Great Wine at Ledger David Cellars

June 2018

Ledger David CellarsThere has been a proliferation of wineries in southern Oregon over the last twenty years, and we’re slowly getting the recognition we deserve. And they’re not just businesses with fast start-up times. You’ve got to plant the vines and then patiently wait for them to start producing.

Take the example of Ledger David Cellars. When Lena Varner and David Traul acquired their land in Talent in 2006, they moved in, planted the first vines in 2007, and didn’t produce their first estate wine until 2009.

“Our wine brand was born in 2009 with bottling of our first wine and named for our oldest son, Ledger David, to underscore our commitment to creating a new legacy for our family,” Lena said. “Our urban elegant tasting room, dubbed ‘Le Petit Tasting Room,’ is located at 245 North Front Street in Central Point, along the Artisan Corridor, nestled between the Rogue Creamery and Lillie Belle Farms Chocolate, making it a real destination.”

The family definitely has some Oregon roots. “Our three children are ninth generation Southern Oregonians through my side of the family,” Lena said. “My 5th great grandfather, John Bowen, claimed the land they later named ‘Roxy Ann’ after Roxy Ann Bowen.”

David moved here from the Midwest in 1999 (his last surgical residency was at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio) for the sunshine, outdoor activities (including mountain biking and skiing) and a successful medical practice in the area. His father, Don G. Traul, was a physician who owned a sheep farm in Wisconsin.

David introduced Lena to wine, and they were able to travel and taste in Northern California, Walla Walla, and Italian wine regions before purchasing the land that was to be home for their new family and their vineyard.

In 2006, given David and Lena’s shared dream of creating an even deeper connection to this region and a continued legacy for their family, they founded Varner-Traul Vineyard in the Rogue Valley. With the aid of local experts, including Greg Jones and Randy Gold, Lena and David were able to plant and tend vines that “grow” quality wine grapes that lend themselves to boldly flavored, intentionally edgy estate wines.

“When we aren’t working in the vineyard, we are skiing,” Lena said. “Our three children spend spring, summer and fall evenings walking the vineyard, cutting vines for the rescue horses next door, and tasting grapes almost daily. Even Hudson, our 3-year-old daughter, can pronounce Sangiovese.”

Ledger David is a young winery, and they love the opportunity to explore and discover what grows best in the vineyard and which wines are most appreciated by their family of customers and wine club members.

“We offer a selection of eleven varietals, from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo,” Lena said. “Our first red blend, the 2010 Orion’s Nebula, won double gold at Oregon Wine Awards (now Oregon Wine Experience) and gold at the San Francisco Chronicle’s wine competition, and we continue to strive for the production of highest quality, premium wines.”

The tasting room is open from noon to 5pm daily. The staff is friendly and often hosted by Ledger David family. In addition to wine, small plates are available, including artisan cheese, Italian meat, and veggie hummus options. Ledger David also hosts live music and intimate winemaker dinners throughout the year.

For more info, call 541-664-2218 or visit You can also like them on Facebook.