The goal of Umpqua Wine Cellar is to bring outstanding local wines and others from around the world a little closer to the majority of valley residents.
Story by Nancy Rodriguez Photos by Thomas Boyd
The Umpqua Valley wine region reveals itself in layers like a well-built wine, opening with a fragrant nose that leads to the promise of a taste that will take us through the vineyards and show the fruit at its finest.
In the same way this region reveals its hidden treasures, Umpqua Wine Cellar has proven to be worth discovering. The location alone belies what will be found beyond its unassuming exterior. But inside a glass-fronted building in the parking lot of Roseburg Valley Mall, a virtual tour of the Umpqua AVA (American Viticulture Area) and other wine regions from around the world awaits.
Eric Winslow, owner of Umpqua Wine Cellar, opened his business as an outlet for the U.S. Post Office and a video rental store. He later expanded to offer wine sales and tastings in order to bring the outstanding local wines and others closer to the majority of the region’s residents.
His walls are lined with racks holding a wide range of varietals, transcending the boundaries of regions and bringing together wines from the old and new worlds. Wine barrels display bottles from wineries as close as our local valleys, as regional as Walla Walla and as remote as New Zealand.
Winslow offers Friday tastings built around themes that allow wine enthusiasts the opportunity to explore regions from Bordeaux to the Rioja, varietals from Albarino to Zinfandel and flights that focus on styles and emphasize the many award-winning wines of the Umpqua. The intention is to create an educated wine buyer.
Wine in the barrel changes as time passes; the characteristics of the grape begin to show their true selves. It is a process that should not be rushed; it requires patience and a willingness to wait for the right time to bottle it. Winslow plans, in time, to expand the Umpqua Wine Cellar but for now it is aging well on its own.
The Umpqua Wine Cellar is at 1370 N.W. Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg.