Of Wine and Culture

Esc_SoOre_0911Taste_of_Ashland_2011

By Carolyn Price

South of Medford on Interstate 5 is Ashland, known far and wide for its Shakespearean Festivals. Its reach to locals and travelers however, is expanding with its bounty of local wines, fresh farm produce, art galleries and a lengthy trail system for hikers and bikers.

In 2010, Sunset magazine proclaimed Southern Oregon “the next big wine country” and Ashland is a big contributor to this distinction with 88 wineries within an hour’s drive of the city. Visitors can find out more information from the Southern Oregon Winery Association and Applegate Valley Wine Trail— both of which provide maps, events and information of all the wineries.

Those craving a nice cold one will enjoy visiting the local microbrews after biking the 20-mile Ashland Trail system or a day at the Rogue Valley Growers Market which runs from March through October. The Ashland Gallery Association offers an art walk on the first Friday of each month, featuring artists from its 30 galleries.

If you’re into learning about the old West and gold mining, you’ll enjoy the historic village of Jacksonville that was established in 1852. Located five miles west of Medford, you can drive or bike along scenic country roads to reach Jacksonville, now also a center for musical arts in the heart of southern Oregon’s wine country.

Visitors will enjoy the town’s historical Western roots as 90 brick and wooden buildings have been restored to their original state that date the town to its Gold Rush heyday from the 1850s.

If You Go:

Ashland Woodlands & Trails Association:
www.ashlandtrails.org

Ashland Gallery Association:
www.ashlandgalleries.com/

Applegate Wine Trail:
http://applegatewinetrail.com/

Jacksonville: www.jacksonvilleoregon.org/

Southern Oregon Winery Association:
www.sorwa.org/

 

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