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June 03, 2011
Agate Ridge Vineyard - A Gem in Rogue Valley AVA
Agate is that wonderful rock that was used in ancient times. It was known as a rock that could be made into shapes, yet retains its strength. This colorful and mystical volcanic-related rock can be found throughout the vast 126-acre winery estate property, part of which actually sits on the Agate Desert.

This 'desert' is really a prairie and not a true desert. With agate, it's not so much of what is on the outside, as compared to what is on the inside. The wines of Agate Ridge follow along the same lines - it's what's inside.

Don Kinderman, who had started and ran a reinforcing steel company fabrication shop for many years, bought the property in 2001 with the intent of growing and selling fruit. Don's daughter, Kim, was in Alabama in May of 2001, and came just in time to start planting, and managed the vineyard for several years.

The soil here is a black sticky soil which required some amendment with gypsum to add the necessary calcium and promote better irrigation. Although thirty acres are planted today, all 126 acres are plantable, so there's plenty of growth potential as well. Jon Meadors is the Vineyard Manager and tends to his vines with great care. Jon, a Southern Oregon University graduate, was born and raised in the Rogue Valley and has worked in agriculture for over 30 years with a focus on viticulture for more than 10 years.

Within the planted acres, the varietals here include Viogner, Marsanne, Roussane, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Primitivo, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Malbec, and Merlot. Grenache Blanc is planned for the future as well. Quite a selection! Currently, 2,500 cases are produced under
the Agate Ridge label and they custom crush another 2,500 for others, which speaks well of their fruit.

The winery was built in 2005, just in time for the first harvest. In 2007, they restored a hundred-year-old farmhouse into an estate tasting room. This year, they bring in a new winemaker, Brian Denner, to take this operation to the next level. Brian graduated from CSU Fresno with a degree in enology. He has more than ten years' experience working with Rhone varietals.

The foundation of this winery is simple. Hard-working farmers, with a welcoming heart and soul. Folks come for the wine, and return for the people.

To see their fine wines and deals on their wines, see them all here on!


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