It’s Time to Visit the Tasting Room at South Stage Cellars
Donald and Traute Moore of Quail Run Vineyards and South Stage Cellars, with a tasting room located at 125 S. 3rd Street in Jacksonville) will soon be celebrating 30 years in business.
“We came to Southern Oregon quite by accident when we had a car window broken while on a kayaking vacation on the Klamath River,” Traute said. “We had sold a partnership in a weekend orange/avocado grove in California and Don, a physician in Pasadena, loved plants and we were looking for some place to retire.
When we landed in Ashland for repairs, we realized this was an agricultural area and began looking around with a realtor at orchards, who kept saying: ‘There is a little vineyard for sale.’ We finally looked at it and fell in love with the view from the house. While continuing on our vacation, soaking in a hot springs in the mountains, we decided we could learn to farm the 13 acres of grapes: Pinot noir, Gewurztraminer and Merlot.”
They soon realized that grapes required a great deal of attention. While Ted Gerber and Barry Layne from the Applegate were very helpful, they also hired some internationally known consultants.
“They showed us how to control the growth of the vines so that the grapes would get sun and air and improve flavors,” Traute said. “Gradually, we learned to trellis our vines properly, use the safest and least sprays necessary, and produce fruit that wineries wanted. We learned from reading, from experimentation and most of all observation of the needs of each type of grape. And we learned to adapt to the variations in the weather.”
Before long, they began to lease land for growing grapes, and all together they now farm 420 acres of grapes and sell to about 30 Oregon wineries.
Don, being the farmer, was always interested in seeing what other grapes would grow here.
“Traditionally, other growers thought it should be Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Merlot,” he said. “Gradually, we successfully planted 28 different grape varieties and introduced many of them to this area for the first time, including Carmenere, Syrah, Viognier, Grenache , Pinotage and many others.”
In 2008, their son, Michael Moore, who had been a film maker in San Francisco, moved up and gradually took over the management because he had always loved working with plants.
“Michael has continued to expand the acreage as well as the reputation of our vineyards,” Traute said. “Like Don, he is very involved in experimentation and has made a number of important changes and improvements. Luckily, he speaks fluent Spanish and thinks highly of the dedication and excellence of our crews and greatly enjoys working with them.”
In 2008 the Moores began their own label, South Stage Cellars, with a tasting room located in one of the oldest, most charming buildings in Jacksonville. To learn more about South Stage Cellars, call 541-899-9120 or go to SouthStageCellars.com. You can also see them on Facebook.