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Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene May 1-7

photo (15)It’s officially the very first day of Oregon Wine Month!  And, what a way to begin this month long celebration with a forecast that is absolutely awesome!  In the nine years that I’ve lived in Eugene, Oregon (seven consecutively and two back in the late ’80s), I cannot recall an April or May ever being quite as sunshiny and warm as this one.

There is something about the sunny skies and warm air that urges me to pop the cork on a bottle of Oregon Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc.  There’s nothing quite like sipping chilled wine while basking in the sun that evokes such sense of relaxation.

With a six day forecast like the one we currently have in the South Willamette Valley, there’s no better place to be than at the wineries, soaking in the warmth and rays while supporting our local winemakers during Oregon wine Month.  If you need me, I’ll be at one of the following wineries, glass in hand.

Sweet Cheeks Winery has a super crisp and refreshing Pinot Gris – perfect for a sunshiny afternoon on their patio with a view.  They are open daily from 12-6pm, and 9 pm on Fridays for their Twilight Tasting.

Sarver Winery is open Friday and Saturday 12-9 pm and Sunday 12-6 pm. The last time I was out at Sarver (which was just last week), I could clearly see snow-capped Three Sisters.  Sarver has an unmatched view from their tasting room patio, and they have their juicy, refreshing Rosé on tap for just $5 a glass!

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The view from Sarver Winery tasting room patio on a sunny late April afternoon

Sparkling Nights at Domaine Meriwether, Friday 6-9 pm, is – without a doubt – where you’ll find me on Friday evening.  Picnic tables next to the rows of vines with a view of the Coastal Range foothills, a treeline far enough away to not block the sunshine from beaming on my face and a glass of bubbly in hand – my ideal location for a 79 degree Friday afternoon.  Besides, there’s no way I’m missing a live performance by Shelley and Cal.

King Estate Winery, which is open daily from 11 am – 8 pm, has the Pinot Gris that put Oregon on the map for being producers of stellar white wine.  Top-of-the-line in all accounts, from the view to the food to the wine, King Estate is an incredible place to spend a sunny afternoon sipping outstanding wine.

LaVelle Tasting Room at the 5th, with it’s big patio and view of the bustling street below, is in the center of town, so you don’t have to drive to wine country for a glass of their delicious off-dry 2011 Willamette Valley Riesling – the perfect refreshment on a warm day in the sun.

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an inviting picnic table at Domaine Meriwether on a sunny day in mid April

Pfeiffer Winery has recently started offering really delicious small plates that can be enjoyed in their four-tiered water garden –  a garden of waterfalls and ponds that are surrounded by beautiful landscaping, rows of vines and rolling hill countryside.  Open from 11 am – 5 pm, except for lovely spring days, when they’ll stay open until 7 pm, try their Grey Cat (Muscat and Pinot Gris) or Anna Skye (Muscat and Pinot Blanc). Each are equally refreshing while enjoying the outdoors.

These are just a few of the local wineries that have great wine; as well as, views and outdoor seating. There’s also Saginaw, Silvan Ridge, Brigadoon, Benton-Lane, Chateau Lorane and Noble Estate.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll be most certainly soaking in every last bit of sunshine that is headed our way. It is just the very beginning of May after all, and we have a long way to get to summer – I’ll take what I can get, this rare Spring weather is definitely a very special treat.

Happy Oregon Wine Month!  Follow the link to find out how you can win a backpack full of goodies from the Oregon Wine Board by simply visiting select wineries and saying, “I love Oregon wine!” May is Oregon Wine Month

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