Hidden away in the heart of Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, Coventina Vineyards sits on a lush piece of property near the Rogue River.
The previous owners had used the land as a hayfield. But Chris Amen drove by it every day and envisioned a future vineyard with rows of vines bearing luscious fruit. She consulted with her longtime friend, horticulturist Lou Scaparo, and he confirmed her intuition that a vineyard could thrive there. He told her the slope of the land was ideal, with perfect drainage. The soil had good texture. The orientation to the sun was right. And there was access to abundant water from the Rogue River.
Chris purchased the land in 2011, and next sought expert help to turn the property into a boutique vineyard. Lou introduced her to viticulturist Herb Quady, and so their association began.
They quickly went about amending the soil by incorporating large amounts of locally sourced organic compost. While the industry standard is to incorporate 10 tons per acre, at Chris’s request they incorporated 30 tons, working it in deep, and letting it rest with a cover crop of clover for a year before planting.
Lou designed a unique water system to irrigate the property. Water is taken directly from the sparkling Rogue River as it passes through a centuries old ditch, modified to accept modern drip irrigation. The system uses seven independent irrigation zones, allowing precision irrigation of the vines whose needs vary depending on their location in the vineyard.
In 2015, Coventina grapes were certified organic by the Oregon Tilth. The 2015 Tempranillo became their first bottled product, and their exceptional efforts are evident in the beauty and quality of the finished wine.