Abacela, the name of Dr. Gregory Jones’s family vineyards and winery, comes from an ancient Spanish word meaning “to plant a grapevine.” His parents, Earl and Hilda Jones, were the first to plant the Spanish Tempranillo red variety in the Pacific Northwest.
The Joneses found the climate they needed to grow Tempranillo—hot enough to ripen the fruit but not so hot that colors and flavors are lost during ripening—in southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, south of Roseburg. They planted the Spanish variety, dubbed Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon, in 1995 and also began a vineyard research and development project to evaluate other varietals from Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France.
Today, they grow about 20 different varietals on nearly 60 acres, including Grenache, Albariño, Graciano, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Muscat, Malbec, and Tannat, according to their winery’s Web site. The family winery was bonded in 1997, processing fruit harvested that year. Current production is 5,000 cases per year.