Self-Guided Wine Tour of Umpqua Valley

Between the Willamette Valley and the Rogue Valley is the Umpqua Valley, an American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Oregon. It is named for the Umpqua River, which flows through the area. The Coast Range, the Klamath Mountains, and the Cascades all come together in the Umpqua Valley. The area has been dubbed “the Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua” because of the topography that has resulted.


Umpqua Valley is in Douglas County in southern Oregon. It is centered on Roseburg, 165 miles (265 kilometers) south of Portland, and spans an area measuring 65 miles (104 kilometers) north to south and 25 miles (40 kilometers) east to west. German immigrants arrived in Oregon in the 1880s and planted some of the state’s first vineyards. The first Pinot Noir was planted after Prohibition in 1961, and the region was formally designated as an AVA in 1984. The region’s great variety of terroir gives vintners a wide selection of locations, from cozy, protected valleys to exposed hilltops.

Umpqua Valley Wine Region

View of Umpqua Valley Wine Region

What is the Overview of Umpqua Valley?

The Willamette Valley AVA and the Rogue Valley AVA are to the north and south of the Umpqua Valley AVA, which is situated between the Coast Range to the west and the Cascade Range to the east. The collision of three mountain ranges—the Klamath Mountains, the Coast Range, and the Cascades—each with different age and structural makeup is what gave rise to the Umpqua Valley’s intricate terrain. Many claims that because the region is made up of numerous interconnected tiny mountain ranges and valleys, it should instead be referred to as “The Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua” rather than as a single valley.

Just a few minutes from downtown Roseburg, take part in outdoor activities including fishing, rafting, and waterfall hunting. Visit Crater Lake National Park by taking the Volcanic Scenic Byway alongside the well-known North Umpqua River. Visit the various local wineries where you may personally interact with the winemakers as well as old covered bridges. The family can have fun at the Wildlife Safari animal park and end the day in the swimming pool at the Seven Feathers Casino & Resort on the South Umpqua River. Your must-visit list should include this location due to its amazing historic sites and rich wine history.

What is the Best Time to Visit Umpqua Valley?

To assure clear roads, good weather, and longer daylight hours, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway is most frequently recommended to be driven between June and October. The amount of water that cascades down the falls are mostly influenced by wintertime precipitation.

What is the History of Umpqua Valley?

The first wine grape vineyard in the Umpqua Valley was established by German immigrants who had previously worked for Beringer Bros., the oldest continuously running vineyard in Napa, in the 1880s. In the years following Prohibition, Richard Sommer founded Hillcrest Vineyards in the vicinity of Roseburg. Despite being warned by his Californian (Davis) colleagues that it was impossible to cultivate wine grapes in Oregon, he was the first to plant Pinot noir in Oregon. They were obviously in error. Paul Bjelland of Bjelland Vineyards established the Oregon Winegrowers Association in the Umpqua Valley eight years later, in 1969.

In the 1970s, several new wineries began to operate, including Henry Estate Winery, whose winemaker Scott Henry created the now-famous trellis method that, among other advantages, boosts grape output. As new winemakers move to the region with a desire for creativity and top-tier wine, the Umpqua Valley appellation continues to change. In 1984, the Umpqua Valley appellation was made official.

What are the Sub-regions of Umpqua Valley?

Red Hills Douglas County AVA and Elkton Oregon AVA are two distinct subregions that make up the Umpqua Valley AVA. In 2005, the Umpqua Valley produced the first Grüner Veltliner for sale in the United States.

What are the Best Wine Grapes Grown in Umpqua Valley?

Pinot noir and pinot gris are the predominant varietals grown in Umpqua Valley.

What are the Historical Sites in Umpqua Valley?

1. Douglas County Museum

The San Francisco architectural firm Backen, Arrigoni & Ross created the Douglas County Museum, which was completed in 1969. The American Institute of Architects gave the design a National Award of Merit. In order to increase exhibition space and on-site storage facilities, significant extensions were finished in 1979 and 1989. The Umpqua River Lighthouse and Museum and DCM teamed up in 2006 to enhance the visitor experience at both locations.

2. The Bohemia Gold Mining Museum

The museum, which is housed in Cottage Grove’s National Historic District, serves as a dynamic legacy to all miners and the extensive history of gold mining in the Bohemia Mining District. The museum’s collection of images, equipment, ore samples, and other items honors the region’s past involvement in gold mining.

Bohemia Gold Mining Museum

Bohemia Gold Mining Museum

What are the Best Wineries in Umpqua Valley?

1. Abacela

Abacela is a renowned, multiple-award-winning winery and a success story in viticulture. When Earl and Hilda Jones planted their first seeds in 1995, they had no idea what would happen. Abacela was an experiment they hoped would provide a solution to the long-standing mystery of why no premium varietal Tempranillo wine is made in America. Earl and Hilda most likely weren’t the first enophiles to ponder the enigmatical absence of the excellent grape used to make Spain’s renowned Rioja wines from American good wine.

2. HillCrest Winery and Distillery

It is the oldest estate winery in Oregon and the spot where Oregon Pinot Noir first appeared. The state of Oregon and Vienna, Austria honored HillCrest in 2014 for their global contributions to the premium wine industry. Richard Sommer, the creator of HillCrest and the Father of Oregon Wine, was succeeded by the DeMara family in 2003. The DeMara family has over 36 years of experience in winemaking and grape cultivation all over the world. They now focus on traditional European types made with the greatest old-world methods in France, Spain, and Germany.

Where Should I Eat in Umpqua Valley?

1. Brix Grill

Tuesday through Sunday, breakfast, lunch, and supper are served at Brix. A complete bar, espresso, dessert, homemade soups, and daily specials are also available!

2. Celilo Restaurant & Bar

In the center of Hood River, Oregon, the Celilo Restaurant and Bar is accessible from Oak Street, which is lined with hotels, boutiques, galleries, and sporting goods stores. Future sustainability and health are priorities at Celilo. In all that we do, the local community is our primary concern, and this hasn’t changed in the 25 years that we have operated a restaurant in Hood River.

Where to Stay in Umpqua Valley?

1. Hampton Inn & Suites Roseburg

The Hampton Inn & Suites Roseburg offers 3-star lodging and is located in Roseburg, 1.6 kilometers from Roseburg Regional and 18 km from Wildlife Safari. The motel has been nicely updated. The service is excellent, and the cuisine is delicious.

2. Ranch Motel

Ranch Motel in Oakland, California, offers 3-star lodging and is 400 meters from Rice Hill and 7.2 kilometers from Yoncalla. It offers pleasant receptionists and tidy rooms.

3. Holiday Inn Express Roseburg, an IHG Hotel

The Douglas County Fairgrounds is a mile away from this hotel, which is situated along Interstate 5 in Roseburg, Oregon. It has complimentary Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, and an outdoor hot tub that is covered. The grounds and river vista are very lovely.

How Can I Save Money in Umpqua Valley?

Plan your tour well and make sure that your destinations are in the same area to minimize unnecessary traveling. This will help you save money.


World-class wineries, illustrious craft brewers, entertaining wine tours, delicious dining options, and charming B&Bs can all be found in the Umpqua Valley. Outdoor recreation opportunities in the Umpqua Valley include hiking trails, Crater Lake, and Wildlife Safari.

You will be amazed by the selection of wines that only southern Oregon can provide, which range from tiny boutique wineries to expansive estates. Many family-owned and -operated vineyards in the Umpqua Valley are adding superb new wineries and tasting facilities to their distinctive varietals. You will truly gain new experiences in this region.

Also read: A Tour of the World of Mexican Wine

Want to read more? Try these books!

Categories: This Day in Wine History | Articles, Wine RegionsTags: , , By Published On: February 18, 2023Last Updated: March 12, 2023

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!