Red Lily Vineyards 2016 Stargazer Lily Verdejo

A touch of Spain in southern Oregon

If you draw a line from Jacksonville, Oregon – at 42°18' latitude – about 5400 miles due east, you’ll run smack into the Rueda winegrowing region of Spain. It’s a region known for its Tempranillo and Verdejo wines.

It’s those wines that Rachael and Les Martin fell in love with during their frequent travels to Spain. When they found the future home of Red Lily just outside of Jacksonville, Oregon, they knew what would come next. In 2004 they planted their first Tempranillo grapes and shortly thereafter Rachael, Les, and their two kids moved to the small town.

Red Lily Vineyards – named after the rare red flower found in the neighboring Siskiyou Mountains – opened in 2011 and focuses on the Tempranillo grape which grows beautifully in Southern Oregon. Their Verdejo is equally stunning and a rare find outside of Rueda.

On the bank of Applegate Creek, their gorgeous tasting room on the banks of the river in the Applegate Valley is a can’t-miss stop if you’ve visiting Southern Oregon. Lounge in comfy chairs with your feet dangling in the water (listening to live music on summer Thursday nights) and you’ll never want to leave.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Red Lily Vineyards, Jacksonville, Oregon
2016 Stargazer Lily Verdejo

It’s back-to-school time, and I’m thrilled to share a Verdejo with you. Almost all of the Verdejo in the world is made in Rueda, found in the autonomous Castilla y León region in northern Spain. Like Tempranillo, Verdejo thrives in climates with hot days and cool nights; exactly what you’ll find in the Applegate Valley.

A white wine that’s full-flavored and food-friendly, Verdejo is said to have been brought from northern Africa but is now considered to be a native Spanish grape.

This is a big bodied wine with great character. It has intensely aromatic notes of jasmine, lemon verbena, and peach. It has a minerality that provides structure to flavors of honey, pear, and just a hint of lime. It’s a perfect wine for the end of summer – pair it with fish tacos, lime chicken, spicy Asian food, and more. (The night I wrote these notes, I polished off a plate of Pok Pok’s famous spicy wings with half a bottle of this wine!) Less than 200 cases made, so this is a real Cellar 503 treat!

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2017, Back to school: Unusual Varietals Applegate Valley | Verdejo

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