Serra Vine­yards

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Serra Win­ery is a young fam­ily owned and op­er­ated es­tate lo­cated in the Ap­ple­gate Val­ley (South­ern Ore­gon). The vine­yard was pur­chased by Scott and Krissa Fer­nan­dez in 2008 but the Tast­ing room opened its doors to visitors in 2013. Cur­rently the win­ery is ex­tended on an 80-acres es­tate but only 35 acres are un­der vine.

Serra Vine­yards, sit­ting on a hill­side, boasts one of the most spec­tac­u­lar set­tings and land­scape views on the Ap­ple­gate Val­ley. If you come around don’t for­get to stop and en­joy a glass of wine on one of the nicest pa­tio decks of the area… in front of the moun­tain !

Where does the name come from? Serra means a view from a high place in Por­tuguese. Scott is Por­tuguese on one side. It’s also an hom­mage to Fa­ther Ju­nipero Serra who was also ar­guably the first wine­maker on the west coast.

Why is your ter­roir so spe­cial? Our vines are nearly 30 years old. They were self rooted and dry farmed sit­ting on a bench-land with an am­phithe­ater set­ting prone to air flow due to con­vec­tion of ris­ing and fall­ing daily tem­per­a­tures. Here we are lo­cated on a high plateau called Kubli Bench. Thanks to this plateau we ben­e­fit from a beau­ti­ful ex­po­sure to the sun while be­ing pro­tected by the moun­tains from the bad weather of the win­ters.

In our soils we have a mix­ture of clay, loam and de­com­posed gran­ite soils. So no wa­ter is supplied to the grapes other than rain wa­ter supplied by Mother Na­ture.

Why did he make the choice to cre­ate a win­ery in this place?

For sev­e­real rea­sons… First of all, God lit­er­ally de­signed it (seem­ingly) to be the per­fect place for wine grape grow­ing…come to see our amaz­ing place !

Se­condly, they are from Cal­i­for­nia. They dis­cov­ered this re­gion through a wed­ding an­niver­sary trip. They stayed for a few days at Sch­midtWin­ery next door from us.Thank­fully they dis­cov­ered the re­gion, the life­style, de ter­roir and the wines.They quickly fell in love with this place and the spir­its of this area. Dur­ing a walk they went through this square (cur­rently Serra Win­ery), sat un­der the oak and be­gan to dream about the cre­ation of a win­ery… Now it is no longer a dream but a real­ity !

Thirdly, As I said pre­vi­ously Scott has Por­tuguese roots. In Por­tu­gal there was a strong tra­di­tion of home wine­mak­ing.The cre­ation of a win­ery what is there­fore of per­sonal im­por­tance to him.

What al­low us to rec­og­nize your wines in blind tast­ing?

Our wines are full-bod­ied in mouth feel and of­fers depth­ness of fla­vor com­plex­ity, un­der­ly­ing min­er­al­ity and fleshy, chalky tan­nins. The no­tion of age­abil­ity is also re­ally im­por­tant to us. We don’t need to re-in­vente the wheel, just fol­low the wine­mak­ing tra­di­tion and be­lieve in our ter­roir to cre­ate great wine.

If you have to de­scribe the win­ery, the spirit of this place in just 3/4 words?

I would like to say ; Pro­duc­ing ex­cel­lence for our Re­gion, Com­mu­nity and Fam­ily. It’s an amaz­ing fam­ily team here ! If I can add a cou­ple of words I would say ; ter­roir, pu­rity, true food friendly wine and vin­tage ex­pres­sion.

Do you have fu­ture plans for the win­ery ?

Con­tinue to im­prove our wine­mak­ing pro­gram un­til we take golds for ev­ery­thing we pro­duce, ev­ery time or we are sold out of ev­ery­thing we make…which­ever comes first… and then to im­prove some more.

Do you have an anec­dote?

The first tem­pranillo we ever pro­duced (2014) took best in class and gold at the two largest wine com­pe­ti­tions in the na­tion af­ter we un­der­es­ti­mated the fruit in the field that year by 50%…

We also have spe­cific tree to see… We have a grow­ing oak where 5 oaks grow in one. It’s unique !

(Thank you to Liz Wan, As­sis­tant Wine­maker)

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