Southern Oregon Wines

We're drinking reserves from Troon Vineyard, Velocity Wine Cellars and Cowhorn Winery

Located a few hundred miles south of Oregon's famed Willamette Valley, wineries in Southern Oregon are proving that the state has more to offer oenophiles than prize-winning Pinot Noir.

In fact, Southern Oregon's hallmark is diversity. The region boasts a hotter, drier climate than Willamette and has large fluctuations in temperature, which allows multiple varietals to thrive; they include big reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Tempranillo.

But power isn't all Southern Oregon reds have to offer. Winemakers have embraced a variety of styles and blends, yielding wines with oomph and those that offer more finesse in the glass.

Here are three wineries to look to for examples of Southern Oregon's wine-producing breadth:

Troon Vineyard This boutique winery sticks to small-lot productions (less than 300 cases), including a fruit-forward cult favorite: the Druid's Fluid ($18), a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Saugvinon (click to buy online).

Velocity Wine Cellars Winemaker Gus Janeway crafts regionally distinctive reds like the gently tannic Velo blend ($18), so named for the racing bike he uses to make vineyard rounds. 

Cowhorn Winery The portfolio of this biodynamic winery in Applegate Valley includes a nuanced Syrah ($22) with aromas of black cherry and cocoa (click to buy online).