Maximum Attendance 25
Monday – Wednesday, August 17 – 19
About the Umpqua Valley
The Umpqua Valley is the most diverse winegrowing region of Oregon. Spanning 40 miles in width and 60 miles in length, the Umpqua Valley AVA sits south of the Willamette Valley AVA and north of the Rogue Valley AVA.
The Umpqua Valley has been growing wine grapes since 1934, making the region the oldest continuously producing wine region in the Pacific Northwest. In 1961 Richard Somers of Hillcrest Winery was the first to plant pinot noir, which has grown to become the signature grape of Oregon. In 1969 early Umpqua industry pioneers established the first Oregon wine trade organization, which has now evolved into the statewide Oregon Winegrowers Association.
The Umpqua Valley can successfully grow both cool and warm varieties. It’s comprised of three distinct climatic sub-zones: 1) The northern area around the town of Elkton enjoys a cool, marine-influenced climate. It receives around 50 inches of annual rainfall, making irrigation unnecessary. Pinot noir, riesling and gewurztraminer were first planted there in 1972. 2) The central area to the northwest of Roseburg has a transitional, or intermediate, climate where both cool and warm varieties do quite well. 3) The area south of Roseburg is warmer and more arid with 24 annual inches of rainfall, making irrigation necessary. Warm-climate varieties, including tempranillo, syrah, albarino, and merlot thrive here.
Locals like to claim that you can travel from Alsace through the Rhone to Rioja in less than one hour in the Umpqua Valley.
Transportation & Accommodations
You will be picked up at 4:00 PM at the Valley River Inn or at 4:30 PM at the airport in Eugene and driven to Roseburg, Oregon. If you are flying to the airport you should book a flight that arrives by 4:00 PM on Monday, August 17. If you are driving to the pre-conference excursion, you can also choose to meet in Roseburg at 6:00 PM. Excursion hosts will determine your pickup location prior to the event.
Participants will be driven on Thursday morning, August 20 to the Valley River Inn in Eugene for the start of the conference. You should book your return flights based on whether you are attending a post-conference excursion.
You will stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Roseburg for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. After registering for the excursion participants will be given a booking link.
What is Included
The cost of the pre-conference excursion is $25 and includes ground transportation from and back to Eugene, winery visits, tastings, and meals. It does not include transportation to/from Oregon or accommodations.
Please note details can and likely will change.
Monday August 17
4:00 PM Pick-up from Valley River Inn (the conference hotel) in Eugene
4:30 PM Pick-up from Eugene Airport for those flying in this afternoon
6:00 PM Arrive in Roseburg and check into the Hampton Inn & Suites
6:30 PM Casual introductory dinner in Roseburg
Tuesday August 18
7:00 AM + Breakfast on your own in the hotel
9:00 AM We will travel to the cooler northern region of the Umpqua Valley, Elkton Oregon. Here Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer were first planted in 1972. Elkton is only 35 miles from the coast and the gap in the Coast Range facilitates a very strong marine influence. Winery visits include Brandborg Vineyard and Winery and Bradley Vineyards (along with Rivers Edge).
11:50 AM We will then travel south for a lunch stop and tour of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute on the campus of Umpqua Community College.
2:00 PM From there we will head south to the warmest regions of the Umpqua: Winston and Ten Mile. Here Girardet Winery was the pioneer for Baco Noir and, more recently, Barbera and Sangiovese have been planted. Abacela in Winston Oregon is the pioneer for the grapes of Spain in the Northwest with the first commercial productions of Tempranillo and Albariño.
4:40 PM We will then head back to Roseburg for a little downtime at the hotel before heading out to dinner at True Kitchen.
Wednesday, August 19
7:00 AM + Breakfast on your own in hotel
9:00 AM Today we will focus on six wineries within the central reach of the Umpqua Valley that produce an amazing variety of wines. Near the town of Sutherlin, Ruestle Prayer Rock Vineyard was the first area to plant Grüner Veltliner in the US and has won acclaim for Syrah and others. Cooper Ridge Vineyard grows Bordeaux varieties and many others.
11:45 AM Melrose Vineyards will be our lunch stop and has a wide variety of selections including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
1:25 PM At Hillcrest Vineyard, Richard Somers created the first estate winery in Oregon and was the first to plant Pinot Noir in Oregon in 1961. With a tasting room in Roseburg and vineyards in Flournoy Valley, Trella Vineyards grows many different varieties, including Malbec and Tempranillo.
4:00 PM We will arrive back at the Hampton Inn for downtime and to catch up on your writing and social media. Time and energy permitting, we can also visit Paul O’Brien, one of the two urban wineries downtown.
6:00 PM Dinner this evening will be at Parrot House, an award-winning fine-dining restaurant in a beautifully restored Victorian home in Roseburg, with an eclectic menu and a reputation throughout Oregon as one of the nicest restaurants in the state.