades ago.
“I was always curious about it, helping my Uncle Tony, who was from Italy, help him make his wine in the cellar and I'll never forget those times that we made his homemade wine. I guess that kind of stuck with me,” Bayer says.
You can find that Italian influence growing on the property. There’s Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera and Dolcetto, among others. The property is just under 90 acres and Bayer says they were hoping to open a tasting room much sooner than 2018.
“We had a little bit of a setback in 2013 which is one of the reasons why we're opening so late. We had a really bad frost in this area, which set us back. We had some damaged vineyard for a few years, so we had to replant, regroup, and regain our foothold. This is farming and now we're doing great,” Bayer says.
While the temporary tasting room is located at the arena, the permanent one is under construction with hopes to be completed next year.
Bayer says they not only want to share their wines, but the beauty of their property the family has loved for so many years.