JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — A new winery is getting ready to open a tasting room in Jacksonville this weekend.
If people are interested in visiting the new location this weekend, it’s located in the old McCully House right next to Doc Griffin Park.
Awen Winecraft owners, Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood, have been close friends for the last 21 years. They’ve been making wine since 2006.
They’ve been selling Awen wines at local farmers markets since 2016.
“His brother-in-law that introduced him to wine making, then he introduced it to me and it quickly got out of control,” said Homewood.
They’re about to open the doors to their first tasting room this Saturday, pending approval of one final permit.
“We’ve got heaters coming, fire pits will go here, we just put in all the lighting, we’ll have musicians play right over here,” Hopkins said.
The duo say it’s both exciting and nerve wracking.
“It’s amazing given what we’ve done and the time it’s taken to get here, I mean, part of it was building up inventory. It takes time as a winery. I’m stoked, I don’t about Tom, but I’m mostly stoked,” Hopkins said.
Their tasting room is opening in the McCully House, a special location the men say they’ve been eyeballing for years.
“Jacksonville in my view, it’s the beginning of the wine trail, its the perfect spot to be if you want to have a tasting room.” Added Hopkins.
In hopes of boosting the local economy and showcasing the best of Jacksonville for tourists, the owners are working with local restaurants, as well.
“We’re partnering with some of the local restaurants like our next door neighbors, a little pass-through window instead of offering a lot of food here, we’ll be offering the ability for them to have food delivered,” said Homewood.
The Executive Director for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Amanda Moreira, says it’s exciting to have a new business in town.
She says despite a rough last year, businesses are staying afloat.
“We count on tourism a lot with Jacksonville being the heart of southern Oregon, in terms of being the wine industry, so having a new winery in town helps with tourism and letting people know,” said Moreira.
The owners are also asking for help with future wine label designs. If you have an idea you’d like to submit, you can email them at [email protected]
NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology.
In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she’s not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.