Fifteen Southern Oregon dining spots have been added to the 2018 A-List Award by the Oregon Wine Board and Oregon Wine Press, announced Wednesday.
The restaurants offer wine lists with a hefty presence of Oregon vintages, often representing a variety of styles and producers.
"We're leaning more and more to an Oregon-dominated wine list," said Porters Restaurant and Bar co-owner Brian Porter, whose downtown Medford establishment made the A-List for the second year in a row. "We have such gosh-darn good bunches of wine to choose from here and we've believed in supporting local products as much as we can in the 17 years we've been open."
Elements tapas bar may have a larger European selection, and Jacksonville Inn has its own wine shop, but Porters has as broad a selection of Oregon vintages as anyone in Medford.
As much as anything, Porter said, customers desire Oregon wine.
"There has been a noticeable trend toward less European, less California, and less South American wine (orders)," he said. "People are wanting to buy, drink and support local — there is a conscious effort. ... When you look at the sales breakdown, you can see a huge increase in the purchase of Southern Oregon and Oregon wines in general."
Winery representatives help train the Porters staff to present and pour selections.
"We have classes with various wineries, we're taught how to open a bottle, what a cork is supposed to smell like, and what to do with it," Porter said. "We also have wine dinners on a regular basis that have been very successful."
Within the state, A-List restaurants devote a minimum of 30 percent of their wine lists to Oregon wine or feature at least 30 different Oregon producers. To make the list outside of Oregon, restaurants devote 10 percent or more of their wine lists to Oregon wine or feature at least 10 different Oregon producers.
Ashland restaurants on the list are Alchemy Restaurant & Bar, Caldera Restaurant and Brewery, Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine at Ashland Springs Hotel, Smithfields Restaurant & Bar, and The Peerless.
Six overseas and 20 out-of-state restaurants — from Seattle to New York — along with five Scandinavian and one Tokyo establishment joined 103 Oregon establishments on the 2018 Oregon Wine A-List.
“The fantastic thing about our A-List restaurant program is that it shines a light on some of the world’s most passionate advocates for Oregon — the fine wine directors and restaurateurs — who go out of their way to showcase Oregon wines on their lists," Oregon Wine Board president Tom Danowski said in a release.
— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.