Iris Vineyards

Wine Down Eugene

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Julia Crowley, EDN

A great weekend to wine down

I’ve been spending the last few days shopping for groceries and stocking up on local wine and beer that I’ll be sharing with friends and family over Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m truly looking forward to cherished time with loved ones.

Selecting stellar local wine to serve during Thanksgiving dinner has not been a difficult task for me since moving to the bountiful Willamette Valley wine region. However, this year I’m on a mission to not only serve excellent local wine, but to serve local craft brews as well.

Recently, I’ve delved into the world of barrel-aged brews, which are in high demand because of their unique flavors and aging potential. I attended the release party of Oakshire’s Hellshire II bourbon barrel-aged beer, and I spent several hours at 16 Tons’ ‘Winter and Strong Ale Fest’ tasting beers that were aged in wine, whiskey and even rum barrels. The distinctive flavors that result in these aged beers are incredibly savory and gratifying, and I can’t wait to pair them with some of the foods I’ll be serving on Thanksgiving Day. I’m also excited about an article I’m currently writing that’s all about these fantastic aged brews, which will be published soon, right here on Eugene Daily News.

Crafted local beers are a great match with the holiday trimmings

Aside from preparing for and enjoying the great feast on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be taking advantage of the many events happening around town and in wine country during the long holiday weekend. On Friday, I won’t be missing the rare chance to take in the breathtaking views that surround the original Iris Vineyards tasting room while enjoying their fabulous Pinot Noir, in addition to visiting some of the other spectacular wineries in the southern Willamette Valley. On Saturday, I’ll be quacking for the Ducks at Autzen Stadium while tailgating with King Estate Winery for the Civil War game against Oregon State University. To finish off the long weekend, on Sunday, I’ll be heading south to explore the many wineries of the Umpqua Valley. This will be a great opportunity to pick up some excellent artisan winter warming red wines, like Reustle Prayer Rock’s Tempranillo and Melrose Vineyard’s Baco Noir.

Although the long weekends festivites may catch up with me next week, I’ll be thankful for every minute spent with friends and family while enjoying the multiple bounties that Oregon brings us year round, and especially during the holidays.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving! ~Julia

Wine Bars & Wine Shops

16 Tons (Supreme Bean location): Tue. 6-9 pm, Women’s Only Tasting and pre-show for “The Love of Beer,” a documentary celebrating women in the craft beer industry. 2864 Willamette #500, Eugene.

Le Bar at 5th Street Public Market/Marché: This new bar has an incredible wine list. 296 East Fifth Ave., Eugene.

Marché Restaurant: Sun. 6:30 pm, Sunday family style Supper. $25 per person, wine by the carafe and specials. 296 East Fifth Ave., Eugene.

Marché Provisions: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting. Each week a selection of wines will be available for tasting. 296 East Fifth St., Eugene.

Washburne Cafe: Fri. 5-8 pm, appetizers, local wine and beer, and live music with Jazz du Jour. 326 Main St., Springfield.

Oakshire Brewing: Sat. 12-4 pm, newly remodeled tasting room will be open and food is available for purchase from Delacata Food Cart. 1055 Madera St., Eugene.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Fri. 2-6 pm, grand opening weekend celebration and wine tasting with Kandarian Wine Cellars, Spencer Creek Vineyard and Abbelone Vineyard; Sat. 2-6 pm, wine tasting with William Rose Wines, Kandarian Wine Cellars and Abbelone Vineyard. Enjoy snack and surprises for the grand opening celebration. This wine shop and tasting room showcases local wines and is located inside the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center in Veneta. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

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.

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 West Park St., Eugene.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Fri., Sat. and Sun. $7 Tasting Flight, local brews from Ninkasi and Oakshire. Fri. 3-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Brooks Robertson; Sat. 3-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Brook Adams; Sun. 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 other producers. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

Café 440: Wed., all day. Wednesday Wine Flights for the month of November: California Rodney Strong red wines and Oregon whites from Erath, Montinore and Stone Wolf. Three pours for $10.50. 440 Coburg Rd., Eugene.

B2 Wine Bar: Happy hour is Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm; Thu. and Sat., outdoor barbecue. Loads of northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

LaVelle Club Room
at 5th Street Market: Open during construction! Wed. 5-8 pm half off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. and Fri. 6-8 pm, live music. 296 East Fifth Ave., Eugene.

Sam’s Place Tavern: Sat. watch Oregon and OSU game; every booth has its own flat screen TV in addition to 22 plasma TVs; sports bar with a great wine list, 21 glass pours, all under $7! Wine list includes some excellent Oregon & northwest wines. 825 Wilson St., Eugene.

Red Agave: Excellent wine list including Oregon’s finest from King Estate, Territorial, Evesham Wood and Cristom, to name just a few; it’s impressive. 454 Willamette St., Eugene.

Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar: Mon. – Fri. 4-6 pm, happy hour wine and drink specials. 174 East Broadway Ave., Eugene.

Cork and Bottle Shoppe: Fri. 4 pm, free wine or beer tasting weekly. The Cork & Bottle Shoppe is one of Oregon’s only liquor stores that carry a large selection of local and international wine and craft beer in addition to liquor. 812 Beltline Rd., Springfield.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7 pm, Frugal Friday wine tasting with Mario; Sat. 5-7 pm,   featuring local and regional wineries; wineries announced the day of on their Facebook page. 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.

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: Tue. Fifty percent off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30 pm $1 off glasses of wine and pints of beer. Find King Estate’s Domaine Pinot Gris and Capitello’s Sauvignon Blanc here at half off on Tuesdays. 898 Pearl St,. Eugene.

Izumi Sushi and Grill: Like sushi & wine? Izumi has great sushi and they offer local wine and beer from Hinman, King Estate, Ninkasi and Oakshire. 2773 Shadow View Dr., Eugene.

Sabai Café and Bar: Wines by the glass, $6 and under. Excellent local wines from Territorial, King Estate, Capitello and Benton-Lane. 27 Oakway Center, 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. 2645 Willamette St., Eugene.

Kiva Grocery: Wine Department focuses on affordable northwest wines, small European wines and organic wines. Ten percent off mixed case, 15 percent off unbroken cases. 125 W. 11th, Eugene.

Café Soriah: Wed. celebrate Wine Wednesdays. All day half off bottles of wine, including local notable names such as BrickHouse, Capitello, King Estate and Broadley. Bartenders have put together a special drink list for the holidays. 384 W. 13th Ave., 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., all day $5 glass pours of house white or red. Find Patchwork Cellars delicious Pinot Noir here. 259 East 5th Ave., Eugene.

Cornucpia 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.

June Restaurant and Bar: Tue. – Sat. 5 pm, New bar ‘Kate’s’ located inside June recently had its grand opening. Happy hour is Tue.- Fri., 5-6 pm. Their wine list has some great local wines. 1591 Willamette St., Eugene.

Wineries and Vineyards

Click here for the special Wine Down Eugene Thanksgiving Weekend Winery Open Houses

Save the Date or Reserve Now

Oakshire Brewing Co.: Nov. 30, 6:30 pm doors open for the 7:30 pm showing of “The Love of Beer,” a documentary celebrating women in the craft beer industry, followed by a Q/A with film maker Alison Grayson. Tickets available at Oakshire Brewing and 16 Tons. 1055 Madera St., Eugene.

Bier Stein: Dec. 1, 6-9 pm, Blue Dog Mead tasting. 345 E.11th Ave., Eugene

Saginaw Vineyard:
Dec. 2, 6-9 pm Friday Night Live in the Barn, featuring live music with Petri Dish. $10 cover charge includes wine tasting and simple hors d’oeuvres. 80247 Delight Valley Rd., Cottage Grove.

Silvan Ridge Winery:
Dec. 3, 6:30-9:30 pm, “Dead in the Sled” Murder Mystery Dinner. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar: Dec. 7, 5:30-7 pm, First Wednesday Wine Tasting, featuring all Italian wines. Twenty dollars per person includes a taste of ten wines and light appetizers. Read about these fabulous wine tastings here. 174 East Broadway Ave., Eugene.

Marché Provisions: Dec. 10, 8:15 pm, Wine Basics class – Champagne. Bubbles of all sorts, in-depth tasting notes and light appetizers. $35 per person. Call 541-743-0660 for reservations. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Dec. 10, 5 pm to closing – 2011 Bubble Bash! Taste a wealth of delicious Champagne. Pricing will be at its best for holiday enjoyment and gifting. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Dec. 10, 5-7 pm, wine tasting with Benton-Lane Winery. 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira: Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery Dinner and Dance. $99 includes three-course meal prepared by Field to Table Catering, a three-act play and round trip transportation from Valley River Center if you choose to use it. Seating is limited and advance ticket purchase is required. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Wine Down Eugene – Thanksgiving

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— 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.