— Julia Crowley, EDN
Thanksgiving is just days away, and while I prepare my shopping list of food and, of course, wine, I’m reminded of how thankful I am to be living in the South Willamette Valley. I am surrounded by outstanding vineyards, superb wineries and stellar winemakers that produce the fantastic wines which are consistently being revered by critics around the world. I’m truly thankful to all of our region’s hard working farmers, winemakers, vineyard managers, winery owners, wine servers and everyone involved in making the South Willamette Valley wine region one of the best regions in the world. The result of your hard work will be thoroughly enjoyed this Thanksgiving by many, including me.
When considering the wine you’ll want to share with friends and family on your Thanksgiving table, think Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir’s earthy undertones and tremendously broad range of aromas, flavors and textures make this wine the ultimate wine to pair with all the traditional Thanksgiving foods; including, yam casserole, green bean casserole, Waldorf salad, roasted, fried, or smoked turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Finding an outstanding Pinot Noir to serve your loved ones on Thanksgiving is no daunting task when you’re lucky enough to reside in our beautiful wine region: all of the South Willamette Wineries produce top quality, notable and exceptional Pinot Noirs!
Not only will I be sharing and enjoying the incredible Pinot Noirs of the South Willamette Valley on Thanksgiving Day, but I’ll also be heading out to wine country to take advantage of the many Thanksgiving weekend open houses. From Benton-Lane Winery to the north in Monroe, to Saginaw Vineyards in the south near Cottage Grove, there’s plenty of breathtaking views to be seen and celebrated wines to be sampled.
One winery is opening the doors of their original tasting room off of Territorial Highway for two days only: Iris Vineyards. If you haven’t been to this gorgeous Tuscan-style tasting room with an impressive valley view, this is your chance to experience the phenomenal wines of Iris Vineyards in a striking setting. On Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th, you won’t find me in a line at the mall. You will, however, find me enjoying a spectacular view while sipping the 2008 Iris Vineyards Pinot Noir in the beautiful South Willamette Valley.
Thanksgiving Weekend Winery Open Houses
Benton-Lane Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. $10 admission includes logo glass, gourmet tapas and wine tasting which includes their 2010 Pinot Gris – one of the Top 100 Wines of the World! 23924 Territorial Hwy, Monroe.
Brigadoon Wine Company: Fri. and Sat. 11 am – 5 pm. Sample their Pinot Blanc and two Pinot Noirs. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.
Capitello Wines: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. Capitello is the special guest winery being featured at Domaine Meriwether. $10 admission includes 4 tastings, souvenir glass, live music and more. food will be available for purchase and families are welcome. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.
Chateau Lorane: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. $10 tasting fee includes a tasting of over 20 wines, appetizers and a logo glass. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.
Domaine Meriwether: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. $10 admission includes 4 tastings, souvenir glass, live music and more with special guest Capitello Wines. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.
Iris Vineyards: Fri. and Sat. 11 am – 4:30 pm. Thanksgiving sales along with a two day only opportunity to sample their wines in the original tasting room located at 82110 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.
J. Scott Cellars: Fri. and Sat. pouring both days at their tasting room located in the Crow’s Nest of The Wine Place in Yachats. Corner of Hwy 101 and 4th Street, Yachats.
King Estate Winery: Thu. 1-5 pm open for Thanksgiving Dinner SOLD OUT; Fri. and Sat 11 am – 8 pm. 80854 Territorial Hwy, Eugene.
LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira: Sat. and Sun. 12-6 pm. Live music with Brooks Robertson on Sun. 1-5 pm along with food available for purchase from gourmet food cart, Devour. 89697 Sheffler Rd, Elmira.
Noble Estate: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.
Pfeiffer Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. Wine Tasting flights from $10 – $20 including light appetizers and logo glass; Sat. enjoy “A Fall Lunch” with Bambino’s famous pulled pork sliders or Penne Pasta – $10 per person. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.
RainSong Vineyards: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm. No tasting fee and free finger food, barrel tastings of the wines available for their barrel bottling program along with the featured 2010 Pinot Noir. 92989 Templeton Rd., Cheshire.
Saginaw Vineyards: Fris. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. Complimentary wine tasting and hors d’oeurvres; Fri. 6-9 pm Friday Night Live in the Barn with Timothy Patrick – $10 cover includes wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres, 21 and only. 80247 Delight Valley Rd., Cottage Grove.
Sarver Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-6pm Enjoy a complimentary flight of six wines with the $5 purchase of one of their signature Sarver 22 oz. Bordeaux wines glasses. Betty Rocker’s Street Kitchen, one of Eugene’s popular food carts, will be serving up their famous Betty Burgers along with homemade soup. 2600 Mayola Lane, Eugene.
Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm. Live music each day from 1:30-4:30 pm. Big sale on wine and unique items in gift shop, new releases, free wine tasting, free admission and more. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.
Sweet Cheeks Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-6 pm Celebrate Sweet Cheeks 6th Anniversary during their Thanksgiving Weekend Open House. Free admission, live music, chocolate fountain and wine specials. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.
Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Open Fri. Sat. and Sun. $7 Tasting Flight, local brews from Ninkasi and Oakshire Fri. hours 3-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Brooks Robertson; Sat. hours 3-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Brook Adams; Sun. hours 3-7 pm, live music starting at 3 pm with Ally Losik. Unveiling of the expanded tasting room happens this weekend along with special offers of select wines and varietals from from other producers.907 West Third Ave, Eugene.