A Flurry of Fun - Ashland is Base Camp - Winter '24 Issue

Exceptional Wine in an Exceptional Setting


Red Lily Vineyard

Exceptional Wine in an Exceptional Setting

Story by Pamela R. Gibson

Photography by David Gibb


Located twelve miles south of Jacksonville in the beautiful Applegate Valley, Red Lily Vineyards beckons oenophiles looking for adventure, relaxation, and great wines. The winery is set along the hurried Applegate River with a lush background of sprawling lawns, large trees, and rolling mountain crests. A charming gateway bridge leads across the river to a wine tasting retreat.

The winery’s handsome façade features a steeply slopped metal roof, cedar siding, wood beams, and river rock accents that resemble a mix of urbanized barn with an Amish flair. The subtly sophisticated yet unpretentious bright and spacious indoor space create the tasting room. Large windows and a prominent stone fireplace nurture all the senses with an ambiance of coziness mixed with permeating landscapes. An historic 80-year-old restored barn stands adjacent to the tasting room as a reminder of humble beginnings.

Guests can also enjoy the exceptional wine-tasting experience in the splendor of this outdoor property. Unique to Red Lily Vineyard is the opportunity to sip Spanish-centric wines and savor part of a wild and scenic Southern Oregon. From serene patio spaces to the sandy beach at the river’s edge, the venue is a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us as well as the gracious bounty provided by the vineyards.   

Co-owner and winemaker, Rachael Martin is a native to Southern Oregon where her family continues to live. She attended the University of Nevada earning her degree in criminal law, while later working in anti-counterfeiting investigations. Returning to Oregon in 2001, she began exploring the concept of starting a winery. She soon embarked on a winemaking education and apprenticed under many remarkable winemakers, including the late Sarah Powell.     

In 2006, Martin and her partner purchased a 250-acre former cattle ranch that had been homesteaded in the late 1800s. The site provided a consummate setting for a winery and tasting room with its landscape, existing barn, and the Applegate River flowing through it. The valley temperatures, similar to regions of Spain, would provide the complete marriage of the Spanish grapes to the land.

Construction on the site began in 2010, and the building of the tasting room and the winery began a year later. The former cattle ranch was transformed into a striking venue, offering guests a sampling of the valley’s magnificence. Seventeen of the 20 acres of vineyards were planted above the valley floor. After years of perseverance, Martin’s “reverence” of the property has been realized in the creation of exceptional Tempranillo wines.

The winery currently produces about 3,000 cases of wine annually. Two of the flagship wines crafted through Martin’s hard work are the Red Lily Tempranillo and the Life of Riley. The Red Lily label is named after a rare species of flower found in the Siskiyou Mountains, which coincidentally is also her daughter’s name. The Tempranillo and Cabernet blend Life of Riley is named after their son.    

Wearing multiple hats while managing the winery and tasting room have come with many   challenges says Martin. There are so many facets of the business, from the farming of the land to the management of the tasting room. However, Martin states that over the years she has gained a “better understanding of the rhythm” of the business and “has found the flow” that has developed into a smooth business venture. With the help and support of her family, Martin has made Red Lily Vineyard a reality.

This destination spot offers all the makings for a romantic day of nature, wine tasting, and relaxation. With plenty of choices to sit and sip, there is also ample grass space for a picnic. To complement the different wines at Red Lily, the winery offers a “to-go” menu with a Lily Girl Picnic made up of tapas and an antipasto platter.  

During the summer months, Red Lily offers free Thursday music nights with local bands playing and food trucks on site, while Saturday nights offer smaller, more intimate performances. The venue is available throughout the year for class reunions, corporate functions, celebration of life gatherings, and other indoor or outdoor events.         

While the plans for future endeavors at Red Lily estate include the possibility to develop more vineyards, they have also been considering ideas to expand the tasting room. Red Lily Vineyard is a unique escape from the stress of life by providing the soothing qualities of an outdoor retreat with the added benefit of extraordinary wines.         


Red Lily Vineyards

11777 Highway 238, Jacksonville



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