1004526837 Old Ninety Nine Cellars.jpg

Quady team takes all three top wine awards

JACKSONVILLE — The Oregon Wine Experience competition is open to the whole state, but an acclaimed panel of outside judges tipped their collective glasses to three Jackson County vintages, awarding Best of Show Thursday evening to Old Ninety Nine Cellars, Awen Winecraft and Quady North.

Sam DeSimone’s Old Ninety Nine Cellars’ 2014 Tempranillo won for red wine; Awen Winecraft’s 2017 Viognier by Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood was chosen for white wine; and Quady North’s 2017 GSM Rosé took top honors for specialty wine.

The common thread linking the top performers in all three classes was the winemaking team of Herb Quady, Brian Gruber and Nichole Schulte, who collaborated on the vintages produced at Barrel 42 Custom Winecraft off Stewart Avenue.

“It’s an exceptional surprise,” Gruber said. “We’ve been blessed a few years to have one wine win Best of Show, but to make all three speaks a lot to us as a team. We work with a lot of the best growers and idea people in the valley, crafting wines that meet their visions.”

One such collaboration was last year’s Best of Show for white wine, Cliff Creek Cellars’ 2016 MRV Rhône White Blend.

All five of Awen Winecraft’s

entries earned medals, with the 2017 Viognier taking double-gold, and 2016 Grenache Blanc, 2017 Vementino and 2017 Inspiration Blend taking silvers.

In its first Oregon Wine Experience last year, Awen Winecraft’s 2016 Inspiration Blend received a gold. Thursday was punctuated by the arrival of Sean and Natasha Hopkins’ baby daughter, Lucia Grace, just before the medal show.

“We try to make a wine that is very balance,” said Homewood. “We want to balance the alcohol against all the other aspects, total acidity, and so forth. We do a lot of these things by feel and try to make a wine we like.”

The entries were judged in Ashland over the weekend of Aug. 4-5 and the results were kept under wraps until Thursday. For brave souls venturing out into the smoke on Aug. 9 to visit the Awen Winecraft tent at Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, a rare treat awaited. Two bottles of the 2017 Grenache Blanc were poured for early visitors — days after this year’s OWE judges named it Best of Show for white wines.

In 2014, Quady, Gruber and Schulte

converted part of the SOS Pear Station into a winery. Four medals validated DeSimone’s decision to shift from tree fruit to the wine industry.

“I’ve always been passionate about agriculture,” DeSimone said. “That’s why I wanted to get into it. I tried with pears, peaches, apples and cherries and was never successful. I tried my heart out, but with wine there is just a great passion to see other people involved with us. I get excited to go to work, meeting new farmers and new people.”

Old Ninety Nine Cellars also claimed three silvers for its 2015 Primitivo, 2016 Packing Shed Red and 2017 Rose of Primitivo.

Quady North picked up a gold for its 2014 Cabernet Franc and silvers for its 2017 Pistoleta and 2014 Flagship. Quady and Gruber collaborated to produce last year’s Cliff Creek Cellars 2016 MRV Rhône White Blend.

“It’s really exciting for us to see some of the best wines we’ve ever made coming on the market now,” Gruber said. “These are the first red wines — the gold medal for the Quady North Cabernet Franc, the double-gold and Best of Show for the tempranillo.”

For the past 11 years, Quady has managed Southern Oregon vineyards.

“We’ve been developing new vineyard sites and refining our process, including more grenache and putting it in cooler sites,” Quady said. “Last year we did a very, very good job of timing our picks at just about the perfect maturity.”

OWE’s six judges awarded 16 double-gold, 29 gold and 131 silver medals out of a field of 349 entries produced from 38 varietals by 98 wineries.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or gstiles@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.


Red: 2014 Old Ninety Nine Cellars, Tempranillo

White: 2017 Awen Winecraft Viognier

Specialty: 2017 Quady North GSM Rose

Double Gold

(Unanimous Gold Medal Scores)


2016 Authentique Wine Cellars, Authentique Eola Springs Vineyard

2016 Authentique Wine Cellars, Keeler Estate Vineyard


2017 Stave & Stone Winery, Pinot Noir Blanc


2017 Abacela, Albarino

2015 Spangler Vineyards, Carmenere

2015 Spangler Vineyards, Dolcetto


2017 Anchor Valley, Pinot Gris

2017 Awen Winecraft, Grenache Blanc

2016 Dancin, Ecarte Pinot Noir

2014 RoxyAnn, Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Carmenere, Carmenere


2015 Guzzo Family Vineyard, Tempranillo

2017 Schmidt Family Vineyards, Albarino

Gold Medals by AVA


2014 Tero Estates, Herb's Block Merlot

2016 Stave & Stone Winery, Zinfandel


2016 Stone Griffon Vineyard, Marechal Foch "Dragons Blood"


2016 Bluebird Hill Cellars, Chardonnay

2014 Silvan Ridge, Elizabeth's Red

2015 Valcan Cellars, Petite sirah


2016 FiresteedRiesling

2016 J Wrigley, Estate Pinot Noir


2015 Abacela, Malbec

2017 Abacela, Grenache Rose

2015 Season Cellars, Grenache


2016 Brandborg, Sauvignon Blanc

2017 Foris, Pinot Blanc


2015 Coventina Vineyards, Tempranillo

2017 Cuckoo's Nest Cellars, Pinot Gris

2017 Daisy Creek, Double Pay

2016 Daisy Creek, Petit Verdot

2013 Edenvale, Petite Sirah

2017 JAXON, Viognier

2015 MaisonJussiaume, Blanc de Blancs

2016 Parkhurst Wine Cellars, Pinot Noir

2014 Quady North, Cabernet Franc

2017 Bluebird Hill Cellars, Chardonnay

2017 Trium Wines, Viognier

2014 Trium Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Weisinger Family, Rose of Grenache


2017 Red Lily, Stargazer Lily Verdejo

2014 Schmidt Family Vineyards, Touriga Nacional

2014 Schultz, Blessed Merlot

Silver Medals

20162Hawk Winery,Viognier

20162Hawk WineryMalbec

20162Hawk Winery,Pinot noir

20172Hawk Winery,Grenache Rose

2016A Blooming Hill Vineyard, Trouble

2015AbacelaGarnacha, Grenache

2015Agate Ridge Vineyard,Petite Sirah

2014Augustino, Cabernet Sauvignon

2016Augustino, Celebration

2016Aurora Vines,White Wine

2016Aurora Vines,Red Wine

2016Awen Winecraft,Grenache Blanc

2017Awen Winecraft,Vermentino

2017Awen Winecraft,Inspiration Blend

2017Bayer Family Estate,Chardonnay

2017Bayer Family Estate,Rose

2016Beaton Farm Vineyard & Winery,Tempranillo

2016Belle Fiore, Sauvignon Blanc

2014Belle Fiore, Siderio

2017Bluebird Hill Cellars,Pinot Gris

2015Brigadoon, Lylee Pinot Noir

2015Brigadoon, Taproot Pinot Noir

2017Carlton Cellars, Auxerrois

2015Carlton Cellars, Estate Pinot Noir

2015Cathedral Ridge Winery,The Daughter's Rhone Reserve

2016Chris James Cellars,Pinot Noir Reserve

2015Coeur de Terre Vineyard, Oregon Pinot Noir;

2015Coeur de Terre Vineyard, Heritage Reserve Estate Pinot Noir

2016Coopers Hall,Muller-Thurgau

2016Coventina Vineyards,Pinot Noir Reserve

2016Coventina Vineyards,Pinot Noir

2015Coventina Vineyards,Tempranillo Reserve

2016Cuckoo's Nest Cellars,Chardonnay

2016Cuckoo's Nest Cellars,Pinot Noir

2016Daisy Creek, Lyon Red


2016Dancin,DanseurSyrah/ Shiraz

2017Del Rio Vineyards, Estate Grenache Rose

2017Diamondback Vineyards,Sauvignon Blanc

2012Diamondback Vineyards,Bella Forte

2015Dominio IV, Chardonnay

2013Dominio IV, Tempranillo

2016Earth Song Vineyards, Pinot gris

2017Eliana Rose,Rose/Blush

2016Eola Hills, Chardonnay

2017Eola Hills, Sauvignon Blanc

2016Eola Hills, Pinot Noir

2014Fences,Cabernet Sauvignon

2015Firesteed, Firesteed

2016Foris, Dry Gewurztraminer

2014Freed Estate, Cabernet Sauvigion

2014Freed Estate,Syrah

2016Goldback Wines,Cuvee

2017Goldback Wines,Rose of Grenache

2014Grizzly Peak, Cabernet Franc

2014Grizzly Peak, Tempranillo

2016Guzzo Family Vineyard,Cabernet Sauvignon

2015Harry & David Vineyards, Reserve Pinot Noir

2017Harry & David Vineyards, Rose

2017Huett Raylee Wines, Raylee Pinot Gris

2016Huett Raylee Wines, Raylee Pinot Noir

2014Huett Raylee Wines, Syn Red Blend

2015Iris Vineyards,Arete Chardonnay

2014Irontree, Cabernet Sau2015Iris Vineyards,Arete Chardonnay

2014Irontree, Cabernet Sauvignon

2014Irontree, Merlot

2015Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay

2016Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, 2016 Pinot Meunier

2017Irvine & Roberts Vineyards, 2017 Rose of Pinot Noir



2017Kriselle Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc

2017Kriselle Cellars, Viognier

2017Ledger David Cellars,ViognierViognierLena Varner

2017Ledger David Cellars,Primoris Chenin Blanc

2015Ledger David Cellars,Malbec

2015Ledger David CellarsSangiovese

2015Left Coast, Truffle Hill Pinot Noir

2013MarshAnne Landing, Southern Cross

2013Misty Oaks Vineyard, Cab Franc

2015Oak Knoll Winery, Pinot Gris

2015Old Ninety Nine Cellars, Primitivo

2016Old Ninety Nine Cellars, Packing Shed Red

2017Old Ninety Nine Cellars, Rose of Primitivo

2016Parkhurst Wine Cellars,Chardonnay

2017Pebblestone Cellars, Viognier

2014Pebblestone Cellars, Cabernet Franc

2017Pike Road Wines, Pinot Gris

2015Pike Road Wines, Pinot Noir

2015Plaisance Ranch, 2015 Carmenere

2015Plaisance Ranch, Syrah

2015Plaisance Ranch, 2015 Mondeuse

2015Plaisance Ranch, 2015 Petit Verdot

2017Quady North, Pistoleta

2014Quady North, Flagship

2014Red Lily, Tempranillo

2016Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards,Gruner Veltliner

2015Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards,Tempranillo

2014RoxyAnn, Merlot

2014RoxyAnn, Claret

2016Ryan Rose, Chardonnay

2015Ryan Rose, Cabernet Franc

2015Ryan Rose, Pinot Noir

2017Schmidt Family Vineyards, Riesling

2013Silvan Ridge,Portage

2017Simple Machine,Viognier

2017Simple Machine,Leverage

2013Soloro, BINARY STARS Syrah and Grenache Blend

2013South Stage Cellars, Cabernet Franc

2013South Stage Cellars, Dolcetto

2014Spangler Vineyards, Cabernet Franc

2016Stave & Stone Winery, Pinot Noir

2015Stone Griffon Vineyard,Tropasti

2017Talent Cellars,Easy Valley Chardonnay

2015Talent Cellars,Cabernet Sauvignon

2014Talent Cellars,Nuf Sed Red

2012Tero Estates,Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon

2012Tero Estates, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2014Tero Estates, Petit Verdot

2012Trium Wines, Grower's Cuvee'

2017Trium Wines, Grenache Rose'

2017Troon Vineyard,Whole Grape Ferment

2016Troon Vineyard,Tempranillo

2015Upper Five Vineyard, Grenache

2015Valcan Cellars,Melange de Vin

2015Valley View, Merlot

2009Valley View, Port

2015VIDON Vineyard,3-Clones

2017Weisinger, Viognier

2015Weisinger, Malbec

2017Whitetail Ridge Vineyard, Riesling

2016Whitetail Ridge Vineyard, Viogniervignon

Share This Story