JPR Wine Tasting 2024: Southern Oregon’s Diverse Vines And Vintners Star In Community-Oriented Event

ASHLAND, Ore. —  Mark February 9 in your diary to visit the 41st Jefferson Public Radio (JPR)  Wine Tasting in Ashland. Visitors will get the opportunity to delve far beyond pinot noir and chardonnay at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites and Convention Center, where 45 wineries and restaurants are participating in the delightful event.

Named as Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top five Wine Regions in the world in 2022- next to more traditional areas Abruzzo, Italy, Marlborough, New Zealand, Uco Valley, Argentina, and San Luis Obispo, California, the JPR winetasting is showcasing wines produced from the fruits of the Umpqua and Rogue valleys’ many soil types, elevations and microclimates. Its unique diversity rewards growers with flavorful French Rhone varietals such as Bordeaux merlot and cabernet sauvignon, syrah and viognier, Bordeaux, and others that include Spanish tempranillo and Albarino.

Talented local vintners have drawn on the wide range of grape varieties to produce award-winning red, white, and sparkling wines from southern Oregon, which can be tasted during the JPR event. Mark Enlow of the family-owned and run Jacksonville-based Parkhurst Wine Cellar, said, “The diversity gives us a lot of opportunity to explore.”He believes that no matter the winemaking style or specialty, there’s a place in Southern Oregon to grow the vines.

A fundraiser for JPR- broadcast to a million potential listeners on both sides of the California-Oregon state line, the wine tasting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the grand ballroom of the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, where wineries, restaurants, and cheesemakers- including the famous Rogue Creamery, will be offering tastings.  Making the event fun for aficionados and new appreciators alike, most of the wineries and tasting rooms in the region are family-owned and small, giving visitors a chance to hear firsthand from the hands-on producers.


Wine Tasting Event Organiser: Jefferson Public Radio

The station’s name- Jefferson Public Radio, refers to the mythical State of Jefferson, an area that roughly corresponds to the broadcast area of JPR. Their flagship station- KSOR, was established in 1969 on the campus of Southern Oregon University (SOU) in Ashland, Oregon. Evolving into a regional public radio service from its humble 10-watt beginnings, KSOR reaches over 1 million potential listeners living over a 60,000-square-mile area of Southern Oregon and Northern California. It uses one of the biggest networks of transmitters and translators in public radio.

The KSOR Listeners’ Guild- founded in 1975 as an affiliate of what was then known as the Southern Oregon College Foundation also grew and by 1997, a new non-profit organization- the JPR Foundation, was established exclusively to raise funds, helping to support JPR’s committed service to the community. Feeding the human intellectual and creative spirit of Southern Oregon and Northern California communities, JPR strives to forge a diverse community of informed citizens.

With programs that stimulate public discussion- using fact-based journalism, the radio station inspires community engagement, fosters the art of storytelling, and celebrates music. Cultural programming celebrates the human experience, and programs like Radiobadland The Ted Radio Hour, and This American Life reflect the unique American experience in a way that is valuable to the American culture.

Executive director of JPR, Paul Westhelle, said that the wine-tasting event connects people in a way similar to JPR’s programming. Building a stronger sense of community, the wine tasting showcases a key industry that contributes towards the flourishing regional economy. At the same time, funds will be raised to plow back into strengthening local journalism and music programming.


JPR Wine Tasting 2024 Event Details

The long-standing wine-tasting sponsor- Ashland Food Co-op will provide food alongside Ashland Hills Hotel’s Luna Cafe, and cocktails and beer will also be available for purchase at the Luna Cafe bar. The event includes an online auction that is open to the public January 22-31, offering luxury goods, stays, and experiences- from Oregon Shakespeare Festival tickets to a Rogue River guided steelhead fishing adventure. At the Wine Pull table, guests can pay $20 for a randomly selected bottle that could be worth as much as $300.

The 41st Jefferson Public Radio Wine Tasting will be from 6-9 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites and Convention Center, 2525 Ashland St. in Ashland. Tickets available from JPR are $85, or $75 for JPR members, and include admission, a souvenir wine glass, wine, and food as well as live music. There is more information available on the JPR website. Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites is also offering special room rates for wine-tasting event guests staying February 8-10.

Abby Kraft of JPR said, “Make the tasting a part of an early Valentine’s getaway or come solo.”



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