High On Adventure - Featuring Photojournalist Larry Turner

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Culture, artform, community, and a way of life

Anchor Valley Wine

Culture, artform, community, and a way of life


Story by Pamela Gibson


Catching the wind in its sails, Anchor Valley Wine is destined to re-chart Southern Oregon with an edgy new outlook on wine and the wine tasting experience. According to Branding Manager and Sommelier, Ashley Cates, “Anchor Valley is more than a wine company; it’s a way of life.” She adds that it is also “an art form, a community, and a culture.”

Indeed, the voyage of this innovative young company is underway with a completely new outlook and a new generation of followers. They are on course for the Rogue region and the nation. The strong hands at the helm belong to Joe Moxley, Bill and Cari Powell, Matt and Ashley Cates and Mike Herrera, each with fame in his or her own right. Herrera holds claim to popularity and a titanic following as the lead vocalist and bass guitar player for the punk rock band, MxPx, while Moxley has distinction through his fashionable clothing line. The Cates have long been entrenched in the wine industry. They have worked on multiple continents and brought knowledge and expertise back to the valley about which they are so passionate. Bill and Cari are long time, highly regarded Rogue Valley residents, successfully owning and operating nine restaurants.

Twelve years ago, Herrera and Moxley met in Herrera’s hometown, Bremerton, Washington and soon formed a partnership in a successful clothing brand. On a trip to the Rogue Valley about two years ago, their wine tasting experience caused them to chart a new course by creating signature wines that represented their brand and following. They collaborated with world-experienced winemaker, Matthew Cates, and set in motion plans for the custom crush of the soon-to-be Anchor Valley Wine. 

The Anchor Valley individuals like to think of what winemaker Cates produces as liquid art, and they want to introduce the culture of Anchor Valley Wine to any and all who wish to enjoy and savor one of life’s finer facets, wine. Challenging conformity is something this inventive and trendy group is no stranger to, and they pursue it with purpose. 

Referring to Anchor Valley Wine’ beginnings, Matthew Cates says, “Our team clicked in a way we all knew that what we were about to do was bigger than any one of us individually, and that was very exciting,” adding that he wanted to reflect a “fun, creative wine without sacrificing integrity.” To Cates, it was imperative to make a wine that reflected a taste for everyone, from the first-time wine drinker to the discerning wine enthusiast. With that thinking, they created the art, community and culture branding of their wines.

Originally, Anchor Valley Wine was only available online, but people’s early and positive reactions prompted them to open a tasting room. The day before they were to launch, they received a double gold award for their Pinot Gris from the Oregon Wine Experience in 2018. The following day, Harry & David and some wine shops and restaurants offered to carry their wines.

The idea for Anchor Valley’s name and logo was derived from the clothing line’s anchor logo, and the fact that Bremerton is a small naval town. The Valley part reflects Moxley’s roots. The branding of their wine echoes the partnership they have established, as well as the personal link between the two states they each call home. 

Anchor Valley currently offers Pinot Gris, Pinot Rose and Pinot Noir, and will add Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah to their portfolio this year.  

The tasting room in Jacksonville exudes an ambiance of hospitality and comfort. The sophisticated ceiling lighting is a focal point, enticing you to look up. The trendy, stylish décor offers a rustic wood bar, tables and benches adorned with comfy throw pillows, the textures and colors appealing to the senses. Cozy corner sofa seating with oversized pillows offers a more intimate experience.

As Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than those you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” This fits with Anchor’s philosophy, and according to Moxley, “The best is yet to come.” With their entrepreneurial spirit, they are dreaming big, taking chances, and discovering something about themselves. Continuing in the sailing metaphor suggested by the name, Anchor Valley Wine’s crew has cast its lines, set its sails and has allowed the wind to blow as it may.      


Anchor Valley Tasting Room

150 S. Oregon St., Jacksonville



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