Two Generations of Winemakers at Weisinger Family Winery
The Rogue Valley, with its Mediterranean climate and grapevine-friendly terrain, has become the destination that more and more people think of when they travel to “wine country.”
John Weisinger saw the region’s wine-growing potential nearly 40 years ago, when he moved his family here after retiring from his work as a Presbyterian minister in Klamath Falls. He began planting vines on the family’s property in 1978. His son Eric and his siblings grew up helping their father plant and tend those vines, and Weisinger Family Winery opened its doors in 1988 at 3150 Siskiyou Boulevard, just a quarter-mile past Crowson Road.
Today, John is retired and living in Texas, while Eric has continued the work his father started. One of just a handful of second generation winemakers in the Rogue Valley, Eric is the Weisinger Family Winery’s general manager and winemaker.
He learned the art of cultivating and growing grapes and winemaking by working on the family land as well as in vineyards around the world.
“After the 2006 harvest, I left the winery to expand my horizons in the wine industry by working in New Zealand, Australia, and California,” he says. “I travelled to New Zealand each year for harvest, but was sure to be home in time for the beginning of the growing season here in Oregon.”
Today, Eric oversees the production of wines from Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Rhone and Bordeaux varietals, as well as proprietary blends. His philosophy of winemaking—and the secret to his award-winning wines—is to interfere with nature as little as possible.
“Our philosophy is minimalistic,” he says. “However, there is a lot of effort that goes into wine production. Our intention is to let the fruit express its origin, its terroir. These are vineyards that we have worked with and managed for many years, even decades.”
That philosophy has made the winery one of the Rogue Valley’s most popular places to spend an afternoon savoring a glass or two of wine and enjoying delicious snack plates (including local treats such as Branson’s Chocolates and honey from beekeeper Loren Lumen).
On weekend afternoons all summer, visitors can hear great music by local performers. The winery offers wine tastings daily and tours by appointment from May through September, and Wednesday through Sunday from October through April. They also host private events and overnight stays at their charming Vineyard Cottage.
“We strive to create a fun and memorable experience for every visitor,” says Eric.
Winery hours are 11am to 6pm daily from May through September; and 11am to 5pm Wednesday through Sunday, October through April.
For more info, call 541.488.5989, or visit them at weisingers.com. You can also like them on Facebook.