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Wine Tour: Cliff Creek Cellars
Fertile soil, volcanic ash and plenty of sunshine result in a delicious variety of affordable wines.
Three generations of family stand behind the wines of Cliff Creek Cellars. The family wine business started when the Garvin family bought a 100-year-old ranch in 1992 and broke ground seven years later for a vineyard in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. Today, Sam’s Valley Vineyard is planted to about 70 acres of grapes.
The vineyard, a composite of sandy Medford loam and volcanic ash, enjoys a great deal of sunshine and heat, and little rain. It provides a long growing season and a perfect incubator for Bordeaux and Rhône varieties. The Garvins hired the renowned Joe Dobbs as their winemaker and together they have created a divine portfolio of award-winning estate wines.
Cliff Creek Cellars crafts complex wines that exhibit characteristics of old-world wines with a new world twist. Small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, plus the winery’s flagships, Claret and Syrah are all stars. The juicy, jammy 2006 Claret, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, won Gold at the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival and Silver at the 2011 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition. The exceptionally rich 2006 Syrah also earned Gold at Newport, a Double Gold at the Florida State Fair competition, and was named an Oregon Wine Press Value Pick in February 2011. Value is an important part of the equation at this family winery. In fact, they’ve also created a Red, Red Wine—an affordable everyday table wine that pairs well with all sorts of family-style meals.
First and foremost, Cliff Creek Cellars is all about family. Dorothy, Ruth, Roy, and Lee Garvin manage the farm and winery. The three grandchildren, Kelly, Teri, and Cory, represent the third generation of Garvin vintners and the promise that one can look forward to enjoying Cliff Creek Cellars wines for many decades to come.
WHAT TO BUY
’06 Claret - $25
Blackberry, boysenberry, fresh anise, sage
’06 Syrah - $25
Cocoa, cola, almond, smoke, leather, cassis
’09 Red, Red Wine - $12.99
Queen Anne cherries, full fruit flavor
Tasting Room Open Daily 12–5
1015 McDonough Rd.
Gold Hill, OR 97525
Tasting Room Open Daily 12–5
258 N Kutch St.
Carlton, OR 97111
Private tastings and tours by appointment, winemaker dinners, wine club discounts and events, picnic grounds, pet friendly.
Touring & Tasting is a media company that produces a wine and travel magazine and is also partner in the Hitched Wine Club.
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