Sunset Magazine 2018 Travel Awards
Sunset Magazine | July 2018 | 2018 Travel Awards
2017 Winery of the Year
Wine Press Northwest | March 2017 | 2017 Oregon Winery of the Year: DANCIN Vineyards
The Very Best Winery 2017
Southern Oregon Magazine | April 2018 | Best Winery
2018 Best Viticulture & Culinary Destination
LUX Life Magazine | 2018 | Best Viticulture & Culinary Destination in the Northwest
Best Local Winery in 2018
Rogue Valley Messenger | April 2018 | Best Local Winery
NEWS 10 – KTVL.com | April 7th 2017 | Local Living: DANCIN into a top award
New York Times
Something else struck us about these wineries: They were actually welcoming to children. Everywhere we went, there were crayons and coloring books and toy bins. Grassy lawns beckoned families to spread out a picnic blanket, enjoy a wood-fired pizza and stay awhile.
We found one such spot at new Dancin Vineyards, a mile outside Jacksonville, with a prime view of Mount McLoughlin. The affable, apron-clad owner, Dan Marca, and his wife, Cindy, moved here from Sacramento in 1999 (the vineyard’s moniker is a mash-up of their nicknames). Mr. Marca delivered Italian-sausage-stuffed mushrooms and blistered pizzas to our picnic table; our children, tired of coloring, played around a giant black walnut tree and sunny-yellow chicken coop, while we clinked glasses of the 2011 Septette pinot noir, toasting to a wine country that kids and parents can both love.
DANCIN Vineyards has a good pinot, wood-fired pizza, picnic tables — and chickens.
A sip…and a slice at DANCIN Vineyards.
“A new Oregon wine country is rising…for the wine minded traveler, this destination feels almost utopian.” “Wood-fired fig and caramelized onion pizza with a 92 point 2012 Syrah, anyone?” “You’ll vow to ditch crowded tasting room counters forever after a sunny afternoon at this beautiful pastoral setting.”
Set the table with a beloved wine grape. We showcase American Chardonnay with 20 bottles from five states, spanning California to Virginia. DANCIN 2016 Chassé Chardonnay 92 points/Editor’s Choice. This is barrel fermented in neutral oak using native yeast. It’s complex and textural, with layers of ripe tree fruits. Peaches and mixed tropical fruits are in play, along with some baking-spice highlights. It’s full-bodied and irresistible, diving deeply into a lush finish. Drink now through 2022.
Dan Marca might be the voice of reason. Marca, who owns Dancin Vineyards in southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, produces five excellent Chardonnays. Different clones distinguish each blend. Several incorporate both heritage (California) clones and Dijon clones. These Chardonnays mix clones like an artist blends paints into a unique color. The wines provide a glimpse into efforts to establish an Oregon identity for Chardonnay, much like how the state made Pinot Noir its own.
“Each of the clones gives us something specific and desirable,” says Marca. “We harvest them separately and then blend them back together to give us the best wine. “For the longest time, we continually compared ourselves to Burgundy. We are not that, nor are we California. I think our site and those like it have the best of both worlds. We’re not too big and heavy, nor too light and elegant.”
Perhaps the best thing about wine tasting is getting to know the people and stories behind the brand. For years, I’ve been a fan of DANCIN Vineyards but never knew why. On this day, when the retiring sun painted slots and angles on the Rogue Valley, a lively group of people drank wine around outdoor tables in what felt like a small Italian town’s piazza.
Inside the tasting room, a woman cleared dishes from the few small tables while behind the bar a man checked in with his waitstaff and poured wine, occasionally looking up to make conversation with a patron at the bar. Dan and Cindy Marca, the owners and namesake of DANCIN Vineyards, could easily be mistaken for hourly help. This family-run business was the first vineyard to offer food full full time, Dan told me. From a wood-fired oven, perfect thin-crust pizzas arrive in a serving window as if pulled through a time warp from Old World Italy.
The 2015 Coda Southern Oregon Estate Pinot Noir is my preference among an array of good pinots and barberas. Coda is as elegant as its label, a ballerina dressed in a red wine splash. The lovely wines, the lighter-than-air pizzas, a piazza buzzing with conversations, this all seemed a world away as I flew into Seattle then on to Walla Walla.
Southern Oregon Magazine
“Southern Oregon’s DANCIN VINEYARDS Takes Its Place Among the World’s Best”
“Jacksonville’s Modern-Day Pinot Pioneer”
Writer for Forbes Travel Guide, Decanter (London), Fine Wine & Liquor (China), Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, The Tasting Panel and Sommelier Journal, among others:
Oregon Chardonnay is not a calling card. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris rank above Chardonnay in terms of wines produced in this state, but nonetheless Oregon Chardonnay does offer diverse expressions and none quite like the DANCIN label from Southern Oregon’s Medford region. A subversive Chardonnay that drinks more like an old world Chablis, this is a quiet wine, one that does not announce itself with boisterous oak, ML or anything other than an alluring nod. Only bottled seven months ago from the time of this writing, this is an anomaly – a wine so bright, clean and fresh it belies the stereotype of Chardonnay altogether. It offers subtle notes of kefir lime and pineapple, lemon zest, summer wildflowers, with back notes of baked Brie, and Graham cracker. There is a wonderful compelling acidity, minerality and crispness one does not find often, in spite of the fact this was aged on the lees and hand stirred once a month. In essence, this is the antithesis of the Chardonnay butter bomb, and a reminder of how good and delicate Chardonnay can actually be, and how Oregon continues to express itself with wines that find their own sense of place.
Northwest Travel & Life
DANCIN…is all about pinot noir, their specialty. The winery itself includes many different visitor areas, giving you plenty of locales to enjoy your wine on site.