South Willamette Valley

Wine Down Special: Memorial Weekend Events in South Willamette and Umpqua Valleys

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Wine Down Eugene – Special Memorial Weekend Issue May 22-28

Delfino_Vineyards with flag
Delfino Vineyards tasting room | photo: wineries.findthebest.com

As I write this, wineries throughout the South Willamette Valley and Umpqua Valley are preparing for the biggest weekend of the year.  Memorial Weekend open houses at the wineries signifies the official kick-off to summer.  While some wineries re-open after being closed for the winter, others simply extend their hours and days of operation.  Many will be featuring tastings of their newly released wines, library wines; as well as, offering special pricing, food, live entertainment and even children’s activities.

This year, since we are so close in proximity to our neighboring Umpqua Valley wineries, I’ve decided to highlight their Memorial Weekend events in addition to highlighting the events happening at the South Willamette wineries.

Down in the Umpqua Valley, Delfino Vineyards will be featuring a wine tasting social hour just before Portland’s New Iberian Blues and Zydeco Band will take the stage for a live concert on the Delfino’s beautiful estate property.  North of Delfino, at stunningly gorgeous Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, another concert will be taking place with a ’50s – ’60s rock and roll band named Flashback. ’50s style sliders will be paired with the newly released limited edition 2011 Grenache. The amphitheater at Reustle Prayer Rock is one-of-a-kind with views that are truly unmatched.  Not too far from Reustle Prayer Rock is Henry Estate Winery, where the entire family is welcome to join in on the festivities. In addition to wine tasting and live music, they will have a bouncy house, miniature golf and a petting zoo.  At umpqua’s Melrose Vineyards, a converted 100 year old barn with rustic yet refined beauty houses the tasting room and shop with loads of wine related products.  Along with live music and a BBQ, Melrose is celebrating their 11th anniversary. The view of the vineyards and rolling hills beyond is absolutely breathtaking from the porch off the back of the tasting room.

Reustel prayer rock piano amphitheater
The amphitheater at Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards | photo: reustlevineyards.com

In the south willamette Valley, Winemaker Jonathan Oberlander of J.Scott Cellars will be opening the door to his tasting room located in west Eugene inside an urban-warehouse-style tasting room. Jonathan will be offering samples of his entire line-up of wines.  Special guest winemaker Mark Nicholl of William Rose Wines will be joining Jonathan on Saturday and pouring his current releases, as well.  Gourmet food truck Gastro Nomad will be parked outside of the winery preparing tasty treats that will be available for purchase for wine-goers.  Head a little west of the J. Scott tasting room, to Veneta’s Domaine Meriwether, and all weekend long the Meriwether wines will be available for tasting; in addition to, wines from a featured guest winemaker each day: Ray Walsh of Capitello on Saturday, Mark Nicholl of William Rose Wines on Sunday and Jeff Kandarian of Kandarian Wine Cellars on Monday.  There will be live music and BBQ foods available for purchase, and the best part about Saturday is that Ray Walsh will be releasing his unique Straw Wine, the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.  I’ve been following Ray’s making of this wine since I first spotted the drying grapes on straw mats inside Domaine Meriwether last October, and I’m looking forward to trying my first-ever straw wine.

Melrose Vineyards barn tasting room
Melrose Vineyards converted barn tasting room | photo: Melrose Facebook page

If you never made it to the Eugene Wine Cellars tasting room located in the Whiteaker Neighborhood (across the street from Wandering Goat), this is your chance to check it out after they closed their tasting room to the public six years ago.  This location has mainly been used for distributing their wines from the winery that’s connected to the tasting room.  This weekend, Eugene Wine Cellars will welcome wine enthusiasts back inside their Whitekaer tasting room to sample the line-up of their B2 wines, and they will continue to welcome guests Wednesday through Saturday from 4 pm to 8 pm and by appointment through the summer.  Another urban winery that’s not too far from Eugene Wine Cellars is Territorial Vineyards and Wine Company, and they’ll be offering case discounts along with live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Memorial Weekend events at the wineries abound, so check the side bar listing of featured events for everything that is happening in both the South Willamette and Umpqua Valleys.

Remember to take a moment and raise a glass to those who have fallen in battle fulfilling their obligation to this great country in which we live. The freedoms that we enjoy everyday are protected and ensured by men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our country and what it stands for.  Once I’m out swirling, sipping, and savoring all that our stellar local wineries have to offer, I’ll be sure to raise a glass to our American heroes.

 

 

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene for August 8-14

My summertime kitchen

“Fire up that grill, honey!” I’ve said those exact words on numerous occasions since the clouds have dispersed and the sun has been shining down on the Willamette Valley; indeed, I love to cook in the great outdoors – one of the many reasons why I love summer.

In the past two weeks, I’ve used the outdoor grill on twelve of those fourteen days. With as much grilling as I’ve been doing, I’m always on the prowl for new and exciting recipes. From Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon to an entire wheel of ooey-gooey grilled Brie cheese, I am absolutely loving the the ease of outdoor cooking.

Savory Grilled Blueberry Pizza | Photo chindeep.com

While I love discovering all these great grilling recipes, I also love pairing wine with the food I’m preparing. With each recipe, I’ve carefully thought about what wine would be perfectly matched with the food, and so far I’ve come across some truly ambrosial combinations.

My favorite recent food and wine pairing was a Savory Grilled Blueberry Pizza, from chindeep.com, with a glass of Domaine Meriwether 2005 Pinot Noir. Another pairing I loved was Bourbon Bacon BBQ Ribs paired with a 2010 Petite Sirah from King Estate – unconditionally delicious. For a quick and easy appetizer, I grilled sourdough baguette slices alongside a wheel of Brie cheese, then dipped the grilled bread into the melted Brie while sipping on a chilled glass of 2009 Terriorial Pinot Gris, an outstanding pairing.

The list goes on, so enjoy these gorgeous sunny days and get out of the kitchen. Fire up that grill and follow me over to WineJulia.com for summer grilling recipes and exceptional wine pairings.

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Sat. 4-6 pm, wine tasting with Mark Nicholl of William Rose Wines. 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.

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. NO Thursday Night Dinner this week, HTCC will be at the Ladies in the Field event in Corvallis. Read about the Thurs. family-style dinners on WineJulia.com. For reservations call 541-895-5885; Sat. 6 pm HTCC Barn Dinner with Domaine Meriwether – Sold Out.182 South Second St., Creswell.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with The Porch Band; Fri. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with The Anthony McCarthy Duo; August Art: Shanna Trumbley. 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 Gus Russell, Paul Biondi and friends; Fri. 6-8 pm, live music with Jerry Zybach Trio; Sat. 6-8 pm, live music with Joanne Broh and the Love Bandits. 296 E. 5th Ave., 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.

Ninkasi Brewing: 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.

Marché Provisions: Wed. 4:30-6:30 pm, Ridge Vineyards Free Tasting. 7 pm, Dinner with Ridge Vineyards. For details and reservations call 541-342-3612; Fri. 5-7 pm, Free weekly 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.

The Wine Place (Yachats):  Fri. 4-7 pm Beer Tasting with Upright Brewing; Sat.1-4 pm Wine tasting with Angel Vines. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Long’s Meat Market: Fri. 4-6 pm, free wine tasting with some cheese from their deli; Sat. 11 am – 3 pm, weekly Saturday parking lot BBQ of hot dogs, hamburgers, 1/2 chickens and brats- craft beers and Oregon wines available in the deli. 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 50 percent off wine by the glass; Every Fri. 6 pm, free live music; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St. & 265 E. 13th Ave., 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 with Dylan James; Sat. 7 pm, live music with Jazz Du Jour. 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.

B2 Wine Bar: Fri. 8:20 pm, Movies Under the Stars featuring Casablanca; Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. Loads of Northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.

Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano: Fri. and Sat. 7-9:30 pm, live music, no cover; Mon.-Thu. 3-6 pm, Happy Hour. Extensive local wine list. 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.

Cornucopia Maize Lounge: CLOSED (Out of Business) 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.



Wineries & Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Fri. 5-9 pm, Friday Night Flights CANCELLED due to private event. Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Domaine Meriwether: Thu., 6-9 pm. CASA Benefit – BBQ, wine and music. Purchase tickets at www,casa-lane.org; Fri. 6-9 pm. Sparkling Nights – wine tasting, live music, fun; Open Daily 11 am – 4 pm, world renowned Meriwether still and sparkling wine can be sampled in the tasting room. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Sarver Winery: Fri. 6-9 pm, live music; Open daily 12-6 pm except Fri 12-9 pm; Gourmet pizza and live music on the first three Fridays of each month, Steak and Sarver Caesar Dinners on the last Friday of each month-call for reservations 541-935-2979. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night LIVE featuring Tony Rae & Common Ground. 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.

Pfeiffer Winery: Fri./Sat. Fondue Nights~Cheese and chocolate fondue with fixings; Daisy’s Food Cart offering great menu items on Fri. Sat. and Sun.! Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. 12-9 pm, live music 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.

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 Alex Hagerty. Featured Food Cart: Dump City Dumplings; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sundays, fine sparkling wine and live music from 2-4 pm with Barefoot Leroy. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

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

Benton-Lane: Fri. 6:30 pm, Wine dinner at Lewis & Clark in Eugene. Call the winery for details 541-847-5792.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.

Capitello Wines: Fri./Sat./Sun. Capitello will be pouring their wines at the Bite of Oregon in Portland.

William Rose Wines: Sat. 4-6 pm, pouring at Wineries without Walls located inside the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center in Veneta. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

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

King Estate: Open daily 11 am – 8 pm. Sample some of Oregon’s finest wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and enjoy a valley view that’s unmatched. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Chateau Lorane: Open daily, 12-5 pm. Stop by and taste some of their multiple award winners: Melon De Bourgogne, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Asian Girl Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and their double award-winning Red Bordeaux blend, Entourage. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

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

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: Another local winery without walls, look for Stanton wines at Sundance, Market of Choice, Wineries without Walls in the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce & Authentica, and in restaurants Marché and Eugene Country Club.

Kandarian Wine Cellars: A winery without walls – check back often for tasting locations.

Noble Estate: Open 7 days/week, 12-5 pm. Tasting room with beautiful patio and gorgeous view,. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

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:  Mn-Fri. 11 am – 4 pm. Starting June 16, the tasting room will be open on Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm. 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:

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.

B2 Wine Bar/Crescent Village: Aug 24, 8 pm Hook.

Sweet Cheeks: Aug. 16, Jewels of the Vine – a fundraiser to support Lane Community College’s Women in Trasition Scholarship. Finger foods, chocolates, wine tasting and other indulgences provided by local businesses. $20 admission. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Aug 18, 6:30 pm. Saturday Evening with the Winemaker. $35 per person. For details and reservations call 541-935-9406. Read about last years event here. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Aug. 18, 2nd Annual Twilight 5K. 5K run, outdoor concert, food, wine and beer. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Marché Provisions: Aug. 23, 7:15 pm. Wine Class: Riesling. $35 per person; Aug. 29, French Regional Dinner: Provence.  For details and reservations call 541-342-3612. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Capitello Wines: A winery without walls. Upcoming wine tastings will be during the Eugene Celebration and Market of Choice. Dates and times TBA.

Pfeiffer Winery: Aug. 26, 5-10 pm. Robin’s Birthday Bash in the Pfeiffer Winery and Water Garden. Live music with Shelley and Cal, catered by Boss Hawgs BBQ and Bambino’s gourmet pizza, wine and beer available for purchase. $20 per person. Reservations required with a credit card, call 541-998-2828.  25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Sarver Winery: Sep. 17, 6 pm. Second Annual Lowland Cajun Boil featuring the VooDoo Mountain Zydeco Band. Call to reserve your spot with a credit card – $20 dollars per person. 541-935-2979. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene June 27 – July 3
I mentioned last week that I was heading down to the Umpqua Valley for some much needed rest and relaxation, and my mini-vacation not only brought me a little R&R, but I was thrilled to be surrounded by lush, green landscape, big bold red wines and welcoming, friendly people.

The Umpqua Valley wine region is just below the South Willamette Valley wine region, and it surrounds the city of Roseburg, which is only about an hour and half drive South of Eugene. What truly amazes me is the difference in the terroirs between the two very close regions. While we hail in our spectacular Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris in the Willamette Valley, the Umpqua hails equally in their Tempranillos and Cabernet Sauvignons.

It wasn’t only the Tempranillos and Cabernets that captured my attention while visiting the Umpqua, but I tried several other fantastic reds and even some very notable whites. At Spangler Vineyards, we tried a slew of big, full bodied, complex reds with exceptional depth of character. Although one of my four favorite reds from Spangler included a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, I also really enjoyed the 2008 Claret, the 2008 Syrah and the 2009 Petite Sirah. We tried an excellent 2006 Granacha (Grenache) from Abacela along with a vertical tasting of three outstanding Tempranillos from ’07, ’08 and ’09. A Baco Noir from Melrose Vineyards had me head over heels at first whiff of the ripe, dark fruit aromas, and their 2011 Sauvignon Blanc was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.

From Delfino Vineyards, where we stayed in their five star bed and breakfast, a stellar 2010 Tempranillo was on the kitchen counter upon our arrival. We popped the cork on the Tempranillo while relaxing, Adirondack style, by the lake on the Delfino property, but in their tasting room, I was surprised by the palatable tropical fruits that were showcased perfectly in their well balanced and delicious 2011 Muller Thurgau. In fact, I was truly impressed with all of the Delfino wines, and I’ll be sharing our entire Delfino “Taste The Place” experience on WineJulia.com.

Although it was a quick trip to the Umpqua with just a one night stay, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated, and I’m already looking forward to heading south again to visit new found friends and enjoy the many wines of the Umpqua Valley.

 

 

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 Wood Roasted Clams, Potatoes with House Made Pancetta, side salad HTCC Ciabatta Rolls. Doors open at 6pm with appetizers, excellent selection of beer and wine available for purchase. Read about these great family-style dinners on WineJulia.com. For reservations call 541-895-5885.182 South Second St., Creswell.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Fri. 5-7 pm, Wine tasting with Iris Vineyards; Sat. 4-6 pm, wine tasting with Lone Oak Vineyards. 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.

Authentica Wines: June 22-29, 4-6 pm- The Oregon Pinot Noir Trials – special week-long tasting and celebration of Oregon’s finest artisan Pinot Noirs. $5 tasting fee; 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.

Creswell Coffee Company: Sat. 2:30 – 9 pm, Second Annual Customer Appreciation Concert with live music from Ettoufee, The Huckleberrys, Mick Croon, The Whiskey Chasers and The Fret Boys. Nice wine selection here and occasional wine tastings. 116 Melton Rd., Creswell.

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 50 percent off wine by the glass; Every Fri. 6 pm, free live music; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St. & 265 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): New hours: Sun.-Wed. 3-10 pm, Thu.-Sat. 3 pm – 12 am. 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. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with Upstate Trio; Fri. 5-11 pm Last Friday Art Walk and music starts around 7 pm with Manouche Noir; June Art by Demetra Kalams. 907 West Third 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.

Marché: Wed. French Regional Dinner: Languedoc/Rousillon. Call 541-342-3612 for reservations. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Marché Provisions: Wine Basics Class: Chardonnay – rescheduled to July 26. Stop by the shop to sign up or call for reservations 541-342-3612 296; Fri. 5-7 pm, Free weekly wine tasting. 296 E. 5th Ave., 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.

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.

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.

The Wine Place (Yachats): Fri. 4-7 pm Beer Tasting with Laurelwoods; Sat.1-4 pm Wine tasting with Pudding River Wine Cellars. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

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.

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.

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

B2 Wine Bar: Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. Ask about Eugene Wine Cellars new Red Blend. Loads of Northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.

Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano: Fri. and Sat. 7-9:30 pm, live music, no cover; Mon.-Thu. 3-6 pm, Happy Hour. Extensive local wine list. 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 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.

Wineries & Vineyards

Sarver Winery: Fri. 6-9 pm, Steak and Sarver Caesar Dinner and live music featuring Pete and Lloyd; Open daily 12-6 pm except Fri 12-9 pm; Gourmet pizza and live music on the first three Fridays of each month, Steak and Sarver Caesar Dinners on the last Friday of each month-call for reservations 541-935-2979. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

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

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Fri. 5-9 pm, Friday Night Flights is back! Free three wine flight, live music and food available for purchase from varying local food carts; Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Pfeiffer Winery: Fri./Sat. Fondue Nights~Cheese and chocolate fondue with fixings; Daisy’s Food Cart offering great menu items on Fri. Sat. and Sun.! Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. 12-9 pm, new Friday hours & live music starting at 6 pm with Jones and Goodbar. Wood-fired pizza and wine; Tue. & Wed. 12-7 pm, 2012 Olympic Trials Celebration Days. Wine tasting, live music, 20 percent off sales. Picnics and all ages welcome. 27012 Briggs Hill 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 from 6:30-830 pm with Alex Hagerty. Featured Food Cart: Dump City Dumplings; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sundays, fine sparkling wine and live music from 2-4 pm. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri. – Sun. 12-5 pm, newly constructed tasting room where you can sample Brigadoon’s three excellent wines now open. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

Saginaw Vineyards: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night Live with Tony Rae and Common Ground, 21 and over only; Open daily, 11 am – 5pm. Sample their traditional style wines in their tasting room located in the original building of a 1905 farmstead. They also specialize in farm fresh fruit wines. 80247 Delight Valley School Rd., Cottage Grove.

Benton-Lane: Open Daily Noon to 5pm; For a relaxed one hour wine tasting with the owner in a special wine room overlooking the vineyards, call the winery for details 541-847-5792. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

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

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

King Estate: Open daily 11 am – 8 pm. Sample some of Oregon’s finest wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and enjoy a valley view that’s unmatched. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Chateau Lorane: Open daily, 12-5 pm. Stop by and taste some of their multiple award winners: Melon De Bourgogne, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Asian Girl Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and their double award-winning Red Bordeaux blend, Entourage. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

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

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

Stanton Vineyards: Another local winery without walls, look for Stanton wines at Sundance, Market of Choice, Wineries without Walls in the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce & Authentica, and in restaurants Marché and Eugene Country Club.

Kandarian Wine Cellars: Excellent local winery without walls, check back often for wine tasting information.

Noble Estate: Open 7 days/week, 12-5 pm. Tasting room with beautiful patio and gorgeous view,. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

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:  Mn-Fri. 11 am – 4 pm. Starting June 16, the tasting room will be open on Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm. 195 Palmer Ave., Cottage Grove.

Patchwork Cellars: Christian Fox, owner of Patchwork Cellars, pours his excellent wine at certain events around town. Check back often for his schedule of tastings.

Dylan’s Run: Another winery without walls. Keep an eye out for tastings at the Fern Ridge Chamber of commerce, Wineries without Walls.

Fractal Cellars: A winery without walls that pours samples at certain events around town. Check back often for dates and locations of tastings.

Save the Date or Reserve Now:

Heidi Tunnell Catering Co: Thursday night dinners in their on-site event center. 6:30pm, doors open at 6pm. Extensive wine list by local, handcrafted Oregon winemakers and local beers as well; 2012 series Barn Dinner-reservations are now open, click here to make a reservation on line or call 541-895-5885. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Music and The Vineyard at Alton Baker Park: July 4, 3:30 – fireworks completion. Maude Kerns Art Center teams up with the Active 20-30’s to present live music, wine, food and fireworks. 100 Day Island Rd., Eugene.

Art and The Vineyard at Alton Baker Park: July 6-8. Art, Music, Wine and Food. Venues, times and ticket prices here. 100 Day Island Rd., Eugene.

B2 Wine Bar/Crescent Village: Jun. 29, 9 pm Movies Under The Stars with a free showing of Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory; Jul. 27, 9 pm Up; Aug. 10, 8:20 pm Casablanca; Aug 24 8 pm, Hook.

Sweet Cheeks: Aug. 16, Jewels of the Vine – a fundraiser to support Lane Community College’s Women in Trasition Scholarship. Finger foods, chocolates, wine tasting and other indulgences provided by local businesses. $20 admission. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Aug. 18, 2nd Annual Twilight 5K. 5K run, outdoor concert, food, wine and beer. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

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.

Wine Down Eugene – Thanksgiving

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— Julia Crowley, EDN

Thanksgiving is just days away, and while I prepare my shopping list of food and, of course, wine, I’m reminded of how thankful I am to be living in the South Willamette Valley. I am surrounded by outstanding vineyards, superb wineries and stellar winemakers that produce the fantastic wines which are consistently being revered by critics around the world. I’m truly thankful to all of our region’s hard working farmers, winemakers, vineyard managers, winery owners, wine servers and everyone involved in making the South Willamette Valley wine region one of the best regions in the world. The result of your hard work will be thoroughly enjoyed this Thanksgiving by many, including me.

When considering the wine you’ll want to share with friends and family on your Thanksgiving table, think Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir’s earthy undertones and tremendously broad range of aromas, flavors and textures make this wine the ultimate wine to pair with all the traditional Thanksgiving foods; including, yam casserole, green bean casserole, Waldorf salad, roasted, fried, or smoked turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Finding an outstanding Pinot Noir to serve your loved ones on Thanksgiving is no daunting task when you’re lucky enough to reside in our beautiful wine region: all of the South Willamette Wineries produce top quality, notable and exceptional Pinot Noirs!

Not only will I be sharing and enjoying the incredible Pinot Noirs of the South Willamette Valley on Thanksgiving Day, but I’ll also be heading out to wine country to take advantage of the many Thanksgiving weekend open houses. From Benton-Lane Winery to the north in Monroe, to Saginaw Vineyards in the south near Cottage Grove, there’s plenty of breathtaking views to be seen and celebrated wines to be sampled.

One winery is opening the doors of their original tasting room off of Territorial Highway for two days only: Iris Vineyards. If you haven’t been to this gorgeous Tuscan-style tasting room with an impressive valley view, this is your chance to experience the phenomenal wines of Iris Vineyards in a striking setting. On Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th, you won’t find me in a line at the mall. You will, however, find me enjoying a spectacular view while sipping the 2008 Iris Vineyards Pinot Noir in the beautiful South Willamette Valley.

Thanksgiving Weekend Winery Open Houses

Benton-Lane Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. $10 admission includes logo glass, gourmet tapas and wine tasting which includes their 2010 Pinot Gris – one of the Top 100 Wines of the World! 23924 Territorial Hwy, Monroe.

Brigadoon Wine Company: Fri. and Sat. 11 am – 5 pm. Sample their Pinot Blanc and two Pinot Noirs. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

Capitello Wines: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. Capitello is the special guest winery being featured at Domaine Meriwether. $10 admission includes 4 tastings, souvenir glass, live music and more. food will be available for purchase and families are welcome. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Chateau Lorane: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. $10 tasting fee includes a tasting of over 20 wines, appetizers and a logo glass. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

Domaine Meriwether: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. $10 admission includes 4 tastings, souvenir glass, live music and more with special guest Capitello Wines. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Iris Vineyards: Fri. and Sat. 11 am – 4:30 pm. Thanksgiving sales along with a two day only opportunity to sample their wines in the original tasting room located at 82110 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

J. Scott Cellars: Fri. and Sat. pouring both days at their tasting room located in the Crow’s Nest of The Wine Place in Yachats. Corner of Hwy 101 and 4th Street, Yachats.

King Estate Winery: Thu. 1-5 pm open for Thanksgiving Dinner SOLD OUT; Fri. and Sat 11 am – 8 pm. 80854 Territorial Hwy, Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira: Sat. and Sun. 12-6 pm. Live music with Brooks Robertson on Sun. 1-5 pm along with food available for purchase from gourmet food cart, Devour. 89697 Sheffler Rd, Elmira.

Noble Estate: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

Pfeiffer Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. Wine Tasting flights from $10 – $20 including light appetizers and logo glass; Sat. enjoy “A Fall Lunch” with Bambino’s famous pulled pork sliders or Penne Pasta – $10 per person. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

RainSong Vineyards: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm. No tasting fee and free finger food, barrel tastings of the wines available for their barrel bottling program along with the featured 2010 Pinot Noir. 92989 Templeton Rd., Cheshire.

Saginaw Vineyards: Fris. Sat. and Sun. 11 am – 5 pm. Complimentary wine tasting and hors d’oeurvres; Fri. 6-9 pm Friday Night Live in the Barn with Timothy Patrick – $10 cover includes wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres, 21 and only. 80247 Delight Valley Rd., Cottage Grove.

Sarver Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-6pm Enjoy a complimentary flight of six wines with the $5 purchase of one of their signature Sarver 22 oz. Bordeaux wines glasses. Betty Rocker’s Street Kitchen, one of Eugene’s popular food carts, will be serving up their famous Betty Burgers along with homemade soup. 2600 Mayola Lane, Eugene.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm. Live music each day from 1:30-4:30 pm. Big sale on wine and unique items in gift shop, new releases, free wine tasting, free admission and more. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Fri. Sat. and Sun. 12-6 pm Celebrate Sweet Cheeks 6th Anniversary during their Thanksgiving Weekend Open House. Free admission, live music, chocolate fountain and wine specials. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Open Fri. Sat. and Sun. $7 Tasting Flight, local brews from Ninkasi and Oakshire Fri. hours 3-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Brooks Robertson; Sat. hours 3-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Brook Adams; Sun. hours 3-7 pm, live music starting at 3 pm with Ally Losik. Unveiling of the expanded tasting room happens this weekend along with special offers of select wines and varietals from from other producers.907 West Third Ave, Eugene.

“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