Our History

For a hundred years…

Belle Fiore’s slopes thrived as a cattle and hay farm first settled in approximately 1880.  Belle Fiore’s flourishing hay fields were homesteaded by the Murphy family. In the 1930’s, Ashland families, like many across America, became forlorn, losing their jobs, farms and homes.  The Murphy’s land eventually was claimed by a bank.  When the economy finally recovered around 1937, the Miller family, originally from Georgia, became owners and farmers of Belle Fiore Estate’s fields, ponds and mountain slopes.

The Kerwin family relocated from Denver to Oregon’s Rogue Valley in 1993. Edward Kerwin is an allergy & asthma specialist, physician and clinical research scientist.  He had done his training in hospitals in Denver and Iowa City, Iowa.

Ed graduated in 1979 and was hired out of college by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, Texas. After two years at NASA, he returned to studying history, and while working at Princeton University, obtained a MS in the history of science. Ed then embarked on a career in medicine and attended the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. Ed’s wife, Karen, also has a diverse educational background, having studied languages in Tours, France, Viareggio, Italy, and Salzburg, Austria. She completed her B.S. degree in Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, and later obtained her Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling at the University of Colorado. After years of academic studies, the Kerwin family moved to Medford and Jackson County Oregon in 1993. They have four children.

The Kerwins always dreamed of developing a vineyard and winery. In 2000, they located a 55 acre property outside of Ashland for sale by Miller Ranch. They purchased the land and began to implement the development of Belle Fiore Winery, Estate and Vineyards. The Kerwins planted the vineyards in 2007, cultivating extraordinary wine grapes from many wine growing regions across Mediterranean Europe.

From France’s Bordeaux region, we grow varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot. From the Rhone, we grow Syrah grapes. From Burgundy, our Pinot Noir grapes are celebrated and esteemed. Belle Fiore also grows Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque, two additional classic French white wine grapes. The winery fashions exemplary wines using each of these classic French grape varietals.

Belle Fiore Winery History
Belle Fiore Winery History
Belle Fiore Winery History

The Kerwins planted the Belle Fiore Vineyards in 2007,
cultivating extraordinary wine grapes from many
wine growing regions across Mediterranean Europe.

Our Thriving Vineyard

Our boutique vineyards above the irrigation ditch house sixteen micro-blocks to cultivate exemplary Spanish and Italian grape varietals.  These robust grapes produce many wonderful, unique wines in the Rogue Valley.  Italian white wine grapes include Coda di Volpe, which means “the tail of the fox.” Delightful Italian red grapes include Montepulciano and Barbera.  Muscat Canelli grapes ferment into a sweet and delicious sparkling dessert wine.  Fiano and Teroldego are Italian grapes growing in our Vineyards.  With such classic vitis vinifera grape varietals derived from diverse hillsides of France, Italy and Spain, Belle Fiore cultivates savory and esteemed wines.

Belle Fiore wines are crushed outdoors on south and west facing crush pads. They are fermented and aged in the sanctuary-like tank room, and finished in stone walled barrel and case-good storage rooms. Ed and Karen have always sought to promote wines and foods that are natural, local, and healthy, as well as being delectable. Belle Fiore Vineyard follows sustainable practices which allow us to grow grapes with superb quality, marvelous final taste, and minimal use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Belle Fiore Chateau arose during 2003-2007, designed by John Kvapil and Phil Doza of DKA Architects of Bend, Oregon. The Chateau is fashioned in a French Mediterranean style and surrounded by gardens, pathways, ponds, and a panoply of flowering plants. Belle Fiore Chateau has hosted wine tasting events and celebrations for public audiences since 2007.

The Belle Fiore Winery and Wine Pavilion was constructed in the midst of our vineyards during 2011-2013. It resembles an Italian basilica with Campanile tower, gracious decks, and an artistic Galleria overlooking tank room operations. Guests can relax in our expansive tasting and ceremonial barrel rooms. The upper level Wine Pavilion, Board Room, Deck, and Celebration Terrace host music and other wine-related festivities.

Belle Fiore Winery History
Belle Fiore Winery History
Belle Fiore Winery History

ABOUT THE BELLE FIORE VINEYARDS

PEOPLE BEHIND THE WINE

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

Menu