Linda Donovan is the owner of The Urban Cork Winery located in downtown Medford. Linda is a familiar face in the tasting room and well known for her incredible low intervention L. Donovan wines, but she has also had a hand in making Southern Oregon wine what is it today.
With more than 22 years of global experience in winemaking, Donovan is a leader in the Southern Oregon wine industry. She began her career while earning a degree in Enology at the University of California/Davis. An internship in 1992 led her to Robert Mondavi Winery to assist with the harvest. After graduation, Donovan moved to the Napa Valley and quickly acquired the production skills required to make quality wines. She was promoted to research enologist at Beaulieu Vineyard where she was responsible for all experimental (small lot) winemaking. While at Beaulieu, Donovan co-wrote a technical paper on Pinot noir clones that was published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. She was also lucky enough to work with one of the world’s greatest winemakers, Andre Tchelistcheff. After a stint in Australia, Donovan moved to the Sonoma Valley to focus on making world-class Pinot noir at Flowers Vineyard and Winery.
Commitment to Southern Oregon wines
Itching to begin her own business, Donovan relocated to Southern Oregon in 2000. She planted a 10-acre vineyard and managed a small agricultural operation. She also launched a consulting company, L. Donovan Wines, and began assisting regional winemakers and vineyardists. In 2004, Donovan was commissioned by Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point, Ore., to build a winemaking facility. Working closely with the owner, Donovan designed, equipped and made the first vintage of wines in the 6,000-square-foot winery. Two years later, Donovan helped establish Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden in the Applegate Valley, where she made the first Biodynamic® wines in Southern Oregon. Much of Donovan’s success is derived from her ability to craft distinct yet well-balanced wines. She has a full understanding of the chemistry and microbiology of winemaking, coupled with complete knowledge of processing and equipment.
Pallet Wine Company
Established in 2009, Pallet is a custom crush (wine processing) facility created exclusively to serve Southern Oregon’s rapidly growing wine and winegrape industries. Located in downtown Medford, Ore., Pallet provides full-service winemaking, storage, laboratory, wine education, compliance and support services to growers and wineries throughout the region.
It is based in the Cooley-Neff Building, a two-story 21,000-square-foot structure recently added to the National Historic Register. Pallet’s sole goal is to craft quality wines for everyone’s pocketbook – from everyday table reds and whites to ultra-premiums.
The Urban Cork
In 2016, Donovan opened The Urban Cork- a tasting room to service her 25 plus clients. The Urban Cork has become the place for wine in downtown Medford serving over 120 different wines with rotating flights throughout the week. Popular with locals and those traveling looking to explore all that Oregon wine has to offer.