Silvan Ridge

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene May 14-20

Wine writing most likely won’t make me a millionaire, but this occupation that seems to have fit into my life with perfection and ease has, without a doubt, provided me with excellent perks.  Being implemented with rare and exciting opportunities has empowered me with interesting, educational and downright fun content.

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Some of the stellar events I attended during the IPNC

I’ve attended some incredible events like the world-famous IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration), Oregon Chardonnay Symposium and the annual Wine Bloggers Conference, to name a few.  I’ve had multiple fine dining experiences with many great folks of the wine industry; for example, I’ve joined Willamette Valley Vineyards on several occasions for some very special events; including, a Valentine’s Day Dinner in Timberline Lodge’s Historic Silcox Hut, a truffle-centric lunch in their winery, a Chardonnay technical tasting with some of Oregon’s pioneering Chardonnay growers and guru winemakers, and I the Governor’s Oregon Leadership Dinner which took place in their beautifully renovated tasting room.

I was also invited to travel abroad with a group of very talented wine writers for a media trip to the Murcia, Spain, where we discovered the land of Monastrell, and I’ve joined my pals from Snooth.com for a great weekend in New York City for the Snooth People’s Voice Awards – just two of many awesome adventures.  One of the greatest highlights of 2014 so far was being invited to join a panel of very accomplished wine judges for the annual Savor Northwest Wine Awards that takes place in beautiful Cannon Beach, Oregon.

ECC label up close
The butterfly on the label is in memory of Liz’s mother, Carolyn Chambers, who loved and collected butterflies

One of the best benefits of wine writing is receiving review samples of wine from around the world – a perk that’s certainly refined my palate and afforded me experiences with wine I would have otherwise never had.  There is nothing, however, that excites me more than receiving review samples from Oregon wineries – where my heart and passion for my favorite beverage clearly shines through my writing on Eugene Daily News and my award-winning website, WineJulia.com.

A recent excellent tasting experience came from sampling Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  Does the name Elizabeth Chambers ring a bell my fellow Eugeneans?  The Chambers name is a well-known one for us native, and even transplanted, locals.  Successful Eugene business woman, Carolyn Chambers, was well-known as a pioneer of Eugene’s television and wine industries, having been a founder of both KEZI in the late 1950s and purchasing Hinman Vineyards in the early 1990s.  With her maiden name of Silva, she changed the name from Hinman Vineyards to Silvan Ridge but kept the Hinman wines for a second label.

ECC cork

Carolyn’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth (Liz) Chambers, managed Silvan Ridge for 20 years and purchased it from her mother’s estate in 2012 after she had passed away.  The Chamber’s also owned a winery located in McMinnville, Oregon, named Panther Creek Winery.  Although the Panther Creek name was sold, the actual winery was owned by Liz, which she literally used as her cellar.

Michael Stevenson, winemaker for Panther Creek since 1999 up to the date the label was sold, decided to stay with Liz to create a new brand: Elizabeth Chambers Cellar.  Michael’s winemaking style uses minimal interventions so natural flavors can be pulled from the selected vineyard’s terroir, creating distinct characteristics with each vintage.  With a goal of not adding any flavors beyond what comes from the fruit and using very limited oak, Mchael says, “Ninety percent of what is in the bottle is determined by what we pick in the vineyard.”

ECC bottle glass cork

Personally, I have always preferred less manipulated wines – I truly believe minimal intervention allows the wine to express its terroir, creating a wine that is unique down to its roots – full of complex characteristics with deep expression and distinctive aroma and flavor profiles.

The 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée is a gorgeous Pinot Noir that absolutely represents its terroir in a feminine, elegant nature with soft, well-integrated tannins and vibrant acidity.  A juicy entrance creates a silky presence on that palate that is down right pleasing.  Aromas and flavors of cherries, earth and brown spices are highlighted by hints of violets and licorice. Liz and Michael will be focusing on single vineyard Pinot Noirs that are priced around $45 dollars a bottle.

I recently heard that one of the vineyards they chose fruit from for a certain bottling comes from a very special block of Temperance Hill Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.  To date, every single Temperance Hill vineyard wine I’ve had, regardless of the producer, has been totally impressive – so I’m really looking forward to trying it.  Also, a 2013 vintage Pinot Gris is scheduled to be released this month.

Visit the Elizabeth Chamber Cellar winery and tasting room daily from 12-5 pm, located across the street from the historic Granary District at 455 NE Irvine, McMinnville.

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene October 10 – 16

This photo is of the view from my make-shift outdoor office, which I’m currently using to write this weeks Wine Down Eugene. I can’t believe it, it’s the tenth of October, and I’m still enjoying the blue skies above the Willamette Valley! Not taking advantage of this weather we’re having right now would just be plain nuts. So, here I am, enjoying this beautiful Wednesday afternoon in the great outdoors.Some of the wineries are taking advantage of this weather too – many have continued their outdoor live music venues, weather permitting, of course. Silvan Ridge has one last Friday night with live music on their outdoor stage featuring Betty and the Boy. The Annie Rhodes Band will be playing out behind the barn at Saginaw Vineyard and maybe Jerry Zybach will play out on the patio at LaVelle Vineyards Tasting Room at the 5th like he did last Friday. I soaked in the rays of the sun last Friday while sipping on the delicious LaVelle Vineyards 2009 Whybra Vineyards Pinot Noir and listening to Jerry Zybach on the patio at the 5th.

Harvest at King Estate | photo KingEstate.com

But, what I’m most excited about with this great weather we’ve been having, is that this years vintage is predicted to be one of the best in Oregon’s history. With very little rain and warmer than average temperatures, the grapes have ripened perfectly and display beautiful fruit flavors. With fruit coming in about three weeks earlier than last year, yields are going to be plenty and plump, and I can’t wait until next spring when some of the Willamette Valley Pinot Gris’ and other wines are released just in time for the sun to show it’s face again.

 

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

[WineDown-Shops]

Heidi Tunnell Catering Company: Tue. Bakery 10 am- 6 pm, lunch from 11 am – 2 pm and dinner from 4-7 pm; Thur. 6 pm, Thursday Night Dinner – Seared Fish, Risotto and Farm Fresh Vegetables. Doors open at 6pm with appetizers, excellent selection of beer and wine available for purchase.  Read about the Thurs. family-style dinners on WineJulia.com. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Tom & Johnny’s: Thu. 7-10 pm, Wine & Jive. Live music with Lonesome Randall and Wine tasting with In Vitis For Wine featuring 4 Oregon wines and special pricing. Enjoy live music and a large selection of wines by the glass. 471 South A St., Springfield.

SweetWaters at Valley River Inn: Every Thu. 4 – 7 pm, Free wine tasting on the SweetWaters patio featuring a different winery each week. 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with The Porch Band; Fri. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Red Pajamas. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: Mon. – Sat. 11 am -9 pm, Sun. 11 am – 6 pm; Thurs. live music with Skip Jones; Fri. 6-8 pm, live music with Jerry Zybach. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Ninkasi Brewing: Thu. Pints For A Cause. 25 percent of all pint sales in the tasting room goes to WomenSpace. For more information visit WomenSpaceInc.org; Tasting room hours: Sun.-Wed. 12-9 pm, Thu.-Sat. 12-10 pm. Indoor and outdoor seating, food available for purchase from varying food carts. 272 Van Buren St., Eugene.

The Wine Place (Yachats):  Fri. 4-7 pm Beer tasting; Sat.1-4 pm Wine tasting. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Fri. 5-7 pm, Wine tasting with Kandarian Wine Cellars; Sat. 5-7 pm, wine tasting of hard to find Shadow Mountain Vineyards. This wine shop and tasting room showcases local wines and is located inside the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center in Veneta. Please note: Shop Pours will be available for purchase on nights that there is no featured winery on Fri. and Sat. from 4-7 pm. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

B2 Wine Bar: Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm; Loads of Northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.

Falling Sky Brewing: Hours of operation: 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.

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

Broadway Wine Merchants: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting; First Tuesday of each month – Cheese & Wine Tasting, $20 per person, call for reservations 541-685-0790. Read about their wine and cheese events here. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

Long’s Meat Market: Fri. 4-6 pm, free wine tasting with some cheese from their deli; craft beers and Oregon wines available. 81 East 28th Ave., Eugene.

Authentica Wines: 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.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7 pm Mario’s Frugal Friday free wine tasting; Sat. 5-7 pm, wine tasting. 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.

16Tons (Supreme Bean): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5-7 pm free wine tasting and happy hour & movie begins at 8 pm; Every Fri. 6 pm, free live music; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): Hours of Operation: Sun.-Wed. 3-10 pm, Thu.-Sat. 3 pm – 12 am. Great selection of beer and wine. 265 East 13th Ave., Eugene.

Red Agave: Excellent wine list, including Oregon’s finest from King Estate, Territorial, Evesham Wood and Cristom, to name just a few. 454 Willamette St., 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. Read the Local Lunch Gals review. 2101 Bailey Hill Rd, Suite L, Eugene.

Le Bar at Marché: Seven days a week from 3-5 pm and 10 pm – 12 am – Happy Hour deals on cocktails, wine, beer and snacks. 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. 837 Lincoln St., 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.

Creswell Coffee Company: Fri. 7 pm, live music. Nice wine selection and occasional wine tastings. 116 Melton Rd., Creswell.

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: Select and affordable wine list. 30 E. Broadway, Eugene.

Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano: Fri. 9 am – noon, Excelsior Restaurant Farm Stand located on the patio; Fri. and Sat. 7-9:30 pm, live music, no cover; Mon.-Thu. 3-6 pm, Happy Hour. Extensive local wine list. Read the Local Lunch Gals review.754 East Thirteenth Ave., Eugene.

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.

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.

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.

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 wine at great glass pour prices – 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.
 

Wineries & Vineyards

[WineDown-Wineries]

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Friday Night Flights season is over. Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Sweet Cheeks: Fri. 6-9 pm, Twilight Tasting, sample pairings of Sweet Cheeks wine with Oregon-made artisan cheeses while listening to live music from 6:30-830 pm with Tyler Morin; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sunday with live music from 2-4 pm with Home School. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. 12-9 pm, live music with Betty and the Boy starting at 6 pm. Wood-fired pizza and wine; Open Sat.- Thur. 12-5 pm, Fri. 12- 9 pm. Complimentary taste of five wines in addition to several limited wines that may be tasted for a fee. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Domaine Meriwether:  Fri. 6-9 pm. Sparkling Nights – wine tasting and live music. Open Daily 11 am – 4 pm, except Fri. for Sparkling Nights. World renowned Meriwether still and sparkling wine can be sampled in the tasting room. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Sarver Winery: Open daily 12-6 pm except Fri 12-9. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

King Estate: Sample some of Oregon’s finest wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and enjoy a valley view that’s unmatched. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night LIVE featuring The Annie Rhodes Band. Minors under 21 are permitted to Friday Night LIVE Memorial Weekend through September as long as it’s not raining. If it’s raining, Friday Night LIVE is held indoors and minors are not permitted. For more information, please click here; Open daily, 11 am – 5pm. Sample their traditional style wines in their tasting room located in the original building of a 1905 farmstead. They also specialize in farm fresh fruit wines. 80247 Delight Valley School Rd., Cottage Grove.

RainSong Vineyard: Two open houses a year: Memorial Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend. Unique barrel bottling program. 92989 Templeton Rd., Cheshire.

Chateau Lorane: Open daily, 12-5 pm. 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.

Pfeiffer Winery: Fri./Sat. Fondue Nights~Cheese and chocolate fondue with fixings; Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri. – Sun. 12-5 pm wine tasting in their tasting room. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

Benton-Lane: 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.

Noble Estate: Open daily 12-5 pm. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

Capitello Wines: Another winery without walls. Check back often for tastings and events of their award winning wine.

William Rose Wines: check back often for tastings and events of this winery without walls.

Spencer Creek Cellars/McBeth Vineyards: Wine Tastings in the Barn by appointment only. 541-521-4381. 85162 McBeth Rd., Eugene.

J. Scott Cellars: Tasting room located in The Wine Place in Yachats. Be sure to stop by and taste these excellent small boutique handmade Rhone varietals from the Pacific Northwest. Specializing in Roussanne, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet…and a little Pinot Noir. 373 North Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Patchwork Cellars: Sat. 4-6 pm, sample Patchwork wines at the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s Wineries without Walls. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

Abbelone Vineyards: Another fabulous winery without walls; check back frequently to find out where you can sample their delicious Pinot Noir.

Stanton Vineyards:  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: A winery without walls – check back often for tasting locations.

Oakdale Cellars: A local winery without walls. Oakdale Pinot Noir is a glass pour at LeBar at Marche’. Check back often for tasting and event information.

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:  By appointment only-541-942-5993. 195 Palmer Ave., Cottage Grove.

Dylan’s Run: Another winery without walls. Keep an eye out for tastings at various locations.

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

[WineDown-Special]

Heidi Tunnell Catering Co: Thursday night dinners in their on-site event center. 6:30pm, doors open at 6pm. Extensive wine list by local, handcrafted Oregon winemakers and local beers as well. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Ninkasi Brewing Dinner at Ambrosia: Wed. Oct 17, 6pm with founding brewer, Jamie Floyd. $65 per person, reservations required 541-342-4141. 174 East Broadway, Eugene.

Domaine Meriwether: Oct. 24, 4-7 pm. Working Women’s Wednesday hosted by KDUK.Great prizes, appetizers, fun. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Sweet Cheeks: Oct. 27, 7 pm. Masquerade Ball – UPDATE: Sold Out. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

SweetWaters at Valley River Inn: Nov. 3, 6:30 pm Angry Orchard Hard Cider Dinner. Call Valley River Inn for more details 541-743-1000. 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene.

Wine Down Eugene

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–Julia Crowley, EDN

February 22-28

This can be a tough time of year for me – I’m a lover of all things sun and blue skies, so in order to keep my sanity here in the Willamette Valley during the winter, I enjoy spending time in wine country while sipping some of Oregon’s winter-warming red wines.

About 20 minutes out of the city of Eugene, there are two wineries located in the Briggs Hill Valley that sit right across from each other that both offer big, bold red wines: Silvan Ridge and Sweet Cheeks. On these cold and grey days, an afternoon in wine country is sure to chase the winter blues away.

Silvan Ridge’s 2008 Reserve Syrah is one of my favorite warm-me-up reds in the southern Willamette Valley. The fruit for this Syrah is sourced from the Rogue Valley, and its color in the glass is very dark purple – almost black. Plums, blackberries and smoke on the nose lead to dark fruits, toasted oak and leather. From first sip, the body is warmed and thoughts of a cold long winter quickly dissipate.

From the patio at Silvan Ridge, you can see Sweet Cheeks Winery perched on a hill that overlooks the valley. Sweet Cheeks has a luscious Tempranillo that warms the body and soul. Like the Syrah from Silvan Ridge, the Tempranillo is very dark purple in color. Aromas of black fruit, cedar and fresh tobacco lead to a medium bodied wine brimming with ripe fruit along with a hint of maple syrup on the long lasting finish. If it’s too cold outside to sit by one of the outdoor firepits, the fireplace inside the winery is equally enjoyable when sipping Sweet Cheeks Tempranillo.

After this cold and wet week we’re having, a little dose of wine country and winter warming reds will no doubt bring some much needed warmth and contentment.

 Wine Bars & Wine Shops

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with Upstate Trio; Fri. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with Manouche Noir; last Friday Art Walk; February art by Heather Marie Michaud. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

Bier Stein: Wed. 4-11 pm, Food For Lane County Benefit; Sat. 5-8 pm, Tasting with Good Life Brewing from Bend – meet the brewer. 345 East Eleventh Ave., Eugene.

Creswell Coffee Company: Fri. 7pm, live music with John Jarvie; Sat. 7 pm, live mjusic with Acoustic Etouffee; Nice wine selection here and occasional wine tastings. 116 Melton Rd., Creswell.

16Tons (Supreme Bean): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5-7 pm wine tasting; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): Sat. 4-6 pm, Logsdon Meet the Brewer and Tasting. 265 East Thirteenth Ave., 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

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 with wines from King Estate, Silvan Ridge, Adelsheim, Benton-Lane & Domaine Drouhin to name a few. 754 East Thirteenth Ave., 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.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7 pm, Frugal Friday wine tasting with Mario; Sat. 5-7 pm, wine tasting featuring local and regional wines; 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.

Café Soriah: Wed. starting at 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.

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Wed. 5-8 pm, half off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. and Fri. 6-8 pm, live music. 296 E. 5th 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 Caldera Brewing Co.; Sat. 1-4 pm, wine tasting-Spanish Wines; 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar: Mon. – Fri. 4-6 pm Happy Hour, tap beers $2 and house wines $4.50. 174 East Broadway Ave., Eugene.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Wed. Tasting 5-6 pm followed by Corte Alla Flora Dinner with chef Glen – reservations required 541-685-0790; Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting. 17 Oakway Center, 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: This new bar has a nice wine list. 296 East 5th Ave., Eugene.

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

Café 440: Wed., all day. Wednesday Wine Flights, taste three whites or reds for $10.50. 440 Coburg Rd., Eugene.

B2 Wine Bar: Tue. 8 pm live music with the Blue Valentine’s; Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. Loads of Northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., 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.

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 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., all day, $5 glass pours of house white or red. Nice selection f 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 and Vineyards

Sarver Winery: Winter hours: Mon.-Thu. by appointment, Fri.-Sun., 12-6 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.

Pfeiffer Vineyards: Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm, Keep warm while sipping Pfeiffer wine by the fireplace. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Capitello Wines: Another local winery without walls, so keep an eye out on Capitello’s Facebook page for upcoming events and tastings.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Open daily 12-5 pm, Complimentary taste of five wines in addition to several limited wines that may be tasted for a fee. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Spencer Creek Cellars/McBeth Vineyards: January through March, by appointment only,
Wine Tastings in the Barn. 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 Tyler Morin; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sundays, Fine sparkling wine and live music from 2-4 pm with Jen Sennett; 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Domaine Meriwether: Daily 11 am – 4 pm, world renowned Meriwether and Capitello wine can be sampled in the tasting room. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Benton-Lane Winery: Mon. – Fri. 11 am – 5 pm, enjoy one of the Top 100 wines of the world: Benton-Lane 2010 Pinot Gris. Available in the tasting room by taste, glass or bottle.; 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.

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.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Winter hours by appointment. Call 541-998-8708. Try Brigadoon’s three excellent wines: a Pinot Blanc and two Pinot Noirs, which can now be enjoyed on their lovely deck with a view, — or if it’s raining, you’ll be invited into their kitchen. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Fri., 12-5 pm, and Sat.-Sun., 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Saginaw Vineyards: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night Live in the Barn with The Barkemeyer Brothers, 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.

Stanton Vineyards: Another local “winery without walls,” so keep an eye out for events where Charlie Stanton will be pouring his delicious wines. Bottles sold 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: In the process of changing their tasting hours, will have more information soon. 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.

Save the Date or Reserve Now

Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar: Mar. 7, 5:30-7 pm. First Wednesday “All Italian” Wine Tasting & Sale featuring 10 wines from Small Vineyards portfolio. A taste of all wines plus appetizers is $25 per person of which $5 will be applied as credit on wine purchases. 174 East Broadway Ave., Eugene.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Mar. 18, 8:30 am – noon, Spring Winery Run & Brunch for women runners of all levels. Call 541-968-1362 for details. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Pfeiffer Winery: Mar. 17-18, 11 am – 5 pm Wine Tasting and Stella & Dot Trunk show in celebration of the 40th annual Daffodil Festival. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

“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