Do you wish you were in Napa or Sonoma right now? (Don ‘t we all?)
Want to find that winery that is a hidden gem that is off the beaten path? The ones that have such a small production you have the upper hand with your friends and family? Especially when they rave about the wine you are serving?
Well, I, your VinoVerve Editrix has been working secretly to bring these kinds of wines to you. Welcome to Qorkz Wine.
These wines are made by passionate winemakers who want to share their craft with you.
We are scouring California (for now and eventually around the country and maybe even the world) to find these treats for you!
You all know how much I enjoy looking for these treats… so please, enjoy!
The Umpqua is formed by three mountain ranges: The Cascades, the Coastal Range and he Klamath, but often the area is often known as the 100 valleys of the Umpquas. The Umpqua River runs through the valley but is no way responsible for the formation of this appellation. The soils are a diverse mixture of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks with alluvial and clays dominating the valley floor and clays. In fact, the contains at least 150 separate soil types. The climate of the region is also varied with the northern areas being cool and moist, the southern being warm and dry and the central area transitional.
Viticulture has been active since the 1880s when German settlers left California and headed north. In the modern era winemaking was established in the early 1960s and has grown to at least 60 vineyards and 12 wineries. The appellation also distinguishes itself by being the first place in the U.S. growing Grüner Veltliner. Other varietals being produced include:
While over time the focus has been on smaller and smaller wine regions, in 2004 the TTB went completely the other way, creating a super-AVA in the form of the Southern Oregon AVA. This region consists of the Umpqua, Rogue and Applegate Valleys and Red Hill Douglas County, Oregon AVAs as well as additional territory linking the regions together. The idea for the super-sized AVA was that of H. Earl Jones of Abacela and his son, associate professor of geography, Gregory V. Jones of Southern Oregon University. (editor’s note: See? I am not the only person with a degree in geography!) They evidence cited to justify the designation includes historical, cultural, climatic, geologic and geographical justifications for the creation of the viticultural area.
Historically, the region has been a wine producing area since the 1850s with modern viticulture restarting in the 1950s. From a cultural perspective, they cite the “physical and cultural” divisions of the state of which Southern Oregon is an example. The region is located south of Eugene to the California border largely within the Umpqua, Rogue, Applegate, Illinois and Bear Creek Valleys. The petition indicates that the soils in the area, while varied are older than those in the Willamette to the north or the coastal zones to the west and contain fewer silts from ancient oceans and lakes. The temperatures in the area are on average the warmest in the state which allows for the cultivation of warmer climate grapes as well as allowing for select microclimates that are perfect for colder acclimated varietals. Additionally, the elevations in the region are higher than the surrounds areas and it receives less rainfall.
The appellations is home to over fifty (50) wineries and produces wines from varietals including:
Boy, that sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Never fear, I am not hanging out with mobsters or any nationality… I am drinking wine from Don Sebastiani & Sons. This winery, an independent offshot of the Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery is terroir driven. The wine was poured by Greg Kitchen, the winemaker and Jack Meyer from their marketing department.
The wine poured was from their Crusher line of wines which are grower’s selections. We tasted the 2008 Petite Sirah from Clarksburg.