Southern Oregon

Ducks Soar to Victory with Benjamin Scoring as 6th Man

The Oregon Ducks basketball team continued their quest to dominate the entire state when they defeated the Southern Oregon Raiders by a score of 91-40 last night. The Ducks used a well balanced offense to gain their second win of...

Two Bodies Recovered From Water

Police-LightsCENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Two bodies have been found in a period of 24-hours. Both were lying near or in bodies of water. Now law enforcement in Jackson and Josephine Counties are working to investigate.

In Central Point on Sunday afternoon, a family found the body on their property. The wife says her husband and son spotted the body while going for a walk. They say there is usually not this much water on their land, but the massive amount of rain over the last few days created flooding.

The canal is in between two properties; Table Rock Road is on the other side. Sheriff’s deputies are on scene right now taking pictures and trying to figure out who the person is and why this happened. They say they are working to get the body out without damaging it.

Deputies say they will likely have to send trained search and rescue personnel in dive suits, in order to preserve the body and make it possible for the medical examiner to investigate. The only information they have on the victim is that he is a man; they do not know his age.

Another body was found on Saturday in Josephine County.

Both deaths are still under investigation.

Murder Suspect Captured

11-11 PHILLIPSCENTRAL POINT, Ore. –  After a day-long search, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office confirms a murder suspect has been taken into custody without further incident.

At about 9:00 A.M. Tuesday morning, police responded to reports of shots fired on the 6000 block of Truax Rd. According to Sheriff’s deputies, they found the body of a woman, and started the search for a man, Wade Eugene Phillips. A SWAT team, K9 units and air support were mobilized, and the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) were activated to investigate, and aid in the search.

At approximately 3:15 P.M. Phillips was found by police. Although it was believed initially that Phillips had left the scene, detectives continued to search the residence, locating him hiding in a corner of the attic.

Neighbors who know Wade Phillips said he and his wife, Cindy, have children aged 5, 11 and 18 who were in the home at the time of the alleged shooting, but that all three were unharmed.

Witnesses said at the time of the incident they heard a man screaming for help and yelling for someone to call 911. They said the children also confirmed their mom had been shot in the stomach. According to residents this is the third recent shooting incident in the area.

Deputies from MADIU will continue to investigate the case.

International Spotlight on Area Wineries

7-5 kdrvGOLD HILL, Ore. — Southern Oregon wineries are getting international attention thanks to a profile in one of the biggest publications in the world.

The New York Times highlighted southern Oregon’s wineries and vineyards in an article this week, and called them an alternative to the Napa Valley.

Local wineries said the region grows a wide variety of grapes, which produces unique wines that can be hard to find in other parts of the country. Owners said they are beginning to see more visitors from outside the area coming to the Rogue Valley to experience the local vineyards.

“Often times we’re looked over, but we’re finding more and more that we’re being discovered by many people throughout the United States and internationally as well,” said Jennifer Kerrigan of Del Rio Vineyards.

Ten local wineries were featured in the article, along with a handful of local hotels and other attractions.

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene May 28 – June 4

Southern Oregon is filled with hundreds of micro-climates among its many rolling hills, mountains, rivers and lakes, and the southernmost wine growing region in Southern Oregon is the Rogue Valley.  Within the Rogue Valley AVA (American Viticulture Area) is the Rogue River’s drainage basin and several tributaries that include Bear Creek, the Applegate River and the Illinois River.  Most wineries in the region are found in the valleys that are formed by these three tributaries.

Map via Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association
Map via Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association

Each of the valley’s formed by the tributaries have their own unique micro-climates and terroirs, allowing for the growth of both cool climate and warm climate varietals.  Most of the region is suited for warmer climate varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, Vigonier and Chardonnay.  But the Rogue Valley’s sub appellation, the Illinois Valley AVA (which is along the Illinois River in the westerly portion of the region and at the highest elevations – around 2,000 feet above sea level) is where cool climate varietals, like those found in the Willamette Valley, thrive.

As a wine writer, I receive a lot of wine for review purposes, but when I receive wine that’s not only from my home state, but also from the super unique Illinois Valley AVA, I get really excited.  When I opened the box to find four vibrantly-labeled Deer Creek Vineyards wines, I knew I was in for a treat.  Three of the four wines were from one of my favorite vintages in Oregon, 2011: a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.  2011 was a cooler than average year in Oregon, and in cooler years wine grapes tend to yield higher acidity levels – I love wine with zippy acidity.  The fourth wine was a Pinot Noir from the revered 2012 vintage.

DCV OR all 4

The Bryan family, owner of Deer Creek Vineyards, pride themselves on letting the terroir express the distinct characteristics of their wines.  Small lot and vineyard designate, vintner’s John and Katherine Bryan are all about making hand-crafted, authentic wines that are packed full of flavors that come from the earth where the fruit is grown.

Their winemaking philosophy of creating terroir-focused wines is clearly evident in each of the Deer Creek Vineyards wines that I sampled.  From the complex, bright fruits, to the well balanced, acid-driven finishes, I absolutely loved all four wines.  Each showcased the varietal’s true characteristics; along with, what I am sure is the expressive terroir of the Rogue and Illinois Valley.

Deer Creek Vineyards 2011 Pinot Gris ($20): Bright green apple, pear and lime are highlighted by alluring spice. On the palate, vibrant fruitiness is rounded out by a lovely shot of acidity, creating a really nicely balanced wine that would not only be great with a number of foods, but excellent all on its own while relaxing in the summer on the front porch.

dcv or pg

Deer Creek Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay ($20): Meyer lemon, honeycrisp apples and a touch of honeysuckle are round and lush on the palate, leaving it coated with gorgeous complex fruit and citrus flavors.  The finish is clean and focused, yet zesty lemon-lime finishes it off with a memorable zip.

Deer Creek Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir ($35): This style of Pinot Noir is exactly why I love this cool climate varietal! Beautiful earthy tones are highlighted by Bing cherries and fall spices – excellent acidity balances everything out to perfection.  This is the ultimate style Pinot Noir for acid hounds, such as myself.

Deer Creek Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir ($50): This is the style of Pinot Noir that has wine enthusiasts around the word going gaga over Pinot.  Ripe red fruits, like raspberries, strawberries and cherries are highlighted by subtle spice and rounded out by delicate, yet pronounced acidity.  It’s lush and velvety mouthfeel creates a super elegant wine that is delicate, yet complex – a gorgeous Pinot Noir.

dcv or pn

I haven’t been to Deer Creek Vineyards yet, but after browsing through their website, deercreekvineyards.com, they are at the top of my list of places to visit for more reasons than just the stellar wine: the view looks spectacular, and they offer massages in the vineyard, check it out here.