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Self-Guided Wine Tour of Umpqua Valley, Oregon

Self-Guided Wine Tour of Umpqua Valley, Oregon

Self-Guided Wine Tour of Umpqua Valley, Oregon

Douglas County in Southern Oregon contains Umpqua Valley. It is centered on Roseburg, 165 miles (265 kilometers) south of Portland, and spans an area measuring 65 miles (104 kilometers) north to south and 25 miles (40 kilometers) east to west. German immigrants arrived in Oregon in the 1880s and planted some of the state’s first vineyards. The first Pinot Noir was planted after Prohibition in 1961, and the region was formally designated as an AVA in 1984. The region’s great variety of terroir gives vintners a wide selection of locations, from cozy, protected valleys to exposed hilltops. For your next wine vacation, consider a self-guided tour of Umpqua Valley.

Umpqua Valley is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Oregon, located between the Willamette Valley and the Rogue Valley. It is named after the Umpqua River which traverses the region. Three different mountain ranges converge in Umqua Valley: the Coast Range, the Klamath Mountains, and the Cascades. The resulting topography has led to the region being christened ‘the Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua’.

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Table of Contents

An Overview of Umpqua, Oregon

What is the Best Time to Visit Umpqua, Oregon?

What are the Subregions of Umpqua, Oregon?

What are the Best Wine Grapes Grown In Umpqua, Oregon?

What are the Historical Sites in Umpqua, Oregon?

What are the Best Wineries in Umpqua, Oregon?

Where Should I Eat in Umpqua, Oregon?

Where Should I Stay in Umpqua, Oregon?

How Can I Save Money in Umpqua, Oregon?


An Overview of Umpqua Valley, Oregon

The Umpqua Valley wine region is one of the best wine tour destinations. For those wine lovers who miss the good old days when uncrowned wineries offered relaxed rooms, where experienced winemakers poured samples and described their beautifully crafted crisp Riesling or earthy Pinot Noir, then Umpqua Valley wine destination should be on your must-visit list.

The Umpqua Valley is home to more than 30 wineries, the majority of which are family-run and produce more than 40 different varietals. The first wine grape vineyard was planted in this area by German immigrants in the 1880s, making it one of the state’s oldest wine-growing regions. The terrain is complicated due to the ancient collision of three mountain systems, including the Klamath Mountains, Coast Range, and the Cascades. This region has been referred to as “The Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua” because it is made up of a network of interconnected tiny mountain ranges and valleys rather than a single valley. Because of the wide variety of microclimates and grape varieties, Umpqua Valley is a viticultural microcosm where fresh discoveries are made at each vineyard.

The Umpqua Valley’s climate is comparable to Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Argentina’s Uco Valley, with cool winters that are cooler than the Roque Valley in the south and warm summers that are warmer than the Willamette Valley to the north. Tempranillo, Alberino, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Malbac, a latecomer and one of the more prolific varietals to grow in the valley, are among the varieties that flourish here.

What is the Best Time for a Self-Guided Tour of Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

The mild climate makes visiting possible most of the year, although spring, summer, or fall are generally recommended. The grape harvest is during the fall and always makes for an exciting time to visit, although be aware some smaller wineries might be closed during this period.

What is the History of Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

The first wine grape vineyard in the Umpqua Valley was established by German immigrants who had previously worked for Beringer Bros., the oldest continuously running vineyard in Napa, in the 1880s. In the years following Prohibition, Richard Sommer founded Hillcrest Vineyards in the vicinity of Roseburg. Despite being warned by his Californian colleagues that it was impossible to cultivate wine grapes in Oregon, he was the first to plant Pinot Noir grapes in Oregon. These grapes ultimately succeeded, and the modern Oregon wine industry began. Paul Bjelland of Bjelland Vineyards established the Oregon Winegrowers Association in the Umpqua Valley eight years later, in 1969.

What are the Subregions of Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

One of the original American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in Oregon, the Umpqua Valley AVA is wholly contained within Douglas County. When it was created in 2004, it was added to the larger Southern Oregon AVA as a sub-appellation. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Chapter I, Part 9, section 89, provides specifics on its borders. The Elkton Oregon AVA and the Red Hill Douglas County AVA are two of the sub-appellations that make up Umpqua Valley.

What are the Best Wine Grapes Grown in Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling are some of the most popular grapes grown in the area.

Historical Sites to Visit in a Self-Guided Tour of Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

Douglas County Museum

The San Francisco architectural firm Backen, Arrigoni & Ross created the Douglas County Museum, which was completed in 1969. The American Institute of Architects gave the design a National Award of Merit. To increase exhibition space and on-site storage facilities, significant extensions were finished in 1979 and 1989. The Umpqua River Lighthouse and Museum and DCM teamed up in 2006 to enhance the visitor experience at both locations.

Cottage Grove Historical Society

For future generations, the Cottage Grove Historical Society’s objective is to conserve, honor, and promote the history and traditions of the Cottage Grove community.

Oregon Coast Historical Railway

The Oregon Coast Scenic Train (OCSR), a heritage railroad and 501(c)(3) nonprofit, runs in Oregon, principally between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach, with additional special trips to Wheeler, the Nehalem River, and the Salmonberry River Gorge.

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Lane County Historical Museum

The historical museum was established for the purpose of gathering, preserving, and interpreting Lane County’s rich legacy. Lane County is the only historical museum with a countywide focus. In the middle of the 1800s, Lane County served as a stop for immigrants on the Oregon Trail. The museum is home to historical and regionally significant collections that date from the early 1800s to the present.

What are the Best Wineries in Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

Umpqua Valley is full of wonderful wineries you can visit. The followings are some of the best and most highly rated wineries.

Cooper Ridge Vineyard

A family-run winery, Cooper Ridge, is situated in the center of the Umpqua Valley. In Roseburg, Oregon, the vineyards are tucked away along the North Umpqua River. The winery creates seven distinct varietals and has a tasting room with a sweeping vista of the Umpqua Valley and the mountains in the area. Since the winery’s tasting room first opened in 2015, it has provided each visitor with a breathtaking view of the valley below and the mountain ranges to the east and west. Until you actually witness one, you won’t believe how stunning the sunsets are.

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards is a family-run winery founded. Visitors are treated like longtime friends when they visit. The scenery is breathtaking, and the wine is always of the highest quality! Red wine varietals, white wine varietals, and red and white blends are all produced and bottled by Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards.

Henry Estate Winery

The charming Henry Estate Winery is located alongside a tight bend in the sparkling Umpqua River in the beautiful Umpqua Valley. The Umpqua Valley’s rich soils first produced wine in 1880, making it one of Oregon’s first wine-producing regions.

Spire Mountain Cellars is a family-run vineyard situated near Oakland, Oregon, at the base of Tyee Mountain. The estate’s wines currently include “Tricycle” Rosé, Tempranillo, and Pinot Noir. To complete their selection of five exceptional wines, they also produce a dry Riesling and Pinot Gris.

Where Can I Eat on a Self-Guided Tour of Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

Lighthouse Center Bakery

In the hills above the Umpqua River in Southern Oregon, the Lighthouse Center Bakery first began making bread in a straightforward wood-fired brick oven. Since 1998, they have been baking bread the traditional method, and since 2006, they have been selling their bread and other baked items at nearby farmers’ markets. By visiting this amazing place, you will enjoy bread baked the traditional way.

Schooner Inn Café

Schooner Inn Café has been feeding the Reedsport neighborhood for over 26 years, and they won’t be leaving anytime soon. As soon as you enter, you’ll notice the calm atmosphere and a friendly smile. They take great pride in being a place where visitors can go to enjoy delicious meals, lovely surroundings, and excellent service.

Where Should I Stay in Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

Umpqua’s Last Resort, Wilderness Cabins, RV Park & Glamping

The North Umpqua River and Umpqua’s Last Resort, Wilderness Cabins, RV Park & Glamping are both located in the Umpqua National Forest. The “Oregon’s Emerald-Jewel Gateway” to Crater Lake National Park is how people frequently refer to this section of the Oregon Cascade Mountains. The North Umpqua River is world-class, with breathtaking views of the Marble River, volcanic structures, thundering rapids, and towering fir trees.

Best Western Plus Hartford Lodge

This lodge features a business center, exercise center, free Wi-Fi, on-site laundry, an indoor heated pool, and hot tub. A microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, flat-screen television, cable, HBO®, and DVD player are included in every guest room. They also welcome pets and have pet-specific accommodations.

How Can I Save Money in Umpqua Valley, Oregon?

Having a good plan for your tour is the best way to save money. When visiting Umpqua you should have a plan of activities to save time and money. Visit destinations that are strategically in one location. This will minimize unnecessary traveling.


A patchwork of forested mountain ranges, crystal-clear rivers, and valley after undulating valley may be found in this region of Southern Oregon. The Umpqua Valley has a distinct Oregon character, whether you visit the area’s family-run vineyards, fly-fish the Umpqua River, or just drive around and take in the scenery. Warmer than the Willamette Valley in the north and milder than the Rogue Valley in the south, the Umpqua Valley has a transitional climate, making it a perfect tourist destination.

Want to read more? Try these books!

Amphoras and the Ancient Wine Trade (Agora Picture Book) 9000 Years of Wine- A World History

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