Barbera tops Southern Oregon wine’s Greatest of the Grape

By on March 14, 2015
Loree Spangler, left, Laura Jones of Dino's Ristorante in Roseburg, Ore., and Patrick Spangler display the ribbons that came with each of their People's Choice awards at the 2015 Greatest of the Grape in Canyonville, Ore.

Loree Spangler, left, Laura Jones of Dino’s Ristorante in Roseburg, Ore., and Patrick Spangler display the ribbons that came with each of their People’s Choice awards at the Greatest of the Grape on March 7 in Canyonville, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Spangler/Spangler Vineyards)

CANYONVILLE, Ore. — Moonlite Winery, which has been open for less than a year in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, recently topped the Pacific Northwest’s oldest wine event when its 2013 Barbera won the Platinum Award at the Greatest of the Grape wine competition.

moonlite-winery-2013-barbera-labelEach of the 28 members of the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association nominated one of its own wines for the competition, the centerpiece for the 45th annual Greatest of the Grape. Ed and Amy Coughlin are new members after having been inspired through visits to Umpqua Valley wineries Delfino Vineyards and Girardet Wine Cellars. The Coughlins planted their 9-acre Evensong Vineyard along Old Garden Valley Road in 2008, and Ed began making wine soon after.

Gold medals were awarded for the Abacela 2012 Estate Malbec, Anindor Vineyards 2013 Pinot Gris, HillCrest Winery 2012 Estate El Grande Tempranillo and The Cellars at Southern Oregon Wine Institute 2013 Chardonnay.

Results were announced March 7 at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville. This year’s judges were Mary Cressler, a sommelier, wine educator and writer from Portland; Julia Crowley, a blogger from Eugene; and Paul Gregutt, a vintner and wine critic from Waitsburg, Wash.

Fourteen regional restaurants participated in the public tasting, and each restaurant paired cuisine with two wines represented in competition.

Consumers embraced Spangler Vineyards, picking its 2012 Malbec as the People’s Choice Greatest of the Grape and voting Spangler and K-Bar Steakhouse — a Seven Feathers Resort restaurant — as the best wine-and-food pairing. It was the second time Spangler produced the attendees’ favorite wine, and five years ago it also was the Bordeaux variety that Argentina has helped make famous.

Sharing the honors with the Spangler Vineyards 2012 Malbec for best red wine was the Becker Vineyard 2013 Mud Dog Red. Best white wine going to the Anindor Vineyards 2013 Pinot Gris. The HillCrest Winery 2012 El Grande Tempranillo and Freed Estate 2013 Viognier were runners-up.

Festival officials reported that of the 700 tickets sold, 150 were VIP passes, and the $12,000 proceeds from the event will be spent on marketing wines produced by the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association.


Moonlite Winery 2013 Barbera, Southern Oregon, $28


Abacela 2012 Estate Malbec, Umpqua Valley, $27
Anindor Vineyards 2013 Pinot Gris, Elkton Oregon, $16
Hillcrest 2012 Estate El Grande Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $65
The Cellars at SOWI 2013 Chardonnay


Bradley Vineyards Estate 2010 Pinot Noir, Umpqua Valley, $25
Foris Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay
Paul O’Brien Winery 2013 Tempranillo
Seasons Cellars 2013 Viognier
Triple Oak Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

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