The Umpqua Valley knows how to kick off Oregon Wine Month – and an ever-growing number of its residents sure know how to make wine. That’s a great reason to be sure not to miss The Umpqua Valley Winegrowers’ annual Barrel Tour.
This bussed day trip allows wine lovers the opportunity to explore four regions in the Umpqua Valley appellation, often called “The New Napa.” Each route will stop at about five destinations, ranging from quaint tasting rooms to sprawling estates. At each stop, wine enthusiasts have the opportunity to taste while learning about the winery and the winemaking process from knowledgeable vintners.
While the Umpqua Valley has in recent years attracted growing attention as a rewarding wine touring destination, the local winemaking tradition is decades old. In fact, Southern Oregon is the birthplace of the Oregon wine industry with the first Umpqua Valley vineyards planted in the 1800s.
Today, the Umpqua Valley is home to more than 30 wineries and vineyards and is growing rapidly. Local vintners are now turning heads – and pleasing palates -- at competitions across the country, routinely bringing home highly esteemed, globally-recognized awards. In 2019, for example, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards’ 2017 Syrah won “Best of Class” at the San Diego International Wine Competition and, in 2018, 11 wineries from the Umpqua Valley were honored at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
So if you’re looking for one of the best ways to enjoy some of the country’s best wines, look into the annual Barrel Tour.
For more information on wine and for the Umpqua Valley Wine Trail map, visit umpquavalleywineries.org/wine-tour-map.
Tickets for the 2020 Barrel Tour are $50, plus a $2 PayPal processing fee.
UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 concerns, this event will be rescheduled. Tickets can be 100% refunded through Eventbrite. Visit this page for up-to-date information: umpquavalleywineries.org/news-events/barrel-tour