memorial day

A Day For Remembering

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Most of us are still waiting for things to completely open up again after over a year of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. For many of us that means upcoming events like the Indianapolis 500, family gatherings, picnics, fishing, boating and the unofficial first long weekend of Summer and yes all of these occur on the same day. We call it Memorial Day, but it’s not supposed to about these things but remembering those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Indy 500
2007 Indianapolis 500 | Photo by en.wikipedia.org

Waterloo, New York was officially designated as the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May of 1966, but there are more than two dozen cities and towns that claim to be the place where it really started. Most of us know this, but many have forgotten when and how it all began.

First Memorial Day Sign
First Memorial Day Waterloo, NY | Photo by montfordpointmarineandhonor.blogspot.com

That first “Decoration Day” held on May 5, 1866 in Waterloo, New York was more of a local event similar to the same remembrances that were held in various cities and towns all over the country.

The first “Decoration Day” ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery was in 1868. The graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there were decorated by the 5,000 people in attendance. Future President General Ulysses S. Grant was in attendance and General James A. Garfield, another future President of the United States, gave a speech. About 600,000 Americans died in the Civil War which is the largest number of Americans killed in any war. For comparison 407,300 Americans died from all causes in WWII.

General James A. Garfield
General James A. Garfield | Image by history.com

General John Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and a U.S. Congressman, first proclaimed Decoration Day on May 5th,1889.The formal declaration in his General Order no. 11 as quoted in usmemorialday.org Logan said “The 30th of May 1889 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Apparently the date was chosen specifically because it was not the anniversary of any battle.

General John A. Logan
General John A. Logan Statue Chicago, IL | Image by wikipedia.com

New York, in 1873, was the first state to recognize the holiday. Back to usmemorialday.org “By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after WW I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honor Americans who died in any war).”

John F. Kennedy Grave
Eternal Flame At Grave Of President John F. Kennedy | Photo by gettysburgdaily.com

In modern times, the largest military cemetery is the Arlington National Cemetery. I visited Arlington back in 1969 while attending a broadcasting school in Washington, D.C. and the most striking memory I have was the “Eternal Flame” at the grave of President John F. Kennedy.

The Day The Earth Stood Still
The Day The Earth Stood Still | Image by c3lopscenter.com

My first recollection of that cemetery was from a scene in my favorite science fiction movie “The Day The Earth Stood Still.” In one scene Michael Rennies’s character Klaatu asks the little boy Bobby, played by Billy Gray of Father Knows Best fame, if all of those people buried there died in wars. The answer was most of them and the boy’s father was buried there. The alien Klatu found that startling because he said where he came from they didn’t have wars.

Cemetery Flags
Memorial Day Flags On Graves At Sunset Hills Cemetery, Eugene | Photo by Tim Chuey

Here in the Willamette Valley, local wineries stage events over the holiday weekend and  cemeteries hold their Memorial Day remembrance services. Hopefully, next year these events will be open to the normal crowds of people who want to attend.

If you have an idea for a future topic let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

It’s Not Just An Excuse To Have A Weeklong Sale.

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I’m sure that you have noticed all of the sales that suddenly appeared over the last week or so. What could make so many businesses from car dealers to department stores and beyond have another big sale? The answer is obvious, but is it justified? The reason given for such spectacular sales is supposed to be celebrating Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Sale
Memorial Day Sale | Image by Hometown Furnishings

I’m sorry, but that is not the purpose for which Memorial Day was declared. It is time to look back and see exactly why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Waterloo, NY
Waterloo, NY | Image by Ora-Band through big commerce.com

According to History.com Memorial Day was first celebrated in Waterloo, NewYork. “Waterloo – which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1886 – was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.” “On May 5,1868, General John Logan, leader of an organization for northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month.

General John Logan
General John Logan | Image by slideplayer.com

Here is the official proclamation Logan made “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Apparently he picked the date because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle and he called it Decoration Day.

In 1968 congress established the last Monday in May as Memorial Day with the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The result created a three-day weekend for federal employees which officially began in 1971.

Arlington National Cemetery
Flags On Graves At Arlington National Cemetery | Photo by Stars and Stripes

The annual tradition of placing flags on the graves of fallen soldiers continues today and is most impressive at the Arlington National Cemetery just outside of Washington, D.C. in Arlington, Virginia.

The flag became a symbol of our nation a long time ago, but do you know how it really happened? According to the website History of the America “On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated ‘Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.’ On August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman official declared June 14 as flag day.”

Betsy Ross And Her Flag
Betsy Ross And Her Flag | Image by Historical Society of Summerset

There is no real proof concerning the origin of the flag. It is thought by many that the flag sewn by seamstress Betsy Ross was originally designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson. I have also read that Betsy Ross made more flags over time for the country. Another piece of flag trivia is that the plan was to add a stripe whenever another state was added to the union, but it was determined that the flag would become very cumbersome and too large to handle so the stripes remained at thirteen and the stars were increased each time a new state joined the union.

48 Star US Flag
US Flag With 48 Stars | Photo by Kenoticket Through presto images.net

When I was growing up the flag contained only 48 stars since Alaska and Hawaii were not states yet. They waited until both became states before changing the stars on the flag so that they would remain an even number, otherwise an odd number of stars would be difficult to arrange in rows. Now, of course, our flag has 50 stars in the blue field lined up in even rows.

Giving Out Flags
Giving Flags To 1st Graders at Awbrey Park Elementary School Eugene | Photo by Teacher Ms. Sara Justice

As I have mentioned before, I am a member of the Eugene Downtown Lions Club. One of the programs sponsored by Lions Clubs International is called Flags for First graders and I feel privileged to be the one in our club who takes the flags and gives them out to elementary school youngsters. I discuss the history of the flag and the meaning of the words of the “Pledge of Allegiance.” For our National holidays, especially the ones celebration our country’s history I make sure to fly the flag over my front porch.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

It Happens At The End Of Each May, But Do You Know Why?

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The Indianapolis 500, family gatherings, picnics, fishing, boating and the unofficial first long weekend of Summer and yes all of these occur on the same day. We call it Memorial Day, but it’s not supposed to about these things but remembering those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Indy 500
2007 Indianapolis 500 | Photo by en.wikipedia.org

Waterloo, New York was officially designated as the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May of 1966, but there are more than two dozen cities and towns that claim to be the place where it really started. Most of us know this, but many have forgotten when and how it all began.

First Memorial Day Sign
First Memorial Day Waterloo, NY | Photo by montfordpointmarineandhonor.blogspot.com

That first “Decoration Day” held on May 5, 1866 in Waterloo, New York was more of a local event similar to the same remembrances that were held in various cities and towns all over the country.

The first “Decoration Day” ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery was in 1868. The graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there were decorated by the 5,000 people in attendance. Future President General Ulysses S. Grant was in attendance and General James A. Garfield, another future President of the United States, gave a speech. About 600,000 Americans died in the Civil War which is the largest number of Americans killed in any war. For comparison 407,300 Americans died from all causes in WWII.

General James A. Garfield
General James A. Garfield | Image by history.com

General John Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and a U.S. Congressman, first proclaimed Decoration Day on May 5th,1889.The formal declaration in his General Order no. 11 as quoted in usmemorialday.org Logan said “The 30th of May 1889 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Apparently the date was chosen specifically because it was not the anniversary of any battle.

General John A. Logan
General John A. Logan Statue Chicago, IL | Image by wikipedia.com

New York, in 1873, was the first state to recognize the holiday. Back to usmemorialday.org “By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after WW I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honor Americans who died in any war).”

John F. Kennedy Grave
Eternal Flame At Grave Of President John F. Kennedy | Photo by gettysburgdaily.com

In modern times, the largest military cemetery is the Arlington National Cemetery. I visited Arlington back in 1969 while attending a broadcasting school in Washington, D.C. and the most striking memory I have was the “Eternal Flame” at the grave of President John F. Kennedy.

The Day The Earth Stood Still
The Day The Earth Stood Still | Image by c3lopscenter.com

My first recollection of that cemetery was from a scene in my favorite science fiction movie “The Day The Earth Stood Still.” In one scene Michael Rennies’s character Klaatu asks the little boy Bobby, played by Billy Gray of Father Knows Best fame, if all of those people buried there died in wars. The answer was most of them and the boy’s father was buried there. The alien Klatu found that startling because he said where he came from they didn’t have wars.

Here in the Willamette Valley, local wineries staged events over the holiday weekend and  cemeteries held their Memorial Day remembrance services. As usual local cemeteries held service commemorating those who have died in service to our country. I would normally show you pictures of these events, but this column published before they have occurred this year.

Cemetery Flags
Memorial Day Flags On Graves At Sunset Hills Cemetery, Eugene | Photo by Tim Chuey

If you have an idea for a future topic let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Patriotism – American Style

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Patriotism at it's finest
Patriotism at it’s finest

As I drove east on Main Street in Springfield today, I could see an enormous flag waving high in the air.  I was in complete awe of this thing.  One could not help but feel the patriotism that came from it and the pride it’s owner must feel.

I pulled over to take photographs and see if I could speak with someone regarding the flag.  Immediately Tony Koloski, a mechanic from the shop approached me to see if he could help me.  I asked if I could speak with someone regarding this flag.

He said Jim Dobson the owner is who I would need to talk to, but he was with a customer at the moment.  While I waited for Jim to finish with his clients, I took some photographs;  Tony giving me a brief summary of the flag.

Once Jim was finished with his clients, we sat and talked about the flag.

It has been a permanent fixture in Springfield, Oregon since December 22, 1999.  The flag alone is 40 feet by 80 feet, the stripes are just over 31 inches tall and the stars must be approximately 2 feet each!

Jim Dobson - The man behind the flag
Jim Dobson – The man behind the flag

As we talked about the flag, Jim sketched out a drawing for me; showing me how the flag pole was constructed and then erected.  His friend Dave Fountain donated the old logging towers and light pole.

“Why did you go so big”? I asked him.

“In the City of Springfield, you could hang two banners a year, each one of them cost $60.00 just in permit fees and you could only hang them for 10 days.  So, I came up with this idea!  I also lined the perimeter of my shop with flags every ten feet.  I knew they wouldn’t tell me I had to take my flags down”.  He said with a chuckle.

As Jim continued to sketch, he explained that in order to do something like that today, it would cost 40 thousand dollars.  His flag, the one that is flying out side of his shop right now costs $3,000.00.  According to his research, he has found only three others in the United States bigger than his, located in Texas, New Jersey and Southern California.

He has two more flags, a bit smaller; one at 20 x 30 and 30 x 50 feet.

In remembrance of his mother, he flies the flag at half staff in her honor, as well as other family and friends.

The upkeep of such a flag can be pretty big.  Once the flag is taken down, it will go directly to Designers Workroom located in Eugene for repairs; Linda has been taking care of Jim’s flags since the beginning.  The flags whips pretty hard sometimes in the wind, causing them to tear.

“Often times, it will crack like a bull whip”.

It was not a small feat to erect such a pole.  The entire structure above ground is 125 feet tall (12 1/2 stories).  There is also another 16 foot logging tower encased in 40 cubic yards of concrete below ground!

A view of the flag from Kelly's Butte
A view of the flag from Kelly’s Butte

“On a good day, with no wind it may take 5 men and 15 minutes to raise the flag, if it is windy, it may take 10 people.  But if the wind is blowing particulary hard, we can’t raise it”.

Jim’s flag was used as a backdrop when President Bush was running for his second term and was campaigning in Medford, as well as when Dick Cheney came to Eugene.

Jim is a veteran and served in the Marine Corp. in Vietnam.  Jim is also an accomplished pilot.  A very warm, friendly and patriotic man.  I enjoyed my time talking with him and if it wasn’t for his business to run, I could have sat with him and his guys all day.

There is a lot of history in that shop.  He told me about putting a “free house” sign up 40 years ago.  Someone came and hauled off the house that sat on that lot.  Once the house was gone, he was then able build his shop.

Cascade Auto is located at 3842 Main Street on the corner of 38th Place and Main street in Springfield.

Memorial Day Headlines

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Headlines

  • Handy sues county for release of documents
    Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy is suing the county over what he says is its refusal to release documents related to allegations that he misused his office. The suit filed in Lane County Circuit Court seeks an order compelling the county to release …
  • Fire chief: no one home at South Eugene house fire
    Firefighters stopped a South Eugene house from going up in flames Saturday afternoon after a passerby reported a cloud of smoke billowing from the house.
  • Memorial Day Events
    Eugene:9 a.m. – Service at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, 300 Mary Lane.11 a.m. – Ceremony at Eugene Pioneer Cemetery, 18th and University Street, sponsored by American Legion Post 311 a.m. – Flag Ceremony at Garden Way Retirement Center, sponsored by American …
  • State asked to investigate Creswell city audits
    A Creswell resident has filed a complaint against the city’s mayor, council and administrators over delayed audits of the city’s finances. But the Oregon Government Ethics Commission doesn’t have jurisdiction to pursue the complaint,…
  • Jail picks up private medical services
    A national health care company is preparing to take over the job of providing medical services at the Lane County Jail in one of several county government moves aimed at reducing costs at the lockup. Corizon Inc. won a two-year contract to take over as…

Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather is updated as it happens!

Tim Chuey Weather:

It looks like the slight threat of a sprinkle still exists for today, but I don’t think any of your outdoor activities will be bothered by any serious precipitation.

High: 75
Low: 42
Forecast: mostly cloudy

trough of low pressure (“U” shape on the orange line) is moving through keeping the onshore airflow giving us a continued chance of showers. A frontal system will move through Oregon, but a short-lived ridge of high pressure (“Arch” shape on orange line) will take over drying us out Tuesday through Wednesday. A frontal system will approach the Pacific Northwest Wednesday making landfall by Thursday bringing back the chance of showers.
Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of light rain or drizzle this AM (Memorial Day), a slight (20%) chance of showers this afternoon, just partly cloudy and cooler tonight, patchy AM fog, a mix of clouds and sun Tuesday, partly cloudy with patchy fog late Tuesday night and Wednesday AM, a mix of clouds and sun Wednesday afternoon, mostly cloudy in the evening, then partly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Wednesday night highs 64-75 lows 42-51. A mix of clouds and sun Thursday with a slight (20%) chance of showers, partly cloudy Thursday night, a mix of clouds and sun with a slight (20%) chance of showers Friday, mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Friday night, a (30%) chance of showers Saturday, then mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Saturday night and Sunday highs 75-62 lows 52-45. (seasonal averages high 69 low 45)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

Wine Down Eugene: Memorial Weekend

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Wine Down Eugene for May 23-29

LaVelle's entrance to the winery

The official kick-off to the summer season at the wineries will be celebrated this weekend during the Memorial Weekend Winery Open Houses. Wineries throughout the state of Oregon will be swinging their doors open for wine enthusiasts to visit their tasting rooms and sample their finest wines. Many will have music, food, new wine releases and special prices, so it’s a great time of year to explore the celebrated wineries of Oregon.

Last year, I visited four wineries in the South Willamette Valley during a very rainy Memorial Weekend: Domaine Meriwether, LaVelle Vineyards, Sarver Winery and Silvan Ridge. I wrote about my weekends adventures in an article titled, “No Sunshine? Bring on the Wine.” This year, I’m hoping the weather will garner a title more like, “Enjoying Wine in the Blissful Sunshine,” but that will remain to be seen. We’ve had several weeks of unexpected summer-like weather, but the last two days have brought on a whole load of gray skies and pouring rain.

Benton-Lane stainless steel tanks

Rain or shine, I’ll be heading to the northern wineries of the south Willamette Valley this coming holiday weekend. My first stop will be at Benton-Lane Winery in Monroe where I’m sure to enjoy several award-winning wines in a beautiful tasting room with a view of the valley.

After Benton-Lane, I’ll head slightly south to the very new tasting room of Brigadoon Wine Company located in rural Junction City. The Shown family will be pouring three of their stellar Pinot Noirs in addition to a Sauvignon Blanc from special guest God King Slave winery out of the Southern Oregon wine region.

Next, I plan to visit a winery I haven’t yet visited: High Pass Winery. High Pass is just south of Brigadoon, and I’m looking forward to trying some new wines and visiting the only winery of the South Willamette Valley that I haven’t seen yet.  Also located in Cheshire is RainSong Vineyards, where I’ll be heading next to try their two new releases: a Methode Champenoise sparkling wine and a Rose’ of Pinot Noir. I’m planning to finish the day at the in-town, Territorial Vineyards and Wine Company, where I can listen to live blues by local musician Jerry Zybach while sipping on one of my favorite Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs, Territorial’s Stone’s Throw Pinot.

Although I’ll be taking advantage of the many bounties of the outstanding wine country that surrounds my home town of Eugene, Oregon, I’ll also be thinking about and honoring all who have served and all who have fallen for this great country of mine. The freedoms that I enjoy everyday are protected and ensured by the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the United states of America and what it stands for.

Every year during this time to remember our heroes, I remember my Dad. A 1954 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Colonel Maurice H. Leiser was a true hero in more ways than one, and he will forever be in my heart.

Wineries & Vineyards – Memorial Weekend Open Houses

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Sat.-Mon. 12-6 pm, Free three wine flight tasting, free Olive Grand tasting on Sat., live music all three days with Michael Conley. Bring your own picnic or purchase one of these at the winery-Hummus plate or Vineyard Tour Picnic for 2 or 4 people. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Sat. 2-10 pm with live music by Jerry Zybach from 5-8 pm.  907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri. – Mon. 12-5 pm, live music Sat. and Sun. with Alex Hagerty, appetizers, three Pinot Noirs and a special guest God King Slave 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. $5 tasting fee. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Fri. 4-7 pm,  Memorial Weekend Wine Tasting Extravaganza featuring 5 wines and new releases from Cottonwood Winery; Sat. 2-6 pm, wine tasting featuring Eugene Wine Cellars and Fractal Cellars. 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.

Domaine Meriwether: Fri. – Mon., Celebration starts Friday night at 6 pm during Sparkling Nights with live music from Alex Hagerty; Sat.-Mon. open 11 am – 4 pm; Sat. and Sun. Live music with Apropos 12-3 pm ; Mon. 12-3 pm live music with Scott Pousche; Southern style BBQ with Philyaw’s Cookout. $10 entrance starting Sat. includes souvenier glass and four tastes. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Sat.-Mon. 12-5 pm, free tasting and special pricing with live music all three days; Sat. 2-5 pm live music with Barefoot Leroy; Sun. 2-5 pm live music with Mud Puppy; Sun 2-5 pm live music with Apropos.  27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

High Pass Winery: Fri.-Sun. 12-5 pm. 24747 LaVell Rd., Junction City.

RainSong Vineyards: Sat.-Mon. 12-5 pm, new release of Methode Champenoise sparkling wine and 2010 Rose’ of Pinot Noir. Barrel samples, appretizers, case discounts and new wine club launch. 92989 Templeton Rd., Cheshire.

King Estate: Sat.-Mon. 11 am – 9 pm, enjoy two free wine tastes and complimentary tours of the winery every hour on the hour. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Noble Estate: Sat.-Mon. 12-5 pm, $5 includes six wine samples (refundable with bottle purchase) and live music all three days. Cheese platters and BBQ sandwiches available for purchase. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

Pfeiffer Winery: Sat.-Mon. 11 am – 5 pm, new releases, Pinot Clinic and futures; Fish taco lunch available for purchase Sat. and Sun., $10 fee for white wine tasting, $14 for red and $20 for both with free gorgonzola torte for palate cleansing. Call 541-998-2828 for details on the Pinot Clinic.  25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Saginaw Vineyards: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night Live in the Barn with Cascade Rye will be moved outdoors (weather permitting) 21 and over only; Sat.-Sun. 11 am – 5 pm with free wine tasting and appetizers – minors welcome. 80247 Delight Valley School Rd., Cottage Grove.

Benton-Lane: Sat.-Mon. 12-5 pm, live music 1-4 pm, Olive Grand olive oil tasting Sun. and Mon.  1-4 pm. $7 wine tasting fee. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

Sarver Winery: Sat. and Sun. 12-9 pm, wine flight of six wines for $5 and live music both days. Food from Betty Rocker’s Street Kitchen will be available for purchase. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

Capitello Wines (at Domaine Meriwether): Sat.-Mon. $10 admission includes souvenier glass and wine samples. Case deal specials, new releases and live music. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Sweet Cheeks: Sat.-Mon. 12-6 pm, Complimentary wine tasting, local food carts, local art exhibit and live music. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Chateau Lorane: Sat.-Mon. 11:30 am – 5:30 pm, Fine Art and wine Festival held along the banks of Lake Louise. $12 fee includes wine tasting of over 20 wines, logo glass and live music. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

Heidi Tunnell Catering Company: Tue. Bakery 10 am- 6 pm, lunch from 11 am – 2 pm and dinner from 4-7 pm. The wood fired oven is back and wood fired pizza is available for Tuesday dinner; Thur. 6 pm, Thursday Night Dinners – this week is Fried Chicken. Doors open at 6pm with appetizers, beer and wine available for purchase. Boedecker, Domaine Meriwether, J.Scott and Capitello are just a few of the many excellent wines that are currently on the wine list. Read about these great dinners on WineJulia.com. Dinners are served family style, with one seating at 6:30 pm; For reservations call 541-895-5885. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Dreamdog; Fri. 5-11 pm, last Friday Art Walk and live music starts around 7 pm with Manouche Noir. 907 West Third Ave, Eugene.

The Wine Place (Yachats): Fri. 4-7 pm Beer Tasting with Anthem Cider; Sat. 1-4 pm, Wine Tasting: Organic Wines; Sun. 1-4 pm, wine Tasting: Italian Wines; Mon. 11 am – 5 pm, Memorial Day Sip and Shop-a little bubbly will be offered while browsing the store. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

16Tons (Supreme Bean): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5-7 pm free wine tasting and 50 percent off wine by the glass; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St. & 265 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): Great selection of beer and wine. 265 East 13th Ave., Eugene.

LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: 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.

Bier Stein: Check back for upcoming events and specials. 345 East 11th Ave., Eugene.

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

The Vintage: Great wine list with local and international wines, their house red is Wine By Joe Pinot Noir. Read the Local Lunch Gals review of The Vintage here.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting; First Tuesday of each month – Cheese & Wine Tasting. Read about their wine and cheese events here. 17 Oakway Center, 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.

Papa’s Soul Food: Tue. – Fri. Noon-2 pm and 5-10 pm. Sat. 2-10 pm. Great southern soul food and Blues joint with local wine from Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company and beer from local breweries. Read the Local Lunch Gals review here. 400 Blair Blvd., 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.

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.

Belly: Mon. 5:30-9 pm, Taco Night; Select and affordable wine list. 291 East Fifth Ave., Eugene.

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.

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; Sun. Mothers Day Brunch with three seatings. Reservations required, call 541-342-6963; 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 Glen Levine; Sat. 7 pm, live music with Stubbs and Cobian; 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. 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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 or call 541-895-5885. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Red Agave: Jun. 6, Red Agave’s 10 Year Anniversary Reunion Dinner. Call for details and reservations 541-683-2206. 454 Willamette St., Eugene.

“No Sunshine? Bring on the Wine!”

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“No Sunshine? Bring on the Wine!”
by Julia Crowley for EDN

Looming clouds Memorial Weekend

Well, the blue skies and warm days did not make their debut in the South Willamette Valley for the winery open houses during Memorial Weekend; yes, it was raining. Rain or shine, we knew our local wineries were anticipating the arrival of wine lovers from here and a far, so with high hopes of the sun popping through the clouds at some point during the three day weekend, we were ready to experience all that our local wineries had to offer. I decided to dress in layers-starting with a tank top, I then added a t-shirt, and on went the sweatshirt.  I didn’t forget to also grab my raincoat as we headed out the door towards wine country; after all, this is Oregon.

Patriotic decor at Domaine Meriwether

On the drive from Eugene to Veneta, where Domaine Meriwether is located, we commented on the distinct line of dark clouds rudely hovering over a lighter less ominous looking group of clouds, and we then crossed our fingers in hopes that lightning and thunder would not be in our near future. When we arrived at Domaine Meriwether, we put our hoods up and darted for the winery.

Once inside, we could hear live music amid the chatter and laughter of people imbibing and enjoying their surroundings. Patriotic decorated tables were set up throughout the winery, and wines from both Domaine Meriwether and Capitello lined the back wall. For just $10, we received a commemorative “Domaine Meriwether” wine glass, 3 ‘taste’ tickets, and a ticket for a plate of food.

Frsh organic strawberries and baguettes

We were immediately drawn to the food table where there were baskets of freshly baked baguettes and bowls of just-picked strawberries. Catered by Adam’s Sustainable Table, a local “green restaurant” located in the heart of downtown Eugene, we knew we were in for something delectable.

Adam’s Sustainable Table focuses on cooking with local, seasonal foods. Centered on sustainability, they use heritage and heirloom products and strive to minimize their carbon footprint. Adam’s was serving Cheese Fondue made with Willamette Farm’s Young Gouda and Domaine Meriwether’s Chardonnay, Carved Roast Beef with Crème Fraiche on a French Baguette, Rosé Sorbet made with Domaine Meriwether Rosé of Pinot Noir, and fresh organic strawberries. Before we began to load up our plates, the server from Adam’s suggested we pair a certain wine with each of the dishes: Chardonnay with the fondue, Pinot Noir with the roast beef, and sparkling wine to sip with the rosé sorbet and fresh strawberries.

Adam's Carved Roast Beef with Crème Fraiche on a French Baguette

Without missing a beat, we headed straight for the wine. The creamy fondue poured over home-made croutons with Domaine Meriwether’s lightly oaked Chardonnay was a wonderful combination, and Capitello’s 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with silky tannins and ripe berry fruit flavors paired perfectly with the tender, juicy, full flavored roast beef. My favorite pairing was Meriwether’s NV Brut Discovery Cuvee Sparkling Wine with the mouthwatering Rosé Sorbet and fresh strawberries.

With the line-up of spectacular wines at both the Meriwether and Capitello tables, I decided to purchase more “taste” tickets so I wouldn’t miss out on tasting some of their other award winning wines.  I tasted several from both wineries, but the one wine that I know I’ll be enjoying all summer long & beyond is Capitello’s Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Incredibly well balanced and highlighted with apple, stone fruit and lime zest, the lasting finish conjured up images of me lounging in a hammock, barefoot and care-free, glass in hand with the sun beaming down on my face. This Sauvignon Blanc is truly a must-have summer wine.

WWII, Korea and Vietnam Vet Edmund P. Jacobs & wife Mary.

As I was walking back to the table to join my friends and savor my glass of Sauvignon Blanc, I passed by a gentleman with a decorated Veteran’s hat that caught my eye; it read, “VETERAN World War II, Korea, Vietnam ”.  I couldn’t stop myself from shaking his hand and raising a glass in his honor.

Vietnam era Phantom F4

Retired Navy Commander, Edmund P. Jacobs, flew planes in three wars, starting with an open bi-plane searching for Japanese submarines in World War II and ending in an F4 Phantom Fighter Jet in the Vietnam War. Edmund and his wife, Mary, who live on her late grandfather’s 1853 ranch in Junction City, were enjoying their Meriwether Chardonnay’s and the live music all while not forgetting friends lost. Together we raised our glasses in memory of our fallen heroes, and I thanked him for his years of dedicated service to our country.

Concrete Loveseat

Our next destination was LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira. We had heard about the 5 piece ‘smoky jazz’ band, Concrete Loveseat, and we were all looking forward to seeing them perform while sampling LaVelle’s fine wines. Although it was quite busy in the tasting room, we were immediately greeted by the friendly faces behind the bar, and samples of their ’09 Estate Pinot Gris were in our glasses before we could say cheers. This unoaked, stainless steel fermented Pinot Gris is crisp and dry with citrus and melon flavors, a perfect Pinot Gris for the warmer days ahead.

Next up was the ’08 Columbia Valley Trilogy, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes purchased from vineyards located in the Wahluke Slope AVA of Columbia Valley, this blend is bolder than a Syrah but lighter than a Cabernet, and has a well balanced, smooth finish. One wine that I insisted my friends try is the Matthew’s Reserve 2008 Pinot Noir.  Aged in French Oak for 12 months, the fruit forward vanilla and ripe cherry flavors come together perfectly for an earthy, yet silky finish. Matt LaVelle was also behind the bar, and he treated us to some barrel samples of Riesling and Malbec, both 2010 vintages that will be released sometime in the future. The Malbec’s flavors were already deliciously complex and I look forward to its release. Each of us ordered a glass of Trilogy and headed into the winery so we could listen to Concrete Loveseat belt out their Billie Holiday era jazz from well-known covers to originals.

Field to Table Catering was set up and selling freshly prepared cuisine, which included:

  • Garlic & herb rubbed grilled chicken, potato salad, drunken beans
  • Charcuterie Plate with pork, salami, local cheeses, pickled veggies & baguette
  • Bruschetta loaded with zucchini, goat feta and herbs
  • Chop Salad with spring vegetables, field greens, hazelnuts, champagne herb vinaigrette
  • Carolina BBQ Sandwich with smoked pulled pork and slaw on a brioche bun

Much like Adam’s Sustainable Table, Field to Table’s motto is, “We believe in using only THE FINEST FROM THE REGION, KEEPING WITH THE SEASON”, and they believe that sourcing ingredients locally is good for our environment and our local economy. We decided to share a plate of the Zucchini Bruschetta and the Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. I’m a Eugene transplant from the East Coast, and BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are offered on just about every menu from Virginia to Key West, but it’s rarely seen on menus in the Pacific Northwest. Field to Table’s Carolina BBQ Sandwich was much like one of the best I’d ever had when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. The slightly hickory flavored sauce was spicy, sweet, and tangy, and the pork was so tender it practically melted in my mouth. Kudos to the chef’s at Field to Table for creating a true Carolina BBQ Sandwich! Although it was a blissful match with the Trilogy I was drinking, I think it would be a perfect pairing with the LaVelle Riesling too.

Before leaving LaVelle for our next winery designate, we took note of the lush property that surrounds the winery. Grassy lawn and evergreens dominate one side of the property, and the vineyard sits on a slope on the other. In between the lush lawn and the sloping vineyard, there’s a unique labyrinth which invites visitors to walk quietly amid its stone-lined pathways. At the top of the vineyard, there’s a wooden deck under a single large Madrone tree. On certain days, weather permitting, the LaVelle’s will get out The Gator, an all terrain vehicle, and take visitors up to ‘The Deck’ where the view extends out to Fern Ridge Lake and sailboats can be observed while enjoying a picnic lunch and a glass of wine.

On a clear day Sarver's view is tough to beat

The next stop on our list was Sarver Winery, which boasts one of Willamette Valley’s greatest unobstructed views of the Cascades and sometimes even snow-capped Three Sisters. Their cozy cottage style tasting room is always inviting and full of happy, friendly people. In fact, we ran into old friends and suddenly everyone was greeting each other with hugs and friendly handshakes… it was as if we had just joined a party at an old friends house.

We made our way through the crowd and up to the bar to sample some of Sarver’s outstanding wines, starting with their Estate Stainless Pinot Gris: light, crisp, and refreshing, with cool citrus notes-one of my favorite Willamette Valley Pinot Gris since their opening, which was not quite a year ago. Sarver has a spectacular line-up of wines, including a ’08 Estate Grown Pinot Noir, ’09 Estate Grown Sur Lie Aged Pinot Gris, ’09 Estate Stainless Pinot Gris, ’05 Rogue Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, ’08 Yakima Valley Syrah, ’07 Napa Valley Petit Sirah, and a ’08 Estate Grown Vin Glacé. There’s not a single Sarver wine that I don’t absolutely love, but on this chilly, grey day, the ’08 Estate Grown Pinot Noir, which recently took gold at the Oregon Wine Awards, was calling my name. Their Pinot Noir is true to its varietal; it’s an un-manipulated, lush, and elegant wine that is extremely food friendly or totally gratifying all on its own. We zipped up our hoodies and joined the other wine enthusiasts on the patio with a view.

The last winery on our schedule for the day was Silvan Ridge Winery in Crow. Up until our arrival at Silvan Ridge, the sun had not broken through the clouds even for a quick peek; but, as we drove up the gravel driveway to the winery, we got a glimpse of blue sky. We noticed an outdoor table right next to the entrance, so we eagerly took residence.  Within minutes, all of the outdoor seating was taken and everyone was talking about the sudden change in weather. We took turns going to the tasting bar for fear of losing our patio seating, and I was pleased to find they were offering six complimentary tastes from their wine menu. They had two whites: a Pinot Gris and a Viognier. There were 9 different reds including their critically acclaimed Elizabeth’s Reserve, which is a bold and jammy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. They were also offering samples of two different Pinot Noirs and Merlot’s, a Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Portage Syrah.

I started with the Viognier, which is one of my favorite summertime varietals. With tropical and floral fragrances, the silky flavors of peaches in Silvan Ridge’s Viognier creates a smooth, well balanced and long lasting finish. I also love their Malbec and the Elizabeth’s Reserve, but that little bit of sun coming through the clouds called for a white wine, and the Viognier is what filled my glass. With our premier patio seating, we could feel the warmth of the sun on our cheeks, and as quickly as the blue sky appeared, our premier seats allowed us an unobstructed view of the dark line of clouds blowing in our direction.

In the blink of an eye, the blue sky was gone and the dark clouds, thunder and lightning had arrived.  As we huddled inside the entrance to Silvan Ridge, everyone watching the storm with intensity, someone behind me broke the silence and said, “No more sunshine? Bring on the wine!” So they did. Rain or shine, everyone was having a great time listening to the music, socializing with friends, and enjoying every bit of Silvan Ridge’s excellent wines.

We realized at the end of the day, well several things – (1) crossing your fingers in hopes of something particular happening does not work, and (2) dressing in layers is very wise; but, most importantly, regardless of the weather, everywhere we went the bands rocked the wineries, the caterers showcased some of their best delectable dishes, and the winemaker’s proudly poured their impressive, delicious, handcrafted wines. Smiles lit up the wineries from both winemakers and wine tasters. It was all good.

A special ‘Cheers’ to Ret. Navy Commander Edmund P. Jacobs. I salute you, sir.

www.capitellowines.com

www.meriwetherwines.com

www.lavellevineyards.com

www.sarverwinery.com

www.silvanridge.com

www.fieldtotablecatering.com

www.thesustainabletable.com

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene


Which Winery Will Wine Down Your Memorial Weekend?

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Benton-Lane Winery

Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open Houses
May 28th, 29th, & 30th

Blue skies and warm days are on their way, and local wineries will be swinging their doors open for one of the South Willamette Valley’s highly anticipated and most celebrated 3 day wine events: Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open Houses. It’s the official kick-off to the summer season at the wineries; featuring, special releases, barrel tastings, live music, artisan treats and an endless flow of their locally, hand crafted wine- from Pinot Noir and Petit Syrah to Huxelrebe and Sweet Rosé. Each winery entices us to head their way for a number of reasons, so here’s a list of what they’ll be indulging us with this 2011 Memorial Day Weekend:

Benton-Lane Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11a-5p. $10 admission includes logo glass and gourmet tapas. Live music with Jerome Monaco Saturday and Sunday- 12:30-4:30p. Gourmet Pizza Tapas on Monday. Also hosting the new Ebony Wines-grown in Oregon’s rockiest vineyards! www.benton-lane.com

Brigadoon Wine Company: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-4p. Enjoy a Pinot-Picnic in the Park. Bring a lunch, chairs or a blanket & sample the Shown families 3 delicious Pinot’s while relaxing in a beautiful park-like setting at the Brigadoon Wine Co. property. FREE admission www.brigadoonwineco.com

Chateau Lorane's Lake Louise

Chateau Lorane: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11:30a-5:30p. $10 admission includes logo glass (free under 21). Taste over 20 different wines, live music, art festival, delicious food available for purchase provided by Flavors Catering. All this on the shores of the beautiful Lake Louise! Rain or Shine. www.chateaulorane.com

Domaine Meriwether: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-4p. $10 fee for 4 tastes of wine and a plate of food. Live music www.meriwetherwines.com

Capitello Wines will be featured at Domaine Meriwether! www.capitellowines.com

Iris Vineyards: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday 11a-5p. Free wine tasting all 3 days! 25% discount on case purchases, including mixed cases. www.irisvineyards.com

King Estate: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. New releases & restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner. www.kingestate.com

The deck at LaVelle Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, enjoy live performances by the 5 piece band-‘Concrete Loveseat’ on Sunday and Monday. Delectable food will be catered by Field to Table. www.lavellevineyards.com

Noble Estate Vineyard & Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-5p, live acoustic music Saturday & Sunday. $5 tasting fee which includes 6 wines- fee waived with a bottle purchase. www.nobleestatevineyard.com

Pfeiffer Winery: Open Wednesday – Monday 11a-5p, offering Italian Chocolates & appetizer’s with wine tasting. Private Pinot Clinics will be held in the Grotto every 90 minutes. Owners Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer will be your guides with barrel tasting of their 2010 Pinot Noir Futures and official release of the highly anticipated 2008 Blue Dot Pinot Noir Reserve. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy their water garden falls and streams.  www.pfeiffervineyards.com

RainSong Vineyard: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-5p. Featuring new releases, 20% case discounts, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and barrel tasting! Admission is FREE. www.rainsongvineyard.com

The tasting room red barn at Saginaw Vineyard

Saginaw Vineyard: Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-5p, but open late Friday for live music with Timothy Patrick 6p-9p www.saginawvineyard.com

Silvan Ridge Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-6p wine tasting, live music, sales on wine; Sat. 2-5p “The Valley Boys” Live; Sun. 2-5p “Just Say Yes” Live; Mon. 2-5p “Apropos” Live. FREE admission

Sarver Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday 12-8p, complimentary tastings paired with cheese and chocolate.  www.sarverwinery.com

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 12-6p, Live Music by “Taste”, food available for purchase, wine specials, and an art festival. New vintages of Rosy Cheeks and Riesling will be available & admission is free www.sweetcheekswinery.com

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company: Friday 6-9p live music; Saturday 3-9p live music starts at 6p; Sunday 3-7p; $7 tasting fee for flight of 7 wines. Light snacks. www.territorialvineyards.com

Opine Cellars wines will also be available to sample at Territorial.

We are truly blessed to be in the midst of these unparalleled wineries of the South Willamette Valley. Thanks to the efforts and hard work of all the people involved in meticulously planning these fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend events, there will be loads of fun to be had by all.

But, know this: Before I blow off the dust from my flip flops and sun-glasses, and unpack the boxes that have housed my favorite t-shirts and shorts for the last 8 months, I’ll take a moment to remember those who have fallen in battle fulfilling their obligation to the great country in which I live. The freedoms that I enjoy everyday are protected and ensured by men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect my country and what it stands for.  After a moment of silence and heartfelt gratitude so deserving of our military, I’ll be ready to swirl, sip, and savor all that our stellar local wineries have to offer, and I will raise a glass to our American heroes.

Cheers to my Dad, my hero: Lt. Col. Maurice H. Leiser, 1954 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dedicated to God, his beloved family, and the United States Army–he is forever in my heart. 1931-2009.

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene