South Stage Cellars

October 2018

South Stage CellarsDonald and Traute Moore purchased Quail Run Vineyards here in Talent in 1989 and have lived there ever since. The couple started the winery part of their business, South Stage Cellars, in 2008.

We will let Traute tell the rest of the story:

“We came to Southern Oregon quite by accident because we had a car window broken when on our vacation kayaking on the Klamath River. We had sold a partnership in a weekend orange/avocado grove in California and my husband, 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 and while continuing on our vacation, soaking in a hot springs in the mountains, decided we could learn to farm the 13 acres of grapes: Pinot noir , Gewurztraminer and Merlot.

The little vineyard we bought was very wild and overgrown and one of the first vineyards in the Rogue Valley. We soon realized that grapes required a great deal of attention. Ted Gerber, and Barry Layne from Applegate, were very helpful. We hired some internationally known consultants who could help our small group of grapegrowers become better farmers. They showed us how to control the growth of the vines so that the grapes would get sun and air and improve flavors. 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.

Eventually, neighbors and other people with acreage asked if we wanted to lease their land for grapes, and gradually, we developed 7 sites in the Talent area: west of Wagner Creek Road, three in the Griffin Creek area and three in Jacksonville north of South Stage road; the largest being our Crater View Vineyard where the poppy sculptures stand. All together, we 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. 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, our son, Michael Moore, who had been a film maker in San Francisco, moved up and gradually took over the management because he has always loved working with plants. Michael has continued to expand the acreage as well as the reputation of our vineyards. 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.

We began our own label, South Stage Cellars, in 2008 because our winery clients were receiving so many awards and medals from the wines made from our fruit. And our own wines have received numerous awards and just garnered a double gold at the Oregon Wine Experience. I decided that since we grew 28 different grape varieties, we should have wines made from each of them and feature them in our tasting room. Which makes us unique among other tasting rooms.

South Stage Cellars is fortunate to be located in one of the oldest, most charming buildings in Jacksonville with a large shaded garden. At the beginning of this year, the building was remodeled to create a more open space, the garden was greatly enlarged and landscaped, and a second alleyway entrance, next to Pico’s, was created from California Street. The new garden has an outdoor stage for musical performances by many fine different local musicians during the summer and inside the main room in winter. We have music Wed., Fri and Sat from 6 to 8pm with dinner catered by C Street Bistro on Wednesdays.

In this historic and beautiful building and garden, we have created a calm and relaxed setting. Our customers come with their friends to have a chat in our Liquid Lounge room or listen to music over a bottle of wine and a small plate of bites from our gourmet menu, and often dance a little. South Stage Cellars is the place to escape from the days’ cares and really relax for a bit while enjoying some great wine which is, after all, the Gift of the Gods.

We have a welcoming and knowledgeable staff who will provide a memorable tasting experience and guide customers in their wine purchases. Our wine tasting flight is changed weekly, and customers can choose any five wines from the ten listed on the menu. Wines may be purchased by the glass, by the bottle or case. We have a very active Wine Club with three wine release parties a year and members may purchase bottles at 15% discount and cases at 20%, and are entitled to free flights.
Our wines may also be found in many Rogue Valley restaurants including Talent’s Arbor House and are available at Harry and David, Medford Food Co-op, Sherms Markets, Food for Less and Cartwrights Market among others. Our web site lists fun special or educational events we have scheduled throughout the year. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn about wine specials, events and what musicians are scheduled to play.“ or 541-899-9120.