How Cowhorn Came to Be

February 21, 2017

Greetings Trade Partners!

Here’s a little history on Cowhorn that I thought you might find interesting.

How Cowhorn Came to Be

Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden was born in the summer of 2002 when co-founders Bill & Barbara Steele decided it was time to take a leap of faith. Their dream was to purchase a piece of land in Oregon where they could create a new model of small-scale farming, one that would be economically viable, good for the community and good for the earth. Their dreams bloomed into reality with the purchase of the 117-acre Straube Farm which was established in the 1850’s as a local dairy farm. Located deep in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, the farm had been abandoned since the 1990’s, and at the time of purchase didn’t have any roads, fencing or irrigation, but what it did have was twenty foot high blackberry bushes, weeds and even a group of squatters living in the old farm house. The next two years were dedicated to observing and listening to the farm (old world farming) while simultaneously analyzing the property utilizing 90 different soil tests (new world precision). With no previous experience in farming and willingness to plant whatever their analyses determined would excel on their land – Bill and Barbara planted the first five acres of gardens in 2004 followed by ten acres of Rhone varietals in 2005. Little did Bill & Barbara know at the time, but Cowhorn would soon be on its way to producing some of America’s most compelling Rhone style wines.

New Vintages Now Available

2013 Syrah 21: 92 Points
“Vivid Ruby. A highly perfumed complex bouquet evokes black and blue fruits candied flowers smoked meat and incense plus hints of Indian spices and earth in the background. Sweet and expansive on the palate offering intense black raspberry and blueberry flavors that pick up a suggestion of cracked peppers as the wine opens up. Powerful but surprisingly lithe and sappy and very long with sneaky tannins framing the juicy berry fruit.”

2015 Viognier: 91 Points
“Pale gold. Highly perfumed incisive aroma of ripe lime white peach and white flowers lent vivacity by a chalky mineral element. Concentrated yet lithe and nervy on the palate offering intense citrus and pit fruit flavors and hints of honeysuckle and white pepper gain strength as the wine opens up. Shows impressive tension and cut on the bright finish and leaves behind a suave floral note.”

2015 Marsanne Roussanne: 91 Points
Bright straw. Aromas of nectarine pear nectar yellow plum and pungent flowers carry a hint of white pepper in the background. Concentrated yet lively on the palate offering expansive orchard and pit fruit flavors that are given a refreshingly bitter edge by a zesty lemon pith note. Clings with impressive tenacity on the silky finish which leaves a note of candied violet behind.”

2015 Spiral 36: 90 Points
“Pale gold. Aromas of ripe orchard fruits tangerine honeysuckle and minerals plus a hint of sweet butter in the background. Juicy and expansive on the palate offering concentrated Meyer lemon pear and melon flavors given spine by a vibrant mineral undertone. Displays very good clarity and spicy thrust on a long sappy finish that shows no rough edges.”

Josh Raynolds – January 2017

Best regards,

Josh Kimball
National Sales Manager
Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden