The local wine industry is so long-lived and interesting that Southern Oregon University's Hannon Library is archiving historic documents — photos, wine labels and reports — donated by local grape growers, wine producers and consumers.
These will be preserved, organized and made accessible online along with oral history interviews capturing the philosophy and progress of wine pioneers.
The Wine of Southern Oregon project, in partnership with Linfield College's statewide project, is adding to SOU's nearly 1,300 enology and viticulture books and journals, most of them donated by retired physician and winemaker Will Brown of Ashland.
Many are irreplaceable, first-edition books once owned by wine author and consultant Bern C. Ramey, who worked 40 years in the California wine industry.
SOU's wine library, named after the late winemaker Sarah Powell, is considered one of the best in Oregon, second only to Oregon State University's holdings.
Brown has contributed to the local wine scene in other ways, too. He was the winemaker for Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point and a cellar rat at RoxyAnn Winery in Medford. He continues to consult at Red Lily Vineyards in the Applegate Valley.
With the new additions from the ongoing Wine of Southern Oregon project, people visiting the Hannon Library, at 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, will be able to learn about the state's $3 billion wine industry.
SOU's Special Collections Enology and Viticulture page is at http://hanlib.sou.edu/speccoll/wine.html.
Collection development librarian Mary Jane Cedar Face has posted documents relating to the 1982 founding of the Rogue Chapter of the Oregon Winegrowers Association.
"We will be adding much more content, making the collection even more valuable to researchers in the Rogue Valley and world," she says.
For more information, contact Cedar Face at 541-552-6836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Janet Eastman