The unassuming fence that guards the property that Fences Winery calls home is deceiving! Once you are welcomed past the gate, you find a stunning home where this family of five (or sometimes four and sometimes six) lives. As you await entry into the home, you can look through the large glass front doors to the spectacularly inviting back of the home where there is a large pool with a beach-like entry, an arbor perfect for weddings and acres of grape vines beyond the pool.
Jody Lennon, the proprietor of this estate and winery, is a gem. She is a one woman show, in charge of marketing, sales, social media, warehouse, delivery, and of course, the home, the wine and the winery. Jody has the enthusiasm of a roomful of bumblebees when it comes to her wine. When asked about how all of this came about, she lights up with the story of Fences’ origin.
Jody and her husband, David, are both attorneys. They had very successful careers in New York where they were raising their three sons. Their lives were full of the hustle and bustle of city life, with obligations, responsibilities and activities that would make any family’s calendar explode. At some point amidst this chaos, Jody and David made the decision to break free, to try something different, to no longer be “fenced in.” Enter Medford, Oregon.
Medford is located in Southern Oregon, 30 miles from the California border. Medford’s population is around 80,000, a far cry from the dense humanity of New York. Medford is becoming increasingly well known for its bold red wines and Jody and David decided they wanted a piece of that.
Fences released its first wine at the beginning of 2017. Their Cabernet Sauvignon was award winning right out of the gate. The 2014 vintage earned 90 points and Editor’s Choice in Wine Enthusiast and Best of Class in the San Francisco Wine Competition. The 2014 Reserve Cab earned 91 points in Wine Enthusiast, a Gold Medal at Sip NW Best of the Northwest, Platinum in Wine Press Northwest and was named one of the Northwest’s top cabs by Wine Press Northwest. Not bad for a first vintage!
Fences has two winemakers, one for the cabs and one for the reserve cabs. The wines are produced locally in Medford. These winemakers have different approaches and Jody finds that an exciting way to showcase her grapes in the most unique and highest quality fashion.
There is no tasting room at Fences. Jody often hosts Wine Club events on the property, so that is one way to experience this very special place. She also hosts private wine tastings by appointment. If you are lucky enough to experience a private tasting, you will be treated like company in Jody’s home. Seated at a table by the pool, or under the shaded area overlooking the vineyard, Jody will not only pour her award winning wines and rave about their splendor, she will treat you to a wonderful charcuterie tray, filled with surprising meats, cheeses, nuts and fruit. She is truly the hostess with the mostest and wants to be sure you have a memorable experience.
On a recent visit to Fences, we brought old family friends from Florida to share in this wonderful experience. Strangers when they arrived, Margie and Bob are now part of the Fences family. And being part of the Fences family is no small matter. Jody and I share a very similar background, both raised on the east coast, both Jewish. We are now “sistuhs from another mothuh.” In fact, when Jody and David’s son begins his freshman year at the University of Oregon this fall, we are his surrogate parents, Ethan has a home to go to away from home. We are honored to have this responsibility, but no, Jody, we will not pay his tuition!
A visit to Fences reminds us all that dreams do come true, that adventures are waiting for us to take them on, that nothing is impossible. It reinforced for us that we, too, were lucky enough to have the courage to walk away from the life we knew in Florida to tackle the big unknown of Oregon and to land squarely in exactly the place we were meant to be.
If you are interested in visiting Fences Winery, contact Jody at [email protected], 541-690-8303. Fences wines are available at restaurants throughout Oregon. Just visit Bitcork for a list of restaurants serving this extraordinary wine. Bitcork is sponsoring this post and others that focus on the wines and wineries they actively represent.