Barbecues. Blast-out concerts. Barrel tasting. That's the kind of lineup that makes Memorial Day memorable.
So, toss your out-of-town guests into your Subaru and show off what's rocking in the Rogue Valley.
Tasting rooms have come out of cold-weather hibernation and are ready to pour new releases and entertain visitors.
A good way to quickly catch up on what wine producers have been up to — from bottling to booking musical acts and cooking up fun contests — is to drive or bike to the eight family-owned Bear Creek Boutique Wineries, which stretch from Ashland and Talent and into Medford.
Wine appreciators are able to taste reds (malbec, sangiovese, syrah, tempranillo) and white wines made from chenin blanc, marsanne-roussanne, riesling, viognier and other grapes grown on properties surrounding the tasting spaces.
Some tasting is done inside a traditional tasting room while others are centered inside a converted vegetable market, a ranch house and a deck.
Bear Creek Boutique Wineries members are Ashland-based Dana Campbell Vineyards (danacampbellvineyards.com), Grizzly Peak Winery (grizzlypeakwinery.com) and Weisinger's of Ashland (www.weisingers.com).
In Talent, there is Trium Wines (www.triumwines.com), and Pioneer Road neighbors StoneRiver Vineyard (stoneriverwinery.com) and Aurora Vines.
Behind them on Camp Baker Road is Pebblestone Cellars (www.pebblestonecellars.com) in Medford.
New member 2Hawk Winery is on North Phoenix Road in Medford (www.2hawkwinery.com).
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 15-16, the Bear Creek Boutique Wineries will host its Grape Expectation tour. A limited number of $25 tickets will be sold.
Until then, visit bearcreekwineries.com to download a map.
Enoteca by EdenVale in downtown Ashland invites sidewalk strollers inside this Memorial Day weekend to taste sangria by the glass or growler. There is also live music following the Friday Flight Social (www.edenvalleyorchards.com).
A good way to navigate the many tasting rooms spread across the miles is to have a designated driver. Pick a few tasting rooms that you want to make sure you see and slowly soak in the wine, food and vineyard views.
You can't leisurely make it to more than a handful of tasting rooms in a day, but you can make plans to return over the long weekend.
More important, Memorial Day weekend is the time to honor veterans by taking them on long, scenic drives across this land that they fought to protect.
If you want to venture to RoxyAnn Winery in Medford and then north to six other tasting rooms, take the Roam the Rogue self-guided tour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 ($29 tickets are available at www.roamtherogue.com).
And in Central Point, Ledger David Cellars' tasting room is pouring sparkling wine and mimosas with Champagne-infused cupcakes from the Cupcake Daily from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday, May 25-27.