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Wine, Style and Architecture = Maturation of the Rogue

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Belle Fiore Chateau Winery and Wine Pavilion

On the upper reaches of Bear Creek flowage near Emigrant Lake—easternmost extreme of the Rogue Valley—Belle Fiore elevates the region’s wine experience to the next level of style and elegance. In tribute to Southern Oregon’s recent national accolades, many call the Rogue Valley “the Napa of 30 years ago.” Belle Fiore bumped the agenda a decade ahead:  fifteen varietals were planted on 33 acres in 2007-2009; the Chateau opened in 2007; and the region’s largest, most opulent facility, “the Pavilion,” opened in 2013.

Tastings and winery visits feature a broad array of wines from heritage southern European grapes; tours of the modern, efficient, yet architecturally classic Italianate palatial fixtures; and, starting this year, tours of the beautiful, terraced vineyards where the grapes soak up southern-exposure sun, as iconic Pompadour and Pilot Rocks look on.

The many fine wines derive from deep and ancient traditions, with unique twists. The Belle Fiore name, “Beautiful Flower,” itself consists of a French and an Italian word, in the same transnational spirit. Three labels designate distinct styles of wine-making—Belle Fiore, wines of classical style that age well to reveal deepening layers of flavor and structure, likened to Classical Music; Belle Esprit, engenders the wine-lover with an energetic, young-at-heart, spirited quality likened to popular dance music; Belle Arte, artistic and innovative, strives to capture the best of science, technology and the arts, akin to avant-garde jazz.  

Blends also bear unique labels, borrowing from ancient Mediterranean culture—Numinos, a hefty red Bordeaux style like Claret or Meritage, honors the transcendent mind of Greek Philosophy; white Calypso, the captivating and enchanting sea-nymph of Homer’s Odyssey; a lighter red Souspire, “the Sigh,” seeks the spirit of reverie and contemplation. On a recent trip, we enjoyed the soon-to-be released 2014 Pinot Noir—bright and clean, yet surprisingly rich and fruitily bodied; Caprettone, derivative of ancient Italian Coda di Volpe grape, “tail of the fox”—as dense as a white can get; and 2013 Terodalgo, a bold and tannic red rarely seen outside the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northeast Italy.


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