The last entry in Ed Schieffelin’s Diary read: “Struck her rich again by God!” The legend of the Lost Red Blanket Mine has intrigued fortune hunters for over a hundred years. It began with Ed Schieffelin, a famous prospector who once mined for gold in the Applegate Valley. He died alone in his cabin on Days Creek in 1897, after scrawling a mysterious note hinting he had discovered a rich gold strike. He marked his find by tying an old red blanket to a nearby tree. To this day, it has never been found. This legend was the inspiration for our Red Blanket Tempranillo.
Schieffelin’s family moved to Oregon when he was a young boy around the age of 10. He was always interested in prospecting and would often pan for gold in the Jacksonville area. By the time he was just 21 years old, Schieffelin left Oregon to search for gold in several of the Western States. Schieffelin’s life was very much that of your typical prospector, doing odd jobs to get by so he could go out and continue to look for gold and silver. He mined for over a decade with little to no success. Then, in August of 1877, he found some silver that would eventually lead to the development of the Tombstone, Arizona silver mines (Moore, 1983). From this discovery, he received about $600,000, which is equivalent to over 16 million dollars today!
Having grown up in the Rogue Valley, it was important to our winemaker to have a wine that had significant ties to the area. After a lot of research and help from the Southern Oregon Historical Society, we felt that Schieffelin’s story was too good not to be told. We still dream that maybe one day we will be the ones to come across a red blanket hanging from a tree.
Our Red Blanket Tempranillo is a blend of Tempranillo (81%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (19%) and has an underpinning of balanced tannins with notes of pepper and crushed black plum. Dark rich notes of roasted chestnuts and tobacco dominate the nose, with plenty of lift in the body to carry flavors of dried cherries, saddle leather and spice. All the flex of Tempranillo with the rounded fruit core of Cabernet. A worthy drink for a hard-working prospector.
The original concept for the label was a red quilted pattern, representing the blanket Schieffelin had tied to the tree. We later decided that the tree was important to highlight as well. The idea of wandering through the woods and stumbling upon a red blanket hanging from a tree was something that really excited us. The official label features a ghostly white tree against a dark background, with a single “red blanket” hanging from one of its branches. We felt that the starkness of the tree with the blanket hanging from it perfectly captured the Legend of the Lost Red Blanket Mine.