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Julia Crowley

Julia Crowley

Julia has been in the wine industry for nearly 20 years. First through creating European wine tours, then opening her own wine bar, Julia loves writing about food & wine on her website, WineJulia.com.
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Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene January 23-29

Brandborg WineryLast weekend, I headed out of the fog that was looming over Eugene to the small town of Elkton, located in the northern reaches of Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. In the heart of Elkton’s quaint downtown, Brandborg Winery sits on the main street in an attractive look-alike turn of the century building – a key business in a town that has a population of just about 200 people.

Inside Brandborg Winery, world-class, stellar wines are produced. A tasting room offers a large u-shaped tasting bar, a stage, ample seating, and in the summer months, an outdoor wine garden complete with a home-made outdoor wood fired pizza oven – one that owner, Terry Brandborg, built himself.

Brandborg White Pinot NoirAfter driving about 45 minutes from Eugene, we arrived at the winery in Elkton at noon to have lunch and a tasting with Terry Brandborg. Knowing the caliber of Terry’s wines from previous tastings, I knew we were in for a treat.

Starting with five whites and a rosé, including the outstanding 2011 Fleur de Lis White Pinot Noir and the 2008 Riesling, we later savored five Pinot Noirs from varying vintages along with a super fruity 2012 Nouveau Pinot Noir – all during an amazing lunch that Terry had cooked himself: home-made minestrone soup and fresh baked bread. In all, a total of twelve Brandborg wines were tasted, and each one had unique characteristics that truly impressed me. The Brandborg wines were absolutely outstanding.

After lunch, Terry took us up to his estate vineyard, where his home sits at the top of the hill and boasts a view of the valley below and the Coastal Range beyond –  a view that literally made me feel like I was on top of the world.

Follow me over to my award-winning wine blog, WineJulia.com, for the full story on my day trip to Elkton, including wine reviews and descriptions of each of the wines we sampled. It’ll be a read you won’t want to miss, and will include information on Oregon’s soon-to-be newest AVA: Elkton.

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

[WineDown-Shops]?
The Barn Light: Everyday 4-7 pm, Happy Hour specials on beer, wine and cocktails. 924 Willamette St., Eugene.

Heidi Tunnell Catering Company: Tue. bakery 10 am- 6 pm, lunch from 11 am – 2 pm and dinner from 4-7 pm; Thur. 6 pm, Family Style Dinner featuring Roasted, Seared Fish, Potatoes and Corn. Doors open at 6 pm with appetizers, excellent selection of beer and wine available for purchase.  Read about the Thurs. family-style dinners on WineJulia.com. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

16Tons (Cafe): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5-7 pm free wine tasting and happy hour & movie begins at 8 pm; Every Fri. 6 pm, free live music; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): Sun.-Wed. noon – 10 pm, Thu.-Sat. noon – 12 am (except New Year’s Eve). Great selection of beer and wine. 265 East 13th Ave., Eugene.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Wed. 6 pm, Remy Wine Dinner - Sign up in advance, $35 dollars per person. 541-685-0790; Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting; Tue. 4-6 pm, First Tuesday of each month – Cheese & Wine Tasting, $20 per person. Read about their wine and cheese events here. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

The Bier Stein: Huge selection of local and International beer. 345 E. 11 Ave., Eugene.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Tasting room closed until May 2013. Special events will be posted here.This wine shop and tasting room showcases local wines and is located inside the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center in Veneta. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

Marché Provisions: Fri. 5-7 pm, free Friday wine tasting. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with The Upstate Trio; Fri. 5-11 pm, 3rd Friday BBQ and live music starts around 7 pm with The Whiskey Chasers. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: Mon. – Sat. 12-7 pm, Sun. 12–6 pm;  Thu. 5-7 pm, live music; Fri. 5-7 pm, live music. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Ninkasi Brewing:Tasting room hours: Sun.-Wed. 12-9 pm, Thu.-Sat. 12-10 pm. Indoor and outdoor seating, food available for purchase from varying food carts. 272 Van Buren St., Eugene.

The Wine Place (Yachats): Sat.12-5 pm wine tasting – Amity Vineyards. NOTE: For January, the shop will be closed except on Saturdays from 11 am – 5 pm. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

SweetWaters at Valley River Inn: Every Thu. 4 – 7 pm, Free wine tasting featuring a different winery each week. 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene.

B2 Wine Bar: Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.

Long’s Meat Market: Fri. 4-6 pm, free wine tasting with some cheese from their deli; craft beers and Oregon wines available. 81 East 28th Ave., Eugene.

Authentica Wines: Hours are Tue. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, and Sat. 10 am – 5 pm. Wine tasting available every Saturday at the Wine Bar, and on the first Friday of each month during the Art Walk.  766 W. Park St., Eugene.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7 pm Mario’s Frugal Friday free wine tasting; Sat. 5-7 pm, wine tasting. 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.

Koho Bistro: Wed. Wine Wednesdays – 25 percent off bottles of wine. Happy Hour daily from 5 – 6:30 pm $1 off beers on tap, well drinks and wine. Read the Local Lunch Gals review. 2101 Bailey Hill Rd, Suite L, Eugene.

Café 440: Wed. 5 pm, Wednesday Wine Flights. Taste three whites or reds for $10.50; Mon. – Sat. 3-6 pm Happy Hour specials. For the Local Lunch Gals review, click here. 440 Coburg Rd., Eugene.

The Side Bar: Wed. Ladies Night, $1 off any glass of wine and $5 off a bottle of wine.  1680 Coburg Rd., Eugene

Ring of Fire Restaurant: Mon. 5 pm Wine Night Mondays-35 percent off all bottles of wine; Daily Happy Hour 4-6 pm. 1099 Chambers St., Eugene.

Soriah Cafe: Wed. 5 pm, *last Wednesday of the month only* Celebrate Wine Wednesday. Half off bottles of wine. 384 W. 13th Ave., Eugene.

Mac’s at the Vets Club: Wed. 6-9 pm, Wine, Jazz & Variety Show with Gus Russell & Paul Biondi. A different Oregon winery is featured each week. 1626 Willamette St., Eugene.

Cork and Bottle Shoppe: Fri. 4 pm, free weekly wine or beer tasting. The Cork & Bottle Shoppe is one of Oregon’s only liquor stores that carries a large selection of local and international wine and craft beer, in addition to liquor. 812 Beltline Rd., Springfield.

Café Zenon: Tues., Fifty percent off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30 pm, $1 off glasses of wine and pints of beer. 898 Pearl St., Eugene.

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. 5:30-7:30 pm Wine Night – all bottles 35 percent off; complimentary wine tasting in the lobby. 207 East 5th Ave., Eugene.

Granary Wine Bar:Wed. 5 pm, $5 glass pours of house white or red. 259 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Wineries & Vineyards

[WineDown-Wineries]?
Sarver Winery:
 Fri. 4pm, Delicious Homemade Soups and vintage concert series on the big screen; Last Sat. of each month, 6 pm, Steak Night – Hors D’oeuvres, Black pepper and sea salt New York Strip or Rib Eyes topped with gorgonzola compound butter, and served with garlic and sour cream mashed red skins and homemade Caesar salad. Reservations required. Open daily 12-6 pm except Fri 12-9. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Sweet Cheeks: Fri. 6-9 pm, Twilight Tasting, sample pairings of Sweet Cheeks wine with Oregon-made artisan cheeses while listening to live music from 6:30-8:30 pm with Tyler Morin; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sunday with live music from 2-4 pm with Kenji Ota. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Open Daily 12-5 pm. Complimentary taste of five wines in addition to several limited wines that may be tasted for a fee. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Domaine Meriwether: Fri. 6-9 pm. Sparkling Nights – wine tasting and live music. Open Daily 11 am – 4 pm, except Fri. for Sparkling Nights. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

King Estate: Visit the winery daily 11 am – 8 pm. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night LIVE featuring Tony Rae & Common Ground unplugged / jazzy blues. Friday Night LIVE is held indoors for the winter months and minors are not permitted. For more information, please click here; Open daily, 11 am – 5pm. Sample their traditional style wines in their tasting room located in the original building of a 1905 farmstead. They also specialize in farm fresh fruit wines. 80247 Delight Valley School Rd., Cottage Grove.

RainSong Vineyard: Two open houses a year: Memorial Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend. Unique barrel bottling program. 92989 Templeton Rd., Cheshire.

Chateau Lorane: Open daily, 12-5 pm. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

Pfeiffer Winery: Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm. Warm up with their hot mulled wine on the weekends. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri. – Sun. 12-5 pm wine tasting in their tasting room. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

Benton-Lane: Open Daily Noon to 5pm; For a relaxed one hour wine tasting with the owner in a special wine room overlooking the vineyards, call the winery for details 541-847-5792. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

Noble Estate: Open daily 12-5 pm. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

J. Scott Cellars: Tasting room located in The Wine Place in Yachats. Be sure to stop by and taste these excellent small boutique handmade Rhone varietals from the Pacific Northwest. 373 North Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Spencer Creek Cellars/McBeth Vineyards: Wine Tastings in the Barn by appointment only. 541-521-4381. 85162 McBeth Rd., Eugene.

The south Willamette Valley is home to many stellar vintners that do not have tasting rooms. Check back frequently for tasting/event information on the following wineries without walls: Capitello Wines, William Rose Wines, Patchwork Cellars, Abbelone Vineyards, Stanton Vineyards, Kandarian Wine Cellars, Oakdale Cellars, Briggs Hill Winery, Iris Vineyards, Dylan’s Run, Fractal Cellars.

Upcoming Events

[WineDown-Special]?
Heidi Tunnell Catering Co:
Thursday night dinners in their on-site event center. 6:30pm, doors open at 6pm. Extensive wine list by local, handcrafted Oregon winemakers and local beers as well. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Feb. 7, 6 pm Cheese and Wine Tasting. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

Benton-Lane: Heart of Willamette Wineries Association 3rd Annual Barrel Tour. Call the winery for details 541-847-5792. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

Sweet Cheeks: Feb. 9, 7 pm. Feast in the Cellar Prix Fixe Dinner featuring Chef Heidi Tunnell, reservations required; February 14, 12-6 pm. Romancing the Vineyard live music and food featuring Crepe Cyclette. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Feb. 16, Annual Mardi Gras Party. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

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