Businessman now intends winery on South Stage land

Spurned by the city of Jacksonville, Footstone Jive winery owner Steven de Jaray now intends to develop a winery on South Stage Road, just east of town.

More than three months after the winery's announced debut in the historic Redmen's Hall building on California Street, de Jaray and his associates are proceeding on a new course — as a wine manufacturer and wholesaler. Footstone Jive has also set up an office in downtown Medford.

De Jaray, who declined to be interviewed for this story, will lease a warehouse on land owned by former Ashland mayor Alan DeBoer and Richard Doyle. The partners own 50 acres east of Jacksonville, leasing 20 of those acres to Quail Run Vineyards for grape growing. DeBoer said de Jaray intends to plant another 15 acres of grapes.

De Jaray's plans for downtown Jacksonville were sidetracked in June when the City Council voted against endorsing the Canadian businessman's Oregon Liquor Control Commission license application. After the rebuff, de Jaray withdrew his winery license application, said Janet Oulette, a regulatory specialist at the OLCC's Medford regional office.

In August, however, de Jaray applied for a wholesale manufacturer license in Medford. The city of Medford Finance Department approved the request on Aug. 13 and forwarded it to the OLCC.

The Jacksonville council declined to endorse de Jary's OLCC application after news came out in late May that he had been charged by the Canada Border Services Agency for allegedly failing to get a permit in 2008 to export technology that had both civilian and military applications. A trial date on the charge is set in October 2011.

DeBoer said he has negotiated a lease with de Jaray, who will convert a building on the land just west of the intersection of South Stage Road and Bellinger Lane into a wine crushing distillery.

DeBoer and Doyle acquired the property four years ago after the previous owner's vision of developing a Thomas Kincaid-themed village failed to materialize.

— Greg Stiles

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