If you’re a thrill-seeking foodie who loves adventure, then the Rogue River Wilderness Gourmet is your perfect getaway. Combining the Rogue’s exciting Class III waters with stunning landscapes and riverside gourmet meals, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to “do it all” than on an OARS Wilderness Gourmet trip.
Chef: Neil Fearday, Southern Oregon
Vintner: Browne Family Vineyards, WA
Neil Fearday grew up in Illinois and started his culinary career at the Firefly Grill, where he learned his craft at the School of Hard Knox on the job. Offering up globally inspired cuisine, one of the most rewarding aspects of cooking on the river for him is getting to share his form of art with the guests. And you never have to worry about underseasoned food when Neil’s on the job, because the one ingredient he would never go on the river without is salt. He currently resides in Southern Oregon, where he grows his own organic vegetables, hunts wild mushrooms, and lives off the land as much as possible. Since boating and cooking are two of his favorite things, he’s a natural fit for an OARS gourmet wine trip.
Inspired by the greatness of one man— owner Andrew Browne’s grandfather, William Bitner Browne—integrity and excellence are the standards upon which Browne wines are created. As a curator of the brightest talent, best vineyards, and the divining rod of winning concepts at Precept Wine, where Andrew serves as its CEO, his groundbreaking feats across the wine industry carry through to his own family legacy in wine, Browne Family. This is premium Washington wine, made with the utmost quality and enjoyment in mind. Browne Family Vineyards was 15 years in the making before its first vintage ever debuted. Vineyards, winemakers, and cellar masters committed to world-class wine production were carefully and deliberately selected to represent the best of the Columbia Valley AVA. To date, Browne has received more than 30 scores of 90 points or higher from critical reviews.
About This Trip
Spend each day rafting through beautiful Oregon forests, where wildlife abounds, and there’s no shortage of jaw-dropping scenery to marvel at. As you head downriver, you’ll get to explore lush trails that take you to magical places. Perhaps you’ll visit Western novelist Zane Grey’s cabin, or you may hike up to Inspiration Point for an incredible view of Stair Creek Falls and watch other rafters take on the swirling Coffee Pot Rapid. With numerous historical points of interest and fern-lined paths to waterfalls and more, your days on the Rogue are sure to leave you in awe. And hungry. But don’t worry, for your inner foodie the best is yet to come….
After pulling into camp for the day, everyone will unload the rafts, and you can find the perfect spot to set up your tent for the night. Get cozy, and then make your way over to start sampling delicious Browne Family wines, perfectly paired with delectable h’ordeuvres. You can join the chair circle to continue getting to know your newfound friends, or you might feel drawn to the river’s edge for a moment of quiet reflection and some time with a good book. Soon Chef Neil will have a meal prepared guaranteed to knock your Chacos off.
Working with fresh, local ingredients, Chef Neil will wield masterful artistry as he creates delightful dishes in this bewitching backwoods setting. You’ll sit at linen-draped, candlelit tables with your fellow rafters and break bread. The conversation will be flowing, as will the wine, and an abundance of laughter will fill the air. As you head to bed with a satisfied stomach and happy heart, you’ll ponder the memories made that day as the mellifluous river lulls you to sleep.