Spring is in the air. The weather this past weekend is proof that brighter, sunnier days are ahead, and I couldn’t be happier. On Saturday, I spent the day pulling weeds out of the garden and prepping the soils for the perrenials that are awakening form their winters nap and for the annuals I’ll soon be planting. The rosemary bush in my back yard is in full bloom with radiant lavender flowers and the vivid colors of the pink and red tulips are adding a beautiful element to a garden that’s been brown and green for five long months.
As always, a day spent in the garden means an evening spent enjoying a glass of wine to watch the sun go down. In my glass on Saturday evening was a delicious Pinot Noir from the Ribbon Ridge AVA that’s north of Eugene in Yamhill County, Oregon: Whistling Ridge 2009 la terra Estate Pinot Noir. The light bodied characteristics of most Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs are perfect for the light and airy days of Spring, and this was another 2009 Pinot Noir that I’ve recently discovered that is drinking beautifully right now.
I also enjoyed some fabulous locally made microbrews last week while having lunch with the Local Lunch Gals at Eugene’s newest brewery, Falling Sky Brewing. We tried eight different full-flavored beers and a semi-sweet, delicious hard apple cider. We were truly impressed with the ambiance, food, staff, and most of all, the beer. For a full review of our experience at Falling Sky, click here.
With the rest of the week and weekend ahead, there are a number of things going on in and around Eugene. On Thursday, The Broadway is offering wine enthusiasts a chance to blend their own glass of Bordeaux style wine. On Friday, Domaine Meriwether will be having another Sparkling Nights with a featured wine and live music. The weather forecast for Saturday, at this point, is seventy degrees and sunny, so there’s only one place to be on a sunny April day, and that’s in wine country. Not sure which winery I’ll be going to yet, but there’s no doubt I’ll be sitting outside looking out over some vineyards with a glass of wine in hand.
On Tuesday, I’ll be heading south to Creswell to have lunch at Heidi Tunnel Catering Company. Not only does this unique bakery and restaurant have the worlds best baked goods, but the soups, salads and sandwiches are unforgettably delicious, and my craving for fresh local food and baked goods can not wait another week; besides, Heidi is taking reservations for the extremely popular 2012 Barn Dinners, and I need to make a reservation before all the dates are sold out. Visit HTCC on their website and facebook.
Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants
Heidi Tunnell Catering Company: Tue. Bakery 10 am- 6 pm and lunch from 11 am – 2 pm; Thur. 6 pm Thursday Night Dinners- this week is Roasted Chicken with Risotto. Doors open at 6pm with appetizers, beer and wine available for purchase. Dinners are served family style, with one seating at 6:30 pm. Boedecker, Domaine Meriwether, J.Scott and Capitello are just a few of the many excellent wines that are currently on the wine list. For reservations call 541-895-5885. 182 South Second St., Creswell.
Broadway Wine Merchants: Thu. 6 pm Special wine tasting and meal by Chef Glen – blend your own glass of Bordeaux wine with Cann winery out of Napa Valley. $25 per person, call to sign up 541-685-0790; Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting; First Tuesday of each month – Cheese & Wine Tasting. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.
16Tons (Supreme Bean & Taphouse locations): Apr. 23 – 29, Wild Ale Fest & 2nd Anniversary Celebration. 70 wild Ales on tap between the two locations. Cash only. Call 541-345-2003 for details. 2864 Willamette St. & 265 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.
Falling Sky Brewing: Open Sun.-Wed. 11 am – midnight and Thur. – Sat. 11-1 am. Excellent selection of handcrafted brews and local barrel to tap wines. Check out the Local Lunch Gals review of Falling Sky here. 1334 Oak Alley, Eugene.
Sam Bond’s Garage: Opens at 4 pm. Live music, full bar featuring local wine and beer-in the heart of the Whitaker Neighborhood. 407 Blair Blvd., Eugene.
Sabai Café and Bar: Wines by the glass, $6 and under; excellent local wines from Territorial, King Estate, Capitello and Benton-Lane; check out a review by the Local Lunch Gals by clicking here. 27 Oakway Center, Eugene.
Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with The Whiskey Chasers; Fri. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with Tim McLaughlin featuring Emily Jenson; April Art: Autism Artism – art by people with autism from Lane County and around the world. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.
Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): 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.
LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: NEW HOURS! Mon. – Sat. 11 am -9 pm, Sun. 11 am – 6 pm; Wed. 5-8 pm, half off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. and Fri. 6-8 pm, live music; Patio is open and dinner service has started again including a new menu with some foods from Marche. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.
Koho Bistro: Wed. Wine Wednesdays – 25 percent off bottles of wine – excellent wine list with local wines from Territorial, J.Scott, Kandarian, Meriwether and Silvan Ridge to name a few; Happy Hour daily from 5 – 6:30 pm $1 off beers on tap, well drinks and wine. 2101 Bailey Hill Rd, Suite L, Eugene.
Belly: Mon. 5:30-9 pm, Taco Night; Select and affordable wine list. 291 East Fifth Ave., Eugene.
Benedetti’s Meat Market & Deli: Fri. 4-6 pm, Wine tasting with In Vitis For Wine. Sample a variety of local wines which will also be available to purchase by the glass or bottle. 533 West Centennial Blvd., Springfield.
Long’s Meat Market: Fri. 4-6 pm, free wine tasting with some cheese from their deli. 81 East 28th Ave., Eugene.
Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7 pm Mario’s Frugal Friday free wine tasting; Sat. 5-7 pm, wine tasting with special guests. 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.
Marché Provisions: Thu. Nebbiolo Wine Class, call for details 541-743-0660; Fri. 5-7 pm, Free weekly wine tasting. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.
B2 Wine Bar: Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. Ask about Eugene wine Cellars new Red Blend. Loads of Northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.
Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano: Fri. and Sat. 7-9:30 pm, live music, no cover; Mon.-Thu. 3-6 pm, Happy Hour. Extensive local wine list. 754 East Thirteenth Ave., Eugene.
Creswell Coffee Company: Fri. 7 pm, live music with Big foot Lane; Sat. 7 pm, live music with The Fret Boys; Nice wine selection here and occasional wine tastings. 116 Melton Rd., Creswell.
Café 440: Wed. all day, Wednesday Wine Flights, taste three whites or reds for $10.50; Mon. – Sat. 3-6 pm Happy Hour specials. 440 Coburg Rd., Eugene.
The Side Bar: Wed. Ladies Night, $1 off any glass of wine and $5 off a bottle of wine, great Oregon wine selection. 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, including local notable names such as BrickHouse, Capitello, King Estate and Broadley. 384 W. 13th Ave., Eugene.
Authentica Wines: 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. With a focus on artisan, small production wines for every budget, you’re bound to find something you love at this wine shop. 766 W. Park St., Eugene.
The Wine Place (Yachats): Fri. 4-7 pm Beer Tasting with Klamath Basin Brewing Company; Sat. noon-5 pm, wine tasting with J. Scott Cellars. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.
Steelhead Brewery: Sun. – Sat. 11:30 am – 11 pm, open later on Fri. and Sat., In addition to their own wine, Steelhead Red, you’ll find almost 20 wines by the glass, including 5H, Hinman, Erath and King Estate. 199 East 5th Ave., Eugene.
Le Bar at 5th Street Public Market/Marché: Extensive wine list in bar located next to Marche Restaurant. 296 East 5th 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. $8 Burger and Brew night, too. 1626 Willamette St., Eugene.
Red Agave: Excellent wine list, including Oregon’s finest from King Estate, Territorial, Evesham Wood and Cristom, to name just a few. ’06 Territorial Capital T Reserve can be found here. 454 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.
Jiffy Market: Fri. 5-7 pm, free wine tasting, house picks and pours; Sat. 6-10 pm, purchase a whole sandwich from the deli and receive a Ninkasi pint for $2. 3443 Hilyard St., Eugene.
Café Zenon: Tues., Fifty percent off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30 pm, $1 off glasses of wine and pints of beer. Find King Estates’ Domaine Pinot Gris and Capitello’s Sauvignon Blanc here at half off on Tuesdays. 898 Pearl St., Eugene.
Izumi Sushi and Grill: Izumi has great sushi and they offer local wine and beer from Hinman, King Estate, Ninkasi and Oakshire. 2773 Shadow View Dr., Eugene.
Sam’s Place Tavern: Sports bar with a wine list featuring excellent Oregon wines between $4 and $7 a glass – Henry Estate, 5H, Eola Hills and King Estate. 825 Wilson St., Eugene.
Agate Alley Laboratory: Sat. 10 pm, Late Night at The Lab with $1 off glass pour wine, $3 well drinks and pints, $9.50 pitchers & appetizer special. Twenty-five varieties of wine for $25 dollars in addition to extensive wines list. 2645 Willamette St., Eugene.
Kiva Grocery: Wine department focuses on affordable Northwest wines, small European wines and organic wines. Ten percent off mixed cases, 15 percent off unbroken cases. 125 W. 11th, Eugene.
Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. 5:30-7:30 pm Wine Night – all bottles 35 percent off; complimentary wine tasting in the lobby; excellent wine list. 207 East 5th Ave., Eugene.
Granary Wine Bar: Wed. 5 pm, $5 glass pours of house white or red. Nice selection of Oregon wine here. 259 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.
Cornucopia Maize Lounge: Daily happy hour 3-6 pm – “3/3/3 at 3″ special, three-dollar micros, wells and wine. 73 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.
Wineries & Vineyards
Domaine Meriwether: Fri. 6-9 pm. Sparkling Nights – wine tasting, live music, fun; Open Daily 11 am – 4 pm, world renowned Meriwether still and sparkling wine can be sampled in the tasting room. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.
Silvan Ridge Winery: Thur. 6-8 pm. Evenings with the Winemaker – a fun and educational quarterly event including a guided tasting and Q&A session with the winemaker. April’s event is The Best Wines For Spring. Reservations required, call 541-345-1945; 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.
Pfeiffer Winery: Fri./Sat. Fondue Nights begin this weekend! Cheese and chocolate fondue with fixings; Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm, keep warm while sipping Pfeiffer wine by the fireplace or sit by the gorgeous water gardens if it’s warm enough outside. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.
LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Sat. 12-5 pm, Release, Pair & Save. Receive 50% off of a case or 40% off of a bottle of the newly released ’09 Merlot; Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Fri., 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun., 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.
Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri. – Sun. 12-5 pm, newly constructed tasting room where you can sample Brigadoon’s three excellent wines now open. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.
Saginaw Vineyards: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night Live in the Barn, 21 and over only; 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.
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.
Sarver Winery: Open daily 12-8 pm; Sample the different styles of Pinot Gris produced from their 25-year old estate vines, along with full-bodied reds like Cabernet, Syrah and Petite Sirah while taking in an unobstructed view of the Cascades. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.
Capitello Wines: Another local winery without walls, so keep an eye out on Capitello’s Facebook page for upcoming events and tastings.
Spencer Creek Cellars/McBeth Vineyards: Wine Tastings in the Barn by appointment only. 541-521-4381. 85162 McBeth Rd., Eugene.
Sweet Cheeks: Fri. 6-9 pm, Twilight Tasting, sample pairings of Sweet Cheeks wine with Oregon-made artisan cheeses while listening to live music with Alex Hagerty; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sundays, fine sparkling wine and live music with Mark Slaymaker and Frank Schram from 2-4 pm. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.
King Estate: Open daily 11 am – 8 pm. Sample some of Oregon’s finest wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and enjoy a valley view that’s unmatched. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.
Chateau Lorane: Open daily, 12-5 pm. Stop by and taste some of their multiple award winners: Melon De Bourgogne, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Asian Girl Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and their double award-winning Red Bordeaux blend, Entourage. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.
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. Specializing in Roussanne, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet…and a little Pinot Noir. 373 North Hwy. 101, Yachats.
Abbelone Vineyards: Another fabulous winery without walls; check back frequently to find out where you can sample their delicious Pinot Noir.
Stanton Vineyards: Another local winery without walls, look for Stanton wines at Sundance, Market of Choice, Wineries without Walls in the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce & Authentica, and in restaurants Marché and Eugene Country Club.
Kandarian Wine Cellars: Excellent local winery without walls, check back often for wine tasting information.
Noble Estate: Open 7 days/week, 12-5 pm. Tasting room with beautiful patio and gorgeous view,. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.
Briggs Hill Winery: A winery without walls. Check back frequently to see where and when they will be offering samples of their wine.
Iris Vineyards: Tasting room scheduled to re-open in April, exact date TBA.195 Palmer Ave., Cottage Grove.
Patchwork Cellars: Christian Fox, owner of Patchwork Cellars, pours his excellent wine at certain events around town. Check back often for his schedule of tastings.
Dylan’s Run: Another winery without walls. Keep an eye out for tastings at the Fern Ridge Chamber of commerce, Wineries without Walls.
Fractal Cellars: A winery without walls that pours samples at certain events around town. Check back often for dates and locations of tastings.
Save the Date or Reserve Now:
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; 2012 series Barn Dinner-reservations are now open, click here to make a reservation on line. 182 South Second St., Creswell.
Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano: Apr. 26, 6-9 pm. Cucina Regionale – a culinary tour of Veneto, Italy, call for reservations and pricing 541-342-6963. 754 East Thirteenth Ave., Eugene.