Wine Down Eugene


Wine Down Eugene February 13-19

Chef Heidi Tunnell’s famous Ciabatta bread, grilled. Yum

I used to think that wineries sort of slowed down during the winter months, the perfect time for a well deserved break between harvest in the fall and bud break in the spring. Lately, however, wineries are buzzing year round with tastings and special events. I recently spent time in Carlton, sampling over 40 wines for the Winter Wine Tasting and Carlton Bite. I went truffle hunting at Willamette Valley Vineyards, followed by a fabulous truffle and mushroom themed lunch. The rest of the weekend was spent in food and wine centric Portland – where I joined in on a dinner event with Montinore Estate at wine destination restaurant Metrovino. There’s no doubt about it, the wineries are still very busy entertaining all of us wine enthusiasts.

Valentine’s Cellar Dinner at Domaine Meriwether

Just this past weekend, I attended two stellar events, back to back. On Saturday, I enjoyed a food and wine feast out at Sweet Cheeks Winery for their special winemakers dinner, Feast In The Cellar. Featuring excellent culinary creations by Iron Chef Heidi Tunnell, a group of about 30 people imbibed in the beautifully decorated, candle-lit cellar. Sweet Cheeks winemaker, Mark Nicholl, talked about the wines as we sipped and ate. In between courses, Chef Heidi joined our group and talked about the food – where it came from and why she paired it with particular wines.

The very next day, I joined another group of about 30 people at Domaine Meriwether Winery for a Valentine’s Cellar Dinner. While a harpist played beautiful music in the background, we joined owner, Buzz Kawders, at a beautifully decorated red and white themed table for a delectable meal prepared by Chef Garrett Kirsch of B2 Wine Bar. I’ll be sharing these events and more on my award winning website,

EDN’s new beer writer: Lana O’Brien

Attending all of these fabulous events makes me feel like a very lucky wine gal, and words can not describe how excited I am for tomorrow! I’ll be staying overnight at Timberline Lodge, and attending a very special Valentine’s Day Winemakers Dinner with Willamette Valley Vineyards. The dinner is being held inside the historic Silcox Hut, located at the peak of Mt. Hood – at 7,000 feet above sea level! Indeed, I’m quite the lucky wine gal. Life is good. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience in detail on

Special Note: Please join me in welcoming our new beer writer, Lana O’brien. Lana will be in charge of the new Hopped Up Eugene column, published weekly – every Wednesday – in conjunction with Wine Down Eugene. Welcome, Lana!

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants


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 a special Valentine’s Day Dinner with Braised Pork Cheeks, Salad and Ciabatta Rolls. Reservations are strongly recommended. Doors open at 6 pm with appetizers, excellent selection of beer and wine available for purchase.  Read about the Thurs. family-style dinners on 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Hot Milk; Fri. 5-11 pm, Third Friday BBQ and live music starts around 7 pm with Sean Peterson Jazz Trio. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Cafe): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 6-10 pm, Party Cart Valentine’s Day Dessert and Beer Pairing; 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: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting with Foundry Vineyards; Tue. 6 pm,  Corte Alla Wine Dinner. Call 541-685-0790. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

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

LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: Mon. – Sat. 12-7 pm, Sun. 12–6 pm;  Thu. 5-7 pm, live music with Gus Russell; 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.12-4 pm wine tasting – NW wines with special guest Aaron Jensen; Sat. 4-7 pm, Happy Hour with J.Scott Cellars in the Loft. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Wineries without Walls: Closed except for special events, which will be listed 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.

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


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): Sat. Feb. 16, Annual Mardi Gras Party; Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Sweet Cheeks: Thu.12-6 pm, Romancing the Vineyard live music and food featuring Crepe CycletteFri. 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 Michael Conley; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sunday with live music from 2-4 pm with Jen Sennet-Franklin. 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 John Shipe / 60s – 80s originals and covers. 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: Sun. Heart of Willamette Wineries Association 3rd Annual Barrel Tour. Call the winery for details 541-847-5792; Open Mon.-Fri. 12-5 pm in January and February. 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


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.

The Bier Stein: Feb. 20, 7-9 pm. Green Flash Brewing Draft Night and Free Tasting. 345 E. 11 Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Cafe): Thu. Feb. 21, Ninkasi’s Allies and Aliens – Mini Tap Takeover with Ninkasi’s Jeff Long. Jeff will be pouring samples of Allies and Aliens and more! El Dorado and other beers also on tap; Feb. 22, 5-8 pm. Claim 52 Tap Takeover and Tasting. Meet the brewers and taste the beer. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

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,

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