What’s Buzzing in the Lavender?

July 30, 2013

Last year, we planted 300 lavender plants in a habitat break by the Viognier. We selected lavender for several reasons. The first is that we are looking for ways to further support biodiversity at Cowhorn and enhance critter comfort. Bees buzzing in lavender is a pretty happy sight! Second, whenever we plant we always consider whether it is appropriate for our conditions at Cowhorn. Our climate is harsh, and our soils are nutritionally poor. Like our Rhône variety grapevines, some varieties of lavender prefer this setting and will thrive in it. Thriving plants definitely support biodiversity and creature comfort! Last, we like harvesting so when selecting a crop to add to our farm, we look for those that do not overlap or conflict with other harvests. The lavender fits nicely between asparagus and cherries, and before grapes. Lavender met our criteria, we planted, and I fell in love!

This year, Bill and I eagerly planted an additional 700 plants. Like working with the grapevines, I find myself drifting into the mystique and lore of lavender. Being thousands of years old, it has travelled through time from the Greeks to now. In the lavender patch, I find myself dreaming of Cleopatra, Newton and Picasso to name a few! These days we are visiting lavender farms and talking with other lavender lovers about ideas for the future harvests. Anyone know a lavender distillery looking for Biodynamic lavender? Let’s talk…

– Barbara Steele

July Was Hot!

July 25, 2013

It is 109 degrees in the vineyard. Been dripping the vines for 3 hours just to offset water loss. Time for a little water myself.

– Bill Steele

Gramercy Tavern Winemaker Dinner

July 23, 2013

Announcing Cowhorn’s first New York event in Gramercy Tavern’s private dining room. Meet Barbara Steele, co-winemaker and owner, as she discusses our Biodynamic, Rhône-style, Oregon wines. Says David Schildknecht in the August 2012 issue of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, “That extraordinary quality and unique personalities can issue from this part of the State is proven definitively by the current… releases from Cowhorn.” Barbara will take you through four wines, paired with four courses of Chef Michael Anthony’s contemporary American cuisine. When: Fri, Sept 6, 7:00 pm Where: Gramercy Tavern, 42 E 20th St, New York, 10003 Menu: Chef’s selection hors d’oevres (2012 Viognier, 2012 Spiral) 1st course: Shiitake Mushroom Lasagna, spring greens and hazelnuts (2011 Grenache) 2nd course: Pasture Raised Chicken, seasonal vegetables (2009 Syrah) or Flat Iron Steak, seasonal vegetables (2009 Syrah) Dessert: Cheesecake, cashew shortbread, mango lime sorbet Price is $195.00 per person including tax and gratuity. Seating extremely limited, first come, first serve. To make a reservation, please contact Karla by Friday July 26. We look forward to dining together!

Gramercy Tavern Dinner Sold Out

The Cowhorn Winemaker Dinner at NY’s Gramercy Tavern in September has SOLD OUT. Thanks to everyone who contacted me for seats. We hope to hold another NY event next year as we appreciate your support. Thank you.

Oregon Tourist Destination

July 22, 2013

Oregon’s Top Tourist & Wine Destinations

Cowhorn Vineyards & Garden

There is a long-running debate in the wine world about whether the end product or the process is more important. One camp argues that the place and process is paramount for both the wine and the fate of mankind (at least in some cases), while the opposing camp argues that as long as the wine is delicious, it doesn’t really matter how it was made. Fortunately for Southern Oregon wine drinkers, Cowhorn Winery satisfies both camps.

Bill and Barbara Steele planted their first eleven acres of vineyards in 2005 and already produce some of Oregon’s highest-rated Rhone varietals to include Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier. In addition, Cowhorn is the only certified organic and Biodynamic winery in Southern Oregon. As if that weren’t enough, Cowhorn’s farming operation produces thousands of pounds of asparagus which it supplies to local markets and coops. For a thoroughly holistic farm and wine tasting experience, make sure Cowhorn is on your list!

Southern Oregon Wine Festival August 24th

July 18, 2013

Visit Jacksonville for southern Oregon’s World of Wine festival! Bill and Josh will be pouring at the Grand Tasting event, $75 Sat Aug 24, which includes wine tasting with 50-60 different southern Oregon wineries, food including desserts and live music. There are 16 AVAs in Oregon. Formed in 2004, the Southern Oregon Winery Association consists of more than 70 wineries and includes the Umpqua, Applegate (formed 2001) and Rogue Valley sub‐AVAs. Cowhorn resides within the Applegate AVA.

– Karla

Cowhorn’s Entrance Gate

July 17, 2013

What should we name our newest employee, who will welcome tasting room guests at the entrance gate? Because of deer, the vineyard and farm is surrounded by fencing and we have an electric gate at our entrance. On your next visit, remember to push the Call Button, give us a few seconds, and we will open the gate during business hours Tues thru Sun 11a – 4p.

– Karla

It’s a Tough Job…

July 16, 2013

It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it! Last week, we tasted and compared notes on some of our unreleased wines (i.e. 2010 Syrah and 2011 Grenache) to monitor the progress as they age in the bottle. Our wines will age longer in the bottle than in the French oak barrels. Looking forward to our Fall wine release party in November!

– Karla