willamette Valley Vineyards

What’s In My Glass? Oregon Blossom

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There are few significant wines that I’ve encountered in my wine journey. Boedecker Cellars Grenache was the first one I fell in love with, and Oregon Blossom was a close second. Produced by the amazing Willamette Valley Vineyards, this is a wine that is not only consistently delicious but also perfect for any occasion. It is a bit on the sweeter side of Rosé wines, but I absolutely love this wine. It is decadent, feminine, and very fruit forward. The residual sugar is really balanced by a nice acidity that creates a very smooth but refreshing experience.

On the nose of this wine I got flavors of crisp raspberry and citrus. Once it hit my palette though, it tasted like summer. Ripe strawberries, sweet watermelon, and honey suckle filled my senses. After the first sip I was thinking to myself, when is the next time I can have a barbeque and soak up some sunshine? Anything grilled, or with a hint of spice would be the perfect pairing for this Rosé. Along with great company and some sunshine, of course!

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The good news about this wine is that it is available everywhere! I usually can pick this wine up for around the $10 – $11 dollar range at most retailers that sell Oregon wines. Pick this up for yourself, get it nice and chilled, and pop it open during your next get together. It’ll be a great hit. Cheers!

What’s In My Glass? Willamette Valley Vineyards

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Willamette Valley Vineyards was one of the very first wineries that I tasted. I still remember picking up my first bottle of Oregon Blossom and loving every sip. While I still do love Oregon Blossom, I recently stopped by their tasting room and got a taste of the 2012 Dijon Clone Chardonnay. What a beautiful wine! I’ve been on a bit of a Chardonnay kick lately and this one was just perfect. Flavors of tropical fruits and bright citrus popped. There was a hint of oak, but it was just the right amount. I really enjoyed how fresh this wine was.

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Lucky for us, Willamette Valley Vineyards is available at many retail stores in our area. I picked this up at my local grocery store but I do highly recommend stopping by one of their tasting rooms (one is right off I-5 just south of Salem, and the other is in downtown McMinnville). They have some very impressive selections! Make sure and try this 2012 Dijon Clone Chardonnay there as well, it is just delicious. Cheers!

Frugal Wine Gal: Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

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Every Thursday I make the trek up to Salem for one of my wine making classes, and I drive by the beautiful Willamette Valley Vineyards. The rolling vineyards always catch my eye and make me wish I was sipping on a delicious glass of wine instead of cruising on by. When I recently stopped by my local market I spotted a bottle of their 2013 Pinot Gris and it was calling my name. Boy was I in for a treat!

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(Photo Credit: Quinn Dobrowski)

Pinot Gris is one of Oregon’s flagship wines, originally planted all the way back in 1966 by David Lett of the Eyrie Vineyards. This grape has quite a market here in Oregon, and around the country. It is no secret why. The Pinot Gris grape thrives in our colder Oregon climate and enjoys the struggle for sun just like the Pinot Noir grape, its close cousin. Pinot Gris is known for its versatility and how well it pairs with Salmon. In fact, this 2013 version boasts pairing well with broiled salmon specifically. Now there is a pairing I’ll have to try.

Willamette Valley Vineyards was established all the way back in 1983, when founder Jim Bernau planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris grapes just south of Salem. With a background that goes from UC Davis to France, Jim has created one of Oregon’s most celebrated wineries. They now have quite a line up of wines they produce. They have added Riesling and Pinot blanc in addition to the original grapes that were planted.

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The Beautiful Willamette Valley Vineyards.(Photo Credit:Travel Salem)

The coolest thing about the Willamette Valley Vineyards site is that the soils are very similar red clay soils that are found in Burgundy, France. Obviously this area is known for producing some amazing Pinot Noir, in addition to their other varietals. I’ve been to their McMinnville tasting room many times and have loved each wine I’ve tried. In fact, one of the first wines I truly enjoyed was their “Oregon Blossom”, which is a wine they produce that is a little on the sweeter side but absolutely bursting with flavors of summer fruits like watermelon. If you haven’t had the chance to stop by the tasting room in downtown McMinnville yet, I highly recommend it. While you are at it make sure and stop by Honest Chocolates, one of my favorites spots downtown. I’m making myself drool just thinking about the chocolates they make!

I’ve had many a Pinot gris in my time, as there are so many options out there. This 2013 Willamette Valley Vineyards release really stood out to me. There was little to no biting acidity that I can sometimes taste in others of the same varietal. The nose was reminiscent of crisp fall air and green apples. Very refreshing. It was light bodied but had an incredibly silky mouthfeel. Flavors of peaches, pears, and even some tropical fruits popped out in this wine. The finish was incredibly smooth and begged to be sipped further. There was a slight dryness to this wine that would be the perfect pairing for that broiled salmon I mentioned above. All in all, I cannot wait to buy another bottle (or 3!), pop it open, and enjoy it on my back patio with friends and family. I actually drank this wine solo, as I usually do, and it was the perfect accompaniment to watching a movie snuggled up on the couch.

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The 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris in the glass.

This bottle was an excellent deal at $16 dollars, and I have even seen it on sale for less that that. Run, don’t walk to get this bottle. It is dying to be drank. Cheers!

 

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene November 20 -26

Last Saturday evening, I attended the Governor’s Inaugural Oregon Leadership Dinner that was hosted by one of Oregon’s iconic and most well-known wineries, Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Presented by Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes, The Oregon Leadership Dinner was an opportunity to celebrate and move forward the most distinctive and innovative accomplishments between the Oregon’s public and private sectors.  Some of the evening’s guests who joined the invited private sector leaders were key elected officials and Heads of State, like Secretary of State Kate Brown, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, to name a few.

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2012 Oregon Governor’s Cuvée – the first of its kind | Photo by Julia Crowley

The evening’s beneficiary was Special Olympics Oregon, and the lovely multiple medal-winning Special Olympics athlete, Jennifer Hill, gave an incredible speech just before giving both the Governor and First Lady a couple medals from her earnings.  Other speakers for the evening included founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards, Jim Bernau, Gerry Frank (of Meier & Frank) and First Lady Hayes and Governor Kitzhaber.

But before the evening’s program got underway, each of the guests that arrived at Willamette Valley Vineyards got the first look at the totally transformed Tasting Room and Estate; as well as, a special take-home bottle of the first-ever Oregon Governor’s Cuvée – stored in a wooden wine box with a look-alike Oregon State Seal (changed ever so slightly with the addition of clusters of grapes).

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The incredible new tasting bar at Willamette Valley Vineyards | Photo by Julia Crowley

Produced using highly revered 2012 vintage Pinot Noirs from several different vineyards and wineries throughout the Willamette Valley, the Oregon Governor’s Cuvée was poured into our glasses during the main course of the incredible Oregon Bounty dinner.

Before trying the Cuvée, all guests had an opportunity to try each of the 2012 Pinots straight from the barrel, with the exception of one that was out of the bottle.  These samples were poured during the social hour that took place in the barrel room below the winery and tasting room at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

The entire evening was simply spectacular, and I felt truly honored to be a part of such an important event.  From arriving to the burning sconces outside of the newly renovated tasting room entrance to the personal meet, greet and tour of the transformed spaces, I was one happy wine gal.

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A bottle of the Oregon Governor’s Cuvée was given to each guest in this wine crate | Photo by Julia Crowley

I’ll be sharing the evening’s entire experience on both my award-winning website, WineJulia.com and the world’s longest running wine website, Snooth.com.  Tasting notes on the incredible wines, details on the delicious foods, particulars and specifics on the gorgeous new Tasting Room and Estate (including photos) will all be included in my upcoming articles.  I’m especially excited to write about the first ever Oregon Governor’s Cuvée.

Next week, I’ll be providing a list of all the Thanksgiving Weekend Open Houses going on in and around Eugene.  It’s one of the top weekends of the year to visit the wineries, some with specials you will not want to miss.

 

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene August 21-27

IMG_9783As I’ve said many times before, “I love Pinot Noir.” More specifically, I love Oregon Pinot Noir.  Its diverse terroir driven characteristics and fresh, pure berry and earthy deliciousness; combined with, unmatched complexity, depth and elegance, enable each wine and vintage to be individually exciting, exclusive and unique.

Very often (as often as once a day) I’m asked, “What is your favorite Oregon Pinot Noir?” One of the toughest questions I continuously receive, I’m not ever able to answer with one specific Pinot Noir.  As previously mentioned, each and every vintage is different, and from year to year I enjoy countless amounts that simply can’t be answered with, “Blankity Blank is my favorite Pinot Noir.”

In an effort to offer Pinot Noir enthusiasts an insight to some of the Oregon Pinot Noirs I most enjoy, I’ve decided to focus on a specific vintage that has particularly caught the attention of my Pinot-loving taste buds: 2010.  Having freshly attended the world-famous 27th Annual Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) and the inaugural Chehalem Mountain Winegrowers Origin ’13 event, I’ve been blessed with some wonderful opportunities to sample some of Oregon’s finest and most stellar 2010 vintage Pinot Noirs.

Although each contains their own unique characteristics (based on their AVAs and winemakers styles), I’ve found that all 2010 Willamette Valley Pinots (regardless of their specific AVAs) are lush, juicy, round, silky, balanced and full of finesse.  Listed are just a few of the 2010 Pinot Noirs that I have completely fallen head over heels for.

IMG_9945R. Stuart & Co. 2010 Daffodil Hill Pinot Noir: The evening that I opened the Daffodil Hill Pinot I posted on Twitter, “After revealing what was under the glass closure of the R. Stuart ’10 Daffodil Hill, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Wow.”  Lush, juicy raspberries and cherries were highlighted by cloves and hints of earth while solidi acidity rounds out everything to perfection.  A beautiful, palate pleasing, lingering finish immediately beckons another sip.  It’s truly an outstanding Pinot Noir that is certainly a favorite of mine.

Quailhurst 2010 Pinot Noir: With pure Jory soils and a focus on Dijon clone Pinot Noir, their terroir driven estate wine is just as stunning as the property that boasts a revered Japanese garden, infinite spectacular varieties of roses and an unmatched panoramic view of the Cascade Range.  In addition to being treated with a sample of the divine 2005 Pinot Noir, the luscious 2010  complex, yet full of elegance and finesse.  Bright, juicy red fruits take over the senses in both aromas and flavors. Soft and round, classic hints of mushroom and earth linger on the finish that has lively, vibrant acidity.  I’ll be returning to Quailhurst in the near future to purchase more of this lovely Pinot.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2010 Elton Pinot Noir: During my recent whirlwind weekend at the world-famous IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration), I was one of the lucky wine enthusiasts that had a tour and lunch at the beautiful Elton Vineyards – where fruit is often sourced for Willamette Valley Vineyard wines.  Alongside the vineyard, a dense, lush forest has been delicately landscaped into a garden that is the epitome of paradise.  With our lunch, we sampled the 2010 Elton Pinot Noir that was, well, the epitome of stellar Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  Dark fruits and black cherries throughout, a smooth and lush entrance has mid-palate earthiness highlighted by fall spices and zippy acidity that lengthens the finish to perfection.

photo (8)Twelve 2010 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir: On the last day of IPNC, I headed to downtown McMinnville, where I first sampled 57 (seriously) Oregon Rieslings, later highlighting my favorites in my article on wineJulia.com: 57 Oregon Rieslings.  After the Riesling tasting, I headed to the Twelve Wines tasting room, where I tried a line-up of stellar Pinot Noirs, my favorite being the 2010 Pommard Clone.  Every component of this wine was balanced to perfection and the flavors and aromas were rich, lush and downright delicious. Berries galore were nuanced by earth and licorice, and the acidity was outstanding.

The Eyrie Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir: I love how this wine evolved and brought on new characteristics after as time went by after popping the cork.  Every twenty to thirty minutes, it opened up in aromas, flavors and characteristics.  Early on, aromas were earthy, mushroomy and funky – an awesome kind of funky that is often found in Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs, a quality I love.  The texture was luscious and opulent while the flavors were complex and round.  Thirty minutes later, it displayed opulent blackberry and dark fruit notes.  Even later, the earthiness had come back to complement the fruits with perfection.  I absolutely loved every sip and enjoyed the forthcoming diverse characteristics.

To discover many other 2010 vintage Pinot Noirs that have recently captured my heart, like Sokol Blosser’s Big Tree Block Pinot Noir and Adelsheim’s Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir, follow me over to my award-winning website, WineJulia.com.

 

 

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene January 30 – February 5

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The elusive Oregon White Truffle

Having just returned from a long weekend trip up to Salem and Portland, reflecting on the past few days, which were filled with adventures in food and wine, has me yearning to return for more – it was an incredible getaway.

On Saturday, I joined Willamette Valley Vineyards winemaker Don Crank, and Associate winemaker Tim Wilson, in a truffle patch located at the base of the vineyards at Willamette Valley Vineyards. We witnessed truffle hunters and their truffle hunting dogs in action – hunting and digging for the highly sought-after and treasured culinary delight.

Sunday afternoon and evening was spent in downtown Portland, where I reveled in food and wine bliss for several hours – first attending a super fun and enlightening food and wine pairing extravaganza at Metrovino: Red vs. White – A Battle for Tastebud Dominance, and later joining my family at the incredible Irving Street Kitchen. 

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Barrel to bar wine taps at Irving Street Kitchen

Red vs White – A Battle for Tastebud Dominance was created by wine PR pro Katie Bray, of Watershed CommunicationsMontinore Estate wines were paired with delectable small plates prepared by Metrovino chef Dustin See, while dueling Montinore vintners were there to convince us, the tasters, that their particular wine would be best paired with each dish. It was delicious, educational and a whole load of fun.

After Metrovino, my family and I were spoiled with gracious service, wine and food at the amazing Irving Street Kitchen. Not only did this Pearl District beauty have the coolest barrel to bar system I’ve ever seen, one unlike any other, but the wine selection and in-house sommelier were absolutely stellar – it was an experience that was truly savored.

With a food and wine-centric town like Portland, there was no better place to stay the night than at Hotel Vintage Plaza, where ‘wine’ just happened to be the theme. Could my weekend have been any better? Absolutely not. Follow me over to my award-winning wine blog, WineJulia.com, where I’ll be sharing my long weekend in detail, including foods experienced, wine reviews and lots of photos. Cheers!

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

[WineDown-Shops]

The Barn Light: Everyday 4-7 pm, Happy Hour specials on beer, wine and cocktails. 924 Willamette St., Eugene.

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, Family Style Dinner featuring Bacon Wrapped MEatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Root Vegetables. Doors open at 6 pm 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.

16Tons (Cafe): 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; Sun. 3:30 pm, Superbowl at the Cafe. Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): Sun.-Wed. noon – 10 pm, Thu.-Sat. noon – 12 am (except New Year’s Eve). Great selection of beer and wine. 265 East 13th Ave., Eugene.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting; Tue. 4-6 pm, First Tuesday of each month – Cheese & Wine Tasting, $20 per person. Read about their wine and cheese events here. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

The Bier Stein: Huge selection of local and International beer. 345 E. 11 Ave., Eugene.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Sat. 6-8 pm, A Night of Passion with Noble Estate Vineyard and their Passion wine, music with Jennifer Sennett-Franklin, Valentine trivia contest and photo booth.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.

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

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Barefoot Leroy; Fri. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: Mon. – Sat. 12-7 pm, Sun. 12–6 pm;  Thu. 5-7 pm, live music; Fri. 5-7 pm, live music. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Ninkasi Brewing: Mon. Pints Gone Wild – 25 percent of all pint sales will go to Cascadia Wildlands; 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): Sat.12-5 pm wine tasting – Saginaw Vineyards. NOTE: For January, the shop will be closed except on Saturdays from 11 am – 5 pm. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

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

B2 Wine Bar: Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. 2794 Shadow Dr., 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: Hours are 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.  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.

Koho Bistro: Wed. Wine Wednesdays – 25 percent off bottles of wine. 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.

Café 440: Wed. 5 pm, 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.  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. 384 W. 13th 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. 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. 898 Pearl St., Eugene.

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. 5:30-7:30 pm Wine Night – all bottles 35 percent off; complimentary wine tasting in the lobby. 207 East 5th Ave., Eugene.

Granary Wine Bar:Wed. 5 pm, $5 glass pours of house white or red. 259 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Wineries & Vineyards

[WineDown-Wineries]

Sarver Winery: Fri. 4pm, Delicious Homemade Soups and vintage concert series on the big screen; Last Sat. of each month, 6 pm, Steak Night – Hors D’oeuvres, Black pepper and sea salt New York Strip or Rib Eyes topped with gorgonzola compound butter, and served with garlic and sour cream mashed red skins and homemade Caesar salad. Reservations required. Open daily 12-6 pm except Fri 12-9. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): 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 6:30-8:30 pm with Michael Conley; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sunday with live music from 2-4 pm with Norman Mesman. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

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.

Domaine Meriwether: Fri. 6-9 pm. Sparkling Nights – wine tasting and live music. Open Daily 11 am – 4 pm, except Fri. for Sparkling Nights. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

King Estate: Visit the winery daily 11 am – 8 pm. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night LIVE featuring Tony Rae & Common Ground unplugged / jazzy blues. Friday Night LIVE is held indoors for the winter months 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. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

Pfeiffer Winery: Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm. Warm up with their hot mulled wine on the weekends. 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.

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. 373 North Hwy. 101, Yachats.

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

The south Willamette Valley is home to many stellar vintners that do not have tasting rooms. Check back frequently for tasting/event information on the following wineries without walls: Capitello Wines, William Rose Wines, Patchwork Cellars, Abbelone Vineyards, Stanton Vineyards, Kandarian Wine Cellars, Oakdale Cellars, Briggs Hill Winery, Iris Vineyards, Dylan’s Run, Fractal Cellars.

Upcoming Events

[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.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Feb. 7, 6 pm Cheese and Wine Tasting; Feb. 8, 5-7 pm, Raptor Ridge Wine Tasting – complimentary. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

Domaine Meriwether: Feb. 10, 6-9 pm. Sweethearts Dinner – Fine Dining in the Wine Cellar, music with harpest Pamela Roberts, and cuisine prepared by executive chef Garrett Kirsch. $75 dollars per person / $125 dollars per couple. Limited seating. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Benton-Lane: Feb. 9, Heart of Willamette Wineries Association 3rd Annual Barrel Tour. Call the winery for details 541-847-5792. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

Sweet Cheeks: Feb. 9, 7 pm. Feast in the Cellar Prix Fixe Dinner featuring Chef Heidi Tunnell, reservations required; February 14, 12-6 pm. Romancing the Vineyard live music and food featuring Crepe Cyclette. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

16Tons (Cafe): Feb. 14, 6-10 pm, Party Cart Valentine’s Day Dessert and Beer Pairing. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Feb. 16, Annual Mardi Gras Party. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene September 19-25

Photo credit delriovineyards.com

By the time this is being read by fans of the Wine Down, I will be on the road with the Oregon Wine Board traveling from Ashland in the south to Newberg in the north. Five California based wine writers and I have been invited to visit Oregon’s beautiful, bountiful and diverse wine country from one end of the state to the other.

Starting the tour at one of the largest vineyards in Southern Oregon, Del Rio Vineyards will host our group to a vineyard tour before we head out to dinner and a portfolio tasting of Southern Oregon wines with some of the region’s well-known winemakers and vineyard owners.

Souther Oregon Wine Institute | photo SouthernOregonMagazine.com

After a nights stay in Ashland, we’ll be heading up to Roseburg to visit the Southern Oregon Wine Institute for a tour and lunch with some of the leaders of the Umpqua Valley wine industry. Later we will make our way up to Eugene for dinner at King Estate Winery, where we’ll stay the night in King Estate’s Ranch House.

From Eugene, we will head to Willamette Valley Vineyards in Salem to focus on Oregon Chardonnays, and then on to Newberg for an Oregon Wine Founders Dinner with several pioneers of the Oregon wine industry. In Newberg, we’ll be staying the night in the beautiful Allison Inn and Spa, which was very recently voted the number 1 Spa in the Continental US by Travel + Leisure Magazine.

Allison Inn & Spa | photo allisoninn.com

Having been invited on this media tour is particularly exciting to me. As many of my readers already know, I’ve been in the Oregon wine industry since I moved to Oregon in 2006, starting with owning my own wine shop and wine bar. For years, I’ve dedicated numerous hours to marketing, tasting and selling the great wines of my home state, but haven’t had the luxury of time to visit all of our celebrated wine regions. This is a spectacular opportunity for me to become familiar with the wine regions of Oregon that I have, and have had for years, a tremendous passion for. I couldn’t be more honored or delighted, and I can’t wait to share my state-wide adventures on my award-winning wine blog, WineJulia.com.

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. Wood fired pizza is available for Tuesday dinner; No Thursday dinner this week – closed for a private event. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Tom & Johnny’s: Thu. 7-10 pm, Wine & Jive. 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 Dreamdog; Fri. 5-11 pm, 3rd Friday BBQ and live music starts around 7 pm with The Foundry. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

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

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 Concrete Loveseat; Sat. 6-8 pm, live music with Gus Russell, Skip Jones and Friends. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): This wine shop and tasting room showcases local wines and is located inside the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center in Veneta. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

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.

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: 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.

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; Fri. 6-9 pm, Elysian Brewing and Ninkasi Brewing Pumpkin IPA Release and Pumpkin Tap Takeover. 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): Wed. 5-7 pm, Harvester Brewing Gluten Free Beer tasting; 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): Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night Flights- Free three wine flight, live music with Jesse Meade and a local food cart; Sun. 12-6 pm, Harvest Club Party. Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Sweet Cheeks: Thu. 6 pm. Pinknic on the Patio – 94.5 & KMTR benefit for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. $16 admission includes glass of wine in a commemorative glass and live music. Tickets available on 94.5MixFM and at the MixFM Studios; 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 Matt Krein Duo. Featured Food Cart: TBA; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sunday with live music from 2-4 pm with Scott Pousche. 27007 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: Fri. 6-9 pm, live music with the Brewketts; 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; Sat. 9 am – 12 pm, Indian Bhangra and Bollywood Dance Workshop-call for reservations 541-935-2979. 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 Cowboy Cadillac. 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; 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 with The Liasons 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.

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: Oct. 6, 3rd Annual Oktoberfest! Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Beer, Live music. No reservations required, children are welcome; 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.

Sarver Winery: Sep. 28, 6 pm, 3rd Annual Lowland Boil featuring Heavy Chevy, VooDoo Mountain Zydeco Band and Brian Chevalier 5 piece band. A real Louisiana feast and all you can eat. $20 per person call for reservations 541-935-2979. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

King Estate: Sep. 29, 6 pm. Cascades Raptor Center Benefit Dinner. RSVP to Cascades Raptor Center at 541-485-1320.  80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

16Tons (Supreme Bean): Oct. 5, 6 pm. New Belgium Cruiser Giveaway. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.