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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Winery Spotlight - Dana Campbell Vineyards

Low-key and Luscious

Dana Campbell Vineyards

Story by Mary Ann Bullard 

Tucked in the foothills with a perfect view of Ashland and surrounding areas lies an oasis of comfort. Dana Campbell Vineyards is a retreat from the bustling world, situated on sunny slopes and offering plenty of pleasures. The small but vibrant vineyard’s name comes from a combination of the married owners’ names, Patrick Dana Flannery and Paula Campbell Brown.

Brown says, “Our tagline is ‘Come see the other side of Ashland, relaxed and comfortable’. Our goal to have a low-key casual place where people can enjoy watching the sun set while enjoying a glass of wine.” Brown thinks they have the best view in Ashland. “We’ve had people walk through our tasting room doors and their jaws drop because the view is so gorgeous. And people say, ‘Hey, your wines are pretty darn good too!’ 

The 33-acre property includes 15 planted acres and utilizes two winemakers that excel in making the best wines. Brown says, “Our job on the vineyard portion is to grow great grapes. We like to make sure our grapes and our winemakers are excellent. That combination, along with the view, allows people to relax and enjoy what we have to offer.” 

Dana Campbell Vineyards teamed up with Linda Donovan from Medford and Cal Schmidt of Schmidt Family Vineyards in the Applegate to create their vintages, including award winning 2008 and 2009 Tempranillo and Malbec. “We got involved with Cal and Judy Schmidt when we first began growing and sold grapes to him. He stuck with us and helped us so much. In fact we make one blend which is unique to us. Cal created it; he calls it Cal’s folly. That was because in 2007 when our first grapes were picked we didn’t have enough Viognier or Tempranillo so Cal co-fermented them as a red wine. It’s a Viognier and Tempranillo blend we call Vionillo. Nobody else will do that.” 

“The house favorite is our Malbec,” Brown continues, “and our Sauvignon Blanc is different—something we did on purpose. Linda Donovan created our Sauvignon Blanc to be not as pungent as the New Zealand style, which is very grassy. Ours is smoother with a lot more melon flavors.”

The scenic vineyard had a unique beginning. The couple was married the same year they bought the property in 1997. They desired to do something that was water efficient. Before settling on grapes, they tried their hand at alpacas, oats and even echinacea. Their goal was to do something sustainable and use water wisely.

Pat and Paula are proud of their drip watering system that uses a mere .6 gallons per hour per emitter. Average water used from the Talent Irrigation District per week is about 74,000 gallons over the 15-acres that are planted in grapes during the irrigation season, May through September. Even with ancillary landscaping, Brown says they save over 75 to 80 percent of typical flood-irrigated pastures. The winery also includes a wind generator which saves 75 percent of the power bill at the Tasting Room. Solar collectors on the roof heat water for the Tasting Room, saving them another eight percent a month. “Being energy efficient, as well as water-wise, is important to us,” she says.

Brown credits her husband Pat. “He has the ideas, he made this happen,” she says. “I’m the engineer so I can work out the details, but he truly has the vision to make this work.” 

Dana Campbell Vineyards

1320 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland



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