Portland-based writer Katherine Cole has released an app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices that can help wine appreciators navigate the state's diverse regions.
Oregon Wine, the app can be downloaded into a device in advance, which allows users to access it in wireless-free zones, typical in wine country. Trium Winery in Talent and Velocity Cellars in Ashland are among the 111 producers. Over time, Cole will add more content to the app, available through iTunes ($2.99). In the meantime, users can post comments and ask questions.
Tap on the Rogue Valley appellation page and then Velocity Cellars' name to see a photo of a Velocity bottle and a map directing readers to owner Gus Janeway's home. There is no tasting room there. Instead, Janeway asks people to buy Velocity as well as his Velo malbec and William Augustus white wine at stores and Dancin Vineyards in Medford.
Available to taste at Dancin's tasting room are Velocity Cellars 2008 Malbec ($24) and the newly released Malbec Rose ($16). Wine-club members receive free tastes and a 20-percent discount.
Cole's app offers a brief background on all the wineries and gives recommendations for splurges, such as 2007 Velocity Malbec for $24 and 2008 Trium Cabernet Sauvignon for $38 (two cases remain on sale at $32, says Trium's Laura Lotspeich).
Cole also points out wines she considers a steal for their low price and quality. In that category, she lists the 2007 Velo Red Blend for $17 and the sold-out 2009 Trium Grenache Rose for $18.
Cole provides handy hyperlinks to explain wine-geek terms and sustainable practices such as Janeway buying his grapes from LIVE-certified Gold Vineyard in Talent. She also directs readers to Janeway's "terrific" blog at www.velocitycellars.com/wp/blog/. In other wine regions, she suggests nearby places to eat and sleep.
— Janet Eastman