Rogue Valley

Rogue Valley AVA Map

Location: The Rogue Valley AVA is the southernmost winegrowing region in Oregon. It's made up of three adjacent river valleys (Bear Creek, Applegate and Illinois Valleys) that extend from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California border north to the Rogue River. It is 70 miles wide by 60 miles long and encompasses the Applegate Valley sub-appellation.

Wine history: Rogue Valley's wine history dates back to the 1840s when European immigrants began planting grapes and eventually bottling wines. In 1852, an early settler named Peter Britt joined in on the grape growing adventure, though it wasn't until 1873 that he opened Valley View Winery - Oregon's first official winery. Valley View closed in 1907 (though its name was resurrected by the Wisnovsky family in 1972), then prohibition hit. It wasn't until after an Oregon State University professor planted an experimental vineyard here in 1968 that winemakers rediscovered Rogue Valley as a superb winegrowing region. Rogue Valley became an official appellation in 2001.

Climate: Rogue Valley is made up of three distinct valleys with progressively warmer microclimates, which enables the region to successfully grow both cool and warm-climate grape varieties. To the west, the region is affected by mountain and ocean influences, making it suitable for some cool-weather varieties, including Pinot noir. Farther east, Rogue Valley has the highest elevations (nearly 2,000 feet) of Oregon's winegrowing regions, but it is also the warmest and the driest, making it well suited for warm-weather varieties including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Soils: Rogue Valley soil types are many and varied, including mixes of metamorphic, sedimentary and volcanic derived soils ranging from sandy loam to hard clay.

Topography: Vineyards here are typically at elevations of 1,200 to 2,000 feet and are planted on hillsides rather than valley floor. Rogue Valley's diverse landscape is derived from the convergence of three mountain ranges of varying ages and structure: the Klamath Mountains, the Coastal Range and the Cascades. This region includes the Rogue River and its tributaries: the Applegate, Illinois and Bear Creek rivers.

Predominant varieties

  • Syrah
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot noir
  • Chardonnay

While you're here...

This area is named for the legendary river that flows through it. Once the favorite fishing spot of 1930s Hollywood elite (Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable), the Rogue River is nature's playground. Visitors can hike along its shores, raft the Wild and Scenic section of rapids and spend the night at fishing lodges that were grandfathered in, and find solace in tranquil fishing holes, where it's often just you and the osprey competing for the fall Chinook or winter Steelhead.  In this area the arts are plentiful, with two award-winning festivals celebrating music and theater: The Britt Festival in historic Jacksonville and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Both towns, in addition to Medford, offer upscale, market-fresh restaurants, charming inns and bed and breakfasts, cafés and boutique shopping, and some 10 public golf courses. Just two hours away is North America's deepest lake, Crater Lake.

Below are some links to help you plan your trip to Rogue Valley:

Southern Oregon Winerys Association

A visit to a winery in Southern Oregon can involve much more than just tasting wine. Located in beautiful valleys with stunning vistas, a family member or winemaker may be pouring wine in the tasting room, or be nearby to share stories and special wines with you. Many wines are only available at the winery or have very limited distribution, so be sure to take some wines home to share your discovery of Southern Oregon wineries with friends and family.

Southern Oregon Visitors Association

With a unique climate and experienced winemakers, Southern Oregon is the fastest growing wine region in Oregon. Come discover award-winning wines from More than 60 wineries.  

Travel Oregon - Southern Oregon Page

Southern Oregon offers some of the state's most refined and rugged adventures. On the one hand there's the Tony-Award winning Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and the visits to the nearby vineyards, chocolatiers, and cheese makers, and of course the fine restaurants that serve the fruits of their labor.

Featured Content

  • It's back!

    Check a case of Oregon wine for free on Alaska Airlines. Learn More »

  • Wine Region of the Year!

    Oregon honored in 2013! Learn More »

  • Oregon Wine Experience App

    The app is available on iTunes for iPad only. Learn More »

  • Oregon Wine Country Plates!

    Oregon is the first in the nation to sell Wine Country license plates. Learn More »

Jun 2015

Clink! A Taste of Oregon Wine at Linfield College Oregon Wine Historical Archive

June 1, 2015 | Location

Due to the overwhelming response to Clink! A Taste of Oregon Wine, the Oregon Historical Society has developed a traveling version of the exhibition to travel the state.
Learn More »

Regional Associations Nearby

Applegate Valley

Southern Oregon Wineries Association

Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association

Get in on the OWB Social Conversation

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4640 SW MACADAM AVENUE, SUITE 240, PORTLAND, OR 97239 | PHONE: 503.228.8336 | FAX: 503.228.8337