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Growing Up: Dana Campbell Vineyards in Ashland

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This year, I invested in my own health insurance for the first time ever. This has less to do with me “growing up” or “having liquid funds” and more to do with my rate of injury since turning 30. I pulled a muscle the other day reaching down to pet a cat.  


Other than the $32,000 deductible, A perk of insurance is I get my very own doctor. Someone who can take a look at all those pulled muscles and growing rosacea patches on my face and diagnose me with “old age.” I was feeling pretty good, and then I got to the section on the new-patient form for alcohol consumption. Call me sensitive, but I didn’t really feel like my intake necessitated the “excessive” category. Two beers after work?  And then a couple on the weekends?

Don’t they know that these drinks put food on my table? This column isn’t going to write itself.

It didn’t help that I was a couple of glasses of wine deep while filling out the form. I came clean to my doctor.

“Doc,” I said. “I gotta be honest, I had a few glasses of wine at Dana Campbell before I got here.”

“Dana Campbell?” He responded. “That place is great.”

He’s not wrong. I’ve been going to Dana Campbell since I learned about the fact that I had a vineyard less than a mile from my front door. It’s practically in my backyard. My friends and I have watched many-a-sunset there.  

Their property is absolutely stunning. Their staff very kind. And I’ve always enjoyed their affordable charcuterie.  

Oh, and the wines are great too.

I had a glass of their 2012 Tempranillo. A really well-balanced wine with a full-body, some fruit front flavors and a tiny bit of cinnamon and other spices as a finish. The second glass was the Mourvedre Rose, a perfect wine to pair with this hot summer heat. It had lovely floral notes, a rounder body and small hint of dark cherry. Most of all, refreshing. Finally, and my favorite, was the 2012 Malbec. Big, bold, a bit of blackberry, but no lingering tannin. I love to order this with their meatball plate, it holds up nicely. Honestly, this is usually all I drink. And yes, I have a bottle of it at my home.

Dana Campbell’s greatest value, for me, comes most from its atmosphere. The large, expansive windows reveal the splendor our valley has to offer, even when forced to stay inside. And during the summer and spring, their patio is great to go with a few friends and share a bottle. They even have a firepit.

Being an adult doesn’t have to be all bills, insurance, and health scares. There’s some good stuff too.  Sometime it means I get to go to my backyard vineyard, drag a chair to the edge of the patio, put my feet up and read my book while enjoying a glass of Malbec.  

Growing up ain’t half bad.  


Dana Campbell Vineyards
1 – 6 pm, daily
1320 N Mountain Ave, Ashland

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