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Southern Oregon Newcomers Wine Group looking for new members

Southern Oregon Newcomers Wine Group
Southern Oregon Newcomers Wine Group
Janet Eastman

Members of the Southern Oregon Newcomers Wine Group gather together at least once a month at tasting rooms or private homes to sample vintages from around the world, swap stories and get to know each other.

The social group, originally known as the Ashland Newcomer’s Wine Group, has branched out to include residents of Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Jacksonville.

And more people are welcome to join, says Chuck Reiling, who founded the club last year with his wife, Diane.

In August, the group had a white-wine tasting at a private chateau in Ashland.

“Our tasting focused on wines that many people like and that are produced around here — pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, viognier and chardonnay,” said Chuck Reiling.

In July, about a third of the 100 members met at the new Serra Vineyards tasting room, 222 Missouri Flat Road in Grants Pass.

There, for $10, they tasted five wines paired with food and they learned from resident sommelier Liz Wan about the wines made from syrah, cabernet sauvignon and other grapes grown on the property and another vineyard Serra owners have near Cave Junction.

In past months, the group has visited Dana Campbell Vineyards in the Ashland hills and other tasting rooms.

They have also held malbec tastings at the Reilings’ home in Medford and different varietals — tempranillos, syrahs and others — at other members’ homes.

After a meeting of the Ashland Newcomers group, the Reilings, who moved from Seattle in late 2011, created a spin-off club and organized the group’s first caravan tour through the Applegate Valley.

“This group is for folks who want to enjoy sipping wine and making new friends,” says Reiling.

People who would like to learn more about the group can contact Reiling at or see the Southern Oregon Newcomers Wine Group Facebook page,

For more wine information, read the Eno Outings wine column in the Medford Mail Tribune: