High On Adventure - Featuring Photojournalist Larry Turner

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

From pears to grapes

From pears to grapes

Naumes Suncrest Winery

Story by Pamela R. Gibson

Photography provided by Naumes Vineyards


The Naumes Family association with Southern Oregon began at the turn of the century when Peter Naumes moved from his Illinois birthplace to Hood River, Oregon. He worked for Pacific Fruit and Produce. However, after World War I, Naumes moved south to Medford to continue producing fruits. He became a partner in the Associated Fruit Company where apples, pears and other fruits were grown and sold.   

In Medford, the fruit business unfortunately took a deep hit with the Great Depression. However, Peter’s middle son, Joe joined forces with Steve Nye in 1946 to establish Nye and Naumes Company, thus continuing the family tradition of fruit production.

Joe Naumes bought the business from Nye in 1964, which was renamed Naumes of Oregon, Inc. In the early 1970’s, Peter’s grandchildren (Pete, Mike and Sue) joined the family business. The family purchased orchard properties in California and Washington in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, also purchasing additional orchards in Oregon making Naumes, Inc. the largest pear grower in the world.

Upon the passing of Joe Naumes in 1989, the Pear Bureau of Oregon, California, and Washington stated that,

“Joe Naumes was a faithful steward of the land and a faithful steward of the pear industry. He possessed the vision of the united, profitable, healthful and socially responsible pear industry and the energy and dedication to bring that vision to reality. He had as well the spirit and grace to inspire others to labor toward that same goal.”

With the foresight of local winery growth in Southern Oregon and the demand for crush services, Naumes opened their Crush and Fermentation facility in 2015. The business offers a high-tech, state-of-the-art wine producing operation with services currently provided to about 20 wineries from the Rogue and Umpqua regions.

It was Winemaker Chris Graves who approached the Naumes family to suggest the business model be expanded to include producing Naumes wines. In 2013, the first of the grapes were planted and the winery was established. “We have been fortunate to find excellent people,” says Laura Naumes, VP of Naumes, Inc., in crediting the guidance of others they have met along the way.  

Creating the tasting room stemmed from the conversion of the Suncrest Retreat located in the Talent hills, which has belonged to the Naumes family for decades. Acquired through a land acquisition and originally used as a farm manager’s home, the house became a retreat center about twenty-five years ago, managed by Sister Mary Pat Naumes (of the Naumes family). She offered a warm and welcoming meeting space for local business and non-profits. After years of service, Sister Mary Pat, well loved by community members for her gracious hospitality and kind heart, has moved locally to pursue other aspirations.

Every detail in the planning and creation of the tasting room has been thoughtfully executed with care and expertise. From the sophisticated logo to a distinctive wine and food menu, nothing has been overlooked. The delectable wine menu offers suggestions for food pairings such as truffle popcorn paired with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir or spiced nuts paired with Rose or Chardonnay wines.

The beautifully appointed 1920’s styled Craftsman home is located within minutes of the Talent city center. The home overlooks the Naumes orchards with stunning valley views. The soft opening in June 2019 was responded to with a generous attendance that inspires amplified anticipation for the tasting room’s successful future.

The historic home has large French doors that welcome guests into an interior that exudes the feel of an earlier era. Resplendent architecture of finely crafted wood walls, planked floors, stone fireplace, and historic details create a warm and reflective tasting room. The updated commercial kitchen still reflects a simpler time with a butler’s pantry and many nooks and crannies to appreciate.  

The spacious veranda deck offers ample seating along with unrestrained views of the valley. The small umbrella tables, chairs and porch seating allow guests to sit in the shade or the sun. Views from the porch are incredible and inspire a resurgence and renewal of spirit.        

Shade trees in the garden area provide an enchanting space to relish the beauty of the Rogue Valley. Guests can feel the earth beneath their feet as they use one of the many picnic tables to experience foods and beverages. The tasting room hours of operation are listed on their website and subject to change. The winery is children and pet friendly (on leash) and designed to provide ADA access.

The tasting room beckons guests back to a time where they can comfortably savor the tastes of the Naumes family vines. Hospitality and warmth have been synonymous with the Naumes Family in the Rogue Valley and is rooted within their history. Naumes Suncrest Winery strives to offer the best Grenache, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris varietals, complimented with their extraordinary expertise and hospitality 

Naumes Suncrest Winery offers a comprehensive selection of superior wines, beer, and pear cider that easily exceed the wine-tasting experience. Plans for the future of Suncrest Naumes include some exciting ideas including expansions, specialty spirits and unique on-site events. The spirit, energy and grace that started with Peter and Joe Naumes continue to live on through their descendants and remain a legacy to our region today.


Naumes Suncrest Winery

 1950 Suncrest Rd., Talent



Web Design and Web Development by Buildable