Wine Down Eugene


Wine Down Eugene April 23-29

Summer may feel like it’s a million years away with the rainy, cold and windy weather we’re currently experiencing.  It’s hard to imagine that in less than two months from now, I’ll most likely be moving my office back outside – where I love to work while catching every ounce of sunshine that graces the cerulean blue skies of Oregon’s Willamette Valley summers.

DM Rose bubbly sunny day
My favorite Domaine Meriwether bubbly on a gorgeous sunshiny April afternoon. Just look at that view.

With summer along the horizon, two of my favorite down-time activities of all-time will take place, as they do year in and year out: camping and visiting the wineries.  We’ve already got our beach side camping reservations set and in place for the summer, and like we do each year, we’ll pack up the camper and head for the Coast.  Along the way, we’ll visit wineries and stock up on some of our favorite Oregon wines that will be sipped and savored next to a bonfire on the beach while watching the sun set out over the Pacific Ocean.

Many times, as we’ve pulled into wineries and vineyards with our camper in tow on our way to the Coast, I’ve thought to myself, “If we could just set up camp right here, right now, life would be grand.” My visions of camping among the vines and taking the time to fully enjoy everything a winery and vineyard property has to offer have been plenty. Thoughts of long walks through the rows of vines while sipping and savoring a stellar Pinot Gris, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir have crossed my mind often. The star-filled skies at night in Oregon wine country are simply breathtaking – camping under them, and among the vines, would be nothing short of incredible.

DM entrance sign

Imagine my excitement when I found out from two of my gal pals, Denise Rossetti (of and Lorrie Normann (owner of Domaine Meriwether), that my visions of wine camping have become a reality through their efforts of planning what is undoubtedly going to be the ultimate event of the summer: Wine Camp

Wine Camp is everything I’ve envisioned but so much more.  Taking place at Domaine Meriwether, August 9 and 10, 2014, this two day wine-centric, adults only, camping experience is a dream come true.  With Lorrie’s event planning experience and wine expertise; along with, Denise and Lorrie’s shared passion and enthusiasm for turning their visions into absolute realisms, I am in full-on celebration mode just knowing that they’ve been working diligently to put this unique experience together.

Domaine Meriwether property boasts the perfect area for camping
Domaine Meriwether property boasts the perfect area for camping

I met up with Lorrie and Denise a couple weeks ago, when we were having that unbelievable summer-like weather, to learn more about Wine Camp.  With a glass of my favorite bubbly in hand (Domaine Meriwether’s Brut Rosé), we walked around the property to see where the tents and campers would set-up (Lorrie envisions lights strung throughout the trees), we explored the rows of vines where the “lunch in the vineyard” may take place and we viewed possible locations where a true technical tasting of Pinot Noir will be taught by Lorrie herself.  I was quickly learning that Wine Camp is going to be the experience of a lifetime.

$149 per person (includes everything on the schedule)


  • 10am – arrive and set-up camp at Domaine Meriwether
  • 12:15pm – lunch in the vineyard
  • 2pm excrusions – Option 1: Wine Tour – visit and taste at LaVelle Vineyards and Sarver Winery (only 20 seats available). Option 2: Vineyard Tour, “Fizz Ed & Technical Tasting” with Lorrie Normann
  • 6pm – Winemaker’s Dinner in the cellar
  • 8pm – campfire and dessert


  • 10am – Mimosas and continental breakfast (full breakfast available for purchase from Comfort’s Mobile Cuisine
The vineyard lunch will take place down one of the rows of vines. By August, these will all be in full bloom.
The vineyard lunch will take place down one of the rows of vines. By August, these will all be in full bloom.

As we walked through the camping area, rays of light from the sun’s beams poured through the branches of the trees, creating a magical-like setting.  The smell of fresh air and pine was alluring and rejuvenating – it’s an all-around perfect place for camping.  The excitement and enthusiasm in both Lorrie’s and Denise’s voices and expressions as they told me about Wine Camp only made me want to fast forward to August – this one-of-a-kind event can’t come soon enough, and I’m already thinking about a theme for decking out my camper: Margaritaville.

To book your space at Wine Camp (better hurry), go to


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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