Willamette Valley

Frugal Wine Gal: Ken Wright Cellars


As a frugal wine buyer I hardly ever feel limited in my options of wines to buy. In fact, every time I go to pick out a bottle, I usually end up with too many! However, one wine I’ve been dying to try is a Pinot Noir produced by Ken Wright Cellars. His wines are above my budget enough that I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. That is, until now.

Ken Wright Cellars is well known for producing high quality pinot noir, right in the heart of the Willamette Valley. Ken Wright himself is a staple in the community in Carlton, Oregon and has had his beautiful tasting room located there since 1994. He was a major proponent for the creation of the northern Willamette Valley AVAs (American Viticulture Area), and even wrote the proposition for the Yamhill-Carlton AVA to be made. His emphasis on terroir creates wines that emphasize the flavors and characteristics of the many vineyards he works with.

The old Carlton depot. It is now is Ken Wright Cellars tasting room. (Photo Credit:Keith Ewing)


This producer places high emphasis on the health of the soil and vines he works with. Healthy soils and vines are known to produce higher quality wines overall. The soils in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA are perfect for creating amazing Pinot Noir. Generally Pinots from this area are richer, darker in hue, and have less acidity than other regions. Although, it is to be said that each vineyard (even each block in a vineyard!) will have their own characteristics. Yamhill-Carlton is an excellent destination for those looking for some phenomenal, well balanced Pinot Noir.

I had been dying to try a Ken Wright Pinot Noir for ages. Each time I would walk by one of their beautiful bottles at my local market I would eye it and scheme of the time I could pick myself up a bottle. That was until my recent trip to Sundance Wine Cellars. I was picking up a bottle or two for Valentines day and spotted a Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir a little above my usual $20 price range. My heart leapt, and of course I had to get it! This particular Pinot was the 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, a blend of Pinot grapes from 5 different vineyards. An Oregon Pinot at this price range, and from an amazing producer – I got quite a deal.


This bottle from start to finish was perfect. It had a rich, luscious color of deep red. The nose had scents of cocoa, and blueberries. It had a slight acidity on the end but had the perfect velvety smooth mouthfeel. Flavors of dark berries like blackberries and currants popped out at me, and notes of vanilla and oak lingered. Each sip of this wine was impeccable. I even managed to save some for the next day, and it tasted even better!

My advice to you is, don’t walk but run to get this wine. I was so sad when I poured that last glass out of the bottle that I wanted to get up right then and pick up another! You can find this wine for $25 – $28, and it may be a pinch above our budget but it is totally worth it. Cheers!




Refuge may allow elk hunting

Half a century ago, when the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge south of Corvallis was established to protect migratory waterfowl, sightings of Roosevelt elk were a rare occurrence in the Willamette Valley.

In recent years, however, the majestic animals have made quite a comeback on the valley floor. In the last decade, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife estimates, the population has mushroomed from 100 to at least 600 individuals.

The biggest herd in the region makes its home on the Finley Wildlife Refuge, where an estimated 200-plus elk have become a major draw for visitors — and a growing problem for neighboring landowners.

State and federal wildlife managers say the animals cause extensive damage when they periodically wander off the 6,000-acre refuge, eating or trampling crops and knocking down fences that stand in their way.

Now, to reduce the damage, ODFW and Finley biologists are floating a plan to reduce the herd by opening the refuge to elk hunting for the first time.

If approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the plan would allow a three-month hunting season for antlerless elk (cows and “spikes,” or yearling bulls) in the late summer and early fall.

Five permits would be issued to Willamette Valley elk tag holders each month from August through October for a total take of up to 15 elk, and only bowhunting would be allowed the first year.

“We have a goal to reduce the size of the elk herd by 20 percent over five years,” said Jock Beall, the refuge biologist at Finley.

The plan is being welcomed by most area farmers and duck-hunting clubs, which plant corn to attract waterfowl.

But the idea is not without controversy. A large number of Finley’s 100,000 annual visitors come to the refuge to watch or photograph wildlife. To them, the elk are rock stars.

“Elk are a charismatic species,” Beall acknowledged. “(Visitors) like them and they like the viewing, and they think (the hunt) will change the opportunity or decrease the opportunity to view them.”

You can count Ricardo Small among that group.

A retired Arizona real estate appraiser who now spends most of the year in the mid-valley, he’s a regular at Finley. From his perspective, any damage the elk may be doing on private property shouldn’t be the refuge’s problem.

“The elk are a major magnet for visitors, and there is no information I can find in any Fish & Wildlife report to indicate the elk are doing any damage to resources on the refuge,” Small pointed out.

“My position is there’s no reason to open up the refuge to elk hunting. Let them open up their land to hunting — but I guess that’s not palatable to the private landowners.”

As recently as 1989, there were only about 20 elk on the Finley National Wildlife Refuge. A decade later the tally had jumped to 100, and last year the Finley herd numbered 163 animals.

A second herd of 38 elk has taken up residence since then, according to Beall, and there’s another group of 10 to 15 bachelor bulls that hangs around the fringes of the two established herds.

There’s plenty of forage and tree cover on the refuge, and because hunting currently is not allowed at Finley, it provides a safe haven for the animals during the valley elk season, which runs from August through March.

It’s good habitat for Roosevelt elk, the largest North American subspecies, which can weigh in at half a ton and stand 5 feet tall at the shoulder. In fact, the biggest Roosevelt bull on record was taken just south of the refuge boundary in 2002. The taxidermied trophy is now on display at Cabela’s sporting goods store in Springfield.

Even though the refuge proposal would not allow hunting of mature bulls (which tend to be targeted by off-refuge hunters and are underrepresented in the Finley herd), some wildlife lovers fear any hunting would make Finley’s elk skittish.

“I oppose the plan mainly because of what it would do to the recreational aspect — viewing elk on the refuge,” said Phil Hays, another refuge regular, in an email to the Gazette-Times.

“The (environmental assessment) specifically states that hunting causes elk to remain hidden during the day, and they come out to feed at night,” he added. “The refuge is open dawn to dusk. Seems to me that hunting will make the already elusive herd less visible to visitors at the refuge.”

ODFW biologist Steven Marx, who served as a consultant on the management proposal, says he can undrestand that point of view. But he added that his agency has a responsibility to do something about the “chronic damage” caused by elk in the area.

“A lot of times it’s difficult to appreciate the problem until it’s on your property,” Marx said.

“The goal is not to eliminate the elk, it’s to manage them at a level compatible with local land use.”

Finley already takes criticism from farmers who suffer crop damage from the thousands of migrating Canada geese that winter in the Willamette Valley, roosting on refuge ponds by night and hammering nearby grass seed fields by day.

The rapidly growing elk population is quickly becoming another sore point for neighboring landowners, and refuge managers see the hunting proposal in part as a way to show they care and are willing to take steps to keep the problem from growing worse.

“Part of it is to show we are trying to be responsive,” Beall said.

“(And) some of it is meant to be preventative — so we don’t wait to see how much damage there will be if we have 300 elk.”

Contact reporter Bennett Hall at [email protected] or 541-758-9529.

Oregon Department of Transportation considers constructing a high-speed railway from Eugene to Portland

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is in the process of planning and evaluating the construction of a high-speed railway from the Eugene-Springfield area to Portland.

Last night, ODOT held an open house at the Eugene Public Library. Members of the public attended to gain more knowledge and state their input on the project.

According to ODOT’s website, within the next 25 years, the population of the Willamette Valley is estimated to grow by 35 percent, reaching approximately 3.6 million people by 2035.

With this population increase, travel demand will surpass the available passenger rail capacity that is readily available.

The passenger railway would not only encourage more Oregonians to use public transportation, but it would help eliminate traffic and congestion on the freeway, said Kitty Piercy, co-chair of the Passenger Rail Leadership Council.

Currently, the project is in the evaluation phase, which means they are speaking with the public and deciding on preliminary alternatives, or the best potential rail routes between Eugene-Springfield and Portland.

“We’re trying to figure out a general passenger rail route that would work for most people and we are weighing options for train frequency, trip time and improving on-time performance,” said Jill Pearson, ODOT Stakeholder Engagement Strategist.

The Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership Council complies the comments the public fills out and reviews them to see if their suggestions would be viable options for the project, said Jim Cox, Project Manager for the Passenger Rail.

The council meets on Dec. 17 to decide on a final plan for the project. The Federal Rail Administration (FRA) will then evaluate the council’s recommendations and will make the ultimate decision of constructing the 125-mile railway segment.

“We’ll see what happens,” Pearson said. “The other option too is that there is a no build. That we aren’t ready for (the Passenger Railway) yet.”

ODOT and the FRA are now working on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that requires analysis and reporting of the environmental impacts the railway may potentially have.

A $4.2 million federal grant was issued to ODOT for the project. A total of 42 percent of the project is federal funded, while the rest is state funded.

University of Oregon student Paul Belton jaunts up to the Rose City once a month in his car to visit friends.

He said that if a one-way ticket on the passenger railway were half the cost a tank of gas, then he would definitely use the public transportation system.

“My biggest concern is the cost of tickets and making it a competitive option,” Belton said. “I know people have the cost as their biggest deciding factor.”

As of now, ODOT cannot estimate the price of a ticket because the project is still in its early stages. Cox said that it all depends on the operation cost and the amount of people who will use the public transportation system.

In December of 2014, ODOT plans to have a completed draft of the NEPA that will provide more information regarding the railway’s benefits, impacts, ridership and cost of a ticket.

According to Cox, ODOT is aiming to have the passenger railway save riders approximately 30 minutes of travel time.


Wine Down Eugene


Wine Down Eugene September 4-10

Although September is harvest month for Oregon wineries, wine enthusiasts may be surprised to know that many of the state’s wineries and winery associations put on exciting harvest events during this Autumnal Equinox month.

Ripe and ready to be picked Pinot Gris

I’ve always felt that the best way for wine enthusiasts to celebrate harvest is to get involved – literally.  One hands-on harvest event that I’m really looking forward to this year is Kramer Vineyard’s 2nd Annual Oenocamp.  From the vineyard to the crush pad, I’ll be joining in as part of the Kramer crew for a day and assisting in harvest for the 2013 méthode traditionelle sparkling wine.  The tentative schedule has guests arriving at Kramer Vineyards in Gaston, Oregon, for coffee and pastries between 8:30 and 9 am.  From 9-10 am, we’ll harvest the grapes, and then we’ll all meet at the Kramer crush pad to saber a bottle of Brut, toast the 2013 harvest, and load the press with the harvested grapes.  Once the press is started, harvest goers will enjoy a catered lunch and take home a souvenir bottle of the 2011 Brut.

Since I’m what some may call a bubblehead (meaning I love sparkling wine), Oenocamp is the ultimate harvest experience for me. Taking place on Monday, September 16, tickets for this event are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.

Freshly harvested Pinot Gris clusters

Another fun harvest event taking place Saturday, September 14, is the Carlton Crush Yamhill County Harvest Festival.  Wine enthusiasts can participate in a grape-stomp, wine thief relay race and barrel rolling competition.  With Midway games, helicopter rides, a magician and a watermelon eating contest for kids, this is an event that is great for all ages. There’s no better place than Carlton for an event like this; it’s a small close-knit community that is totally wine-centric and one-of-a-kind. There’s no entry fee or admission charge for Carlton Crush, for more information visit CarltonCrush.com.

Willamette Valley Vineyards are the pros at hosting grape stomp competitions.  Their 23rd Annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Celebration, taking place on September 21 and 22, is their most anticipated event of the year. Attracting visitors all over the country to their grape stomping competition, the winners will earn a trip to Santa Rosa, California for the World Grape Stomp Championships.  Costumes or team uniforms are encouraged, and there’s even a Kids Stomp, making this event fun for the entire family.  For more information visit, wvv.com.

For wine enthusiasts who want to enjoy the bounties of harvest (without obtaining wine stained feet from grape stomping or back aches from hand-picking grapes), check out Sarver Winery’s Lowland Cajun Boil.  Live music and a dinner to remember, each September the Sarver’s host a Cajun themed feast offering traditional gumbo and a Cajun boil filled with prawns, sausage, corn and red skinned potatoes.

sorting line at wvv
sorting line at Willamette Valley Vineyards | photo: Willamette Valley Vineyards facebook

For those that are wine club members at King Estate, one of their best events of the year happens in September: Harvest Moon Celebration. A true celebration of the season’s bounty, the four-course prix fixe menu is paired with library and limited wines, including dishes like Salad of Grilled Melon made with Ferns’ Edge Feta, Roasted Corn, Strawberry, Smoked Pumpkin Seeds, Watermelon Vinaigrette and Olive Oil-Citrus Cake made using Estate Blueberries, Rosemary-Honey Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream, Lavender Tuile.  With a menu that features fresh produce and foods from the King Estate orchards, gardens, charcuterie kitchen, and bakery; along with, high quality ingredients from local vendors, this is one event not to be missed for wine club members – it’s one of the many reasons why I’m a member, and the Harvest Moon Celebration is truly the ultimate way to celebrate the bounties that our beautiful region supplies for us.

For special wine related events happening in and around Eugene, check the Featured Events listings in the right hand column on Eugene Daily News often – these are updated as information is submitted to us.  For more wine events happening around Oregon, check out the Events tab on my award-winning website, WineJulia.com.


Wine Down Eugene


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


Wine Down Eugene July 10-16

horse heaven hills pretty photo from fb2
Horse Heaven Hills | photo: Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Facebook page

I’m feeling like a very happy wine gal these days; blue skies, warm air, and a summer full of stellar wine events and media trips throughout Oregon and Washington – life couldn’t be better. There is much to look forward to, much to be excited about, and a whole lot to write about.

Next week, I’m off to Washington State for a media tour of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA – an American Viticulture Area (located within the larger Columbia Valley AVA) that is world renowned for having some pretty incredible wines. We’ll not only be attending a media tour, where we’ll visit wineries like Columbia Crest, Alexandria Nicole Cellars, McKinley Springs and Mercer Estates (to name a few), but we’ll be attending the 8th Annual Horse Heaven Hills Trail Drive, Wine Tasting and BBQ event, taking place on July 20.  Horse Heaven Hills is about a five hour drive from Eugene, but with a recent sampling of some seriously stellar wines from this area, the drive is going to be well worth it.

jamie goodes IPNC photo
Wine writer Jamie Goode of Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog was lucky enough to attend the famous IPNC | photo: wineanorak.com

Right after I return from Washington, I’ll be packing up once again.  This time I’ll be taking a short drive north to the beautiful town of McMinnville.  I won’t be staying in the place I fell in love with last time I visited McMinnville, (3rd Street Flats), but I’ll be staying in the dorms at Linfield College.  Not without good reason:  the Oregon Wine Board is hosting me for the world-famous IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration), which takes place on the Linfield campus.  To be able to grasp how awesome the IPNC is going to be, and because this will be my first time attending, the IPNC website describes this annual event best:

The IPNC is a three-day event, famous around the globe, as a mecca for lovers of Pinot noir and northwest cuisine. During the weekend, world-renowned winemakers, northwest chefs, esteemed media, epicures and wine lovers will gather in McMinnville, Oregon, for three days of exploring Pinot noir, savoring unforgettable meals, and learning and celebrating with luminaries of the food and wine world. Along with the speakers and chefs, it is the relaxing and festive atmosphere that sets the IPNC apart from all other wine events. Whether tasting Grand Cru Burgundy or walking through Oregon vineyards with the grower who planted them, guests find themselves unwinding in picturesque Oregon wine country for what wine legend Jancis Robinson described as “one of the most enjoyable wine weekends in the world”.

Origin 13Another event that’s happening this summer that I’m all charged up about is Origin 13: Feasting with the Wines of Chehalem Mountains and Ribbon Ridge.  With a history that resembles a disaster movie; simultaneous cataclysmic floods, tumultuous winds, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, this movie ends with the creation of soils and qualities that are perfect for growing grapes needed to produce world-class wines. This event will celebrate the accomplishments of all the characters (farmers, doctors, teachers, scientists, artisans) who have made the Chehalem Mountains AVA and Ribbon Ridge AVA the amazing wine regions they are today. Taking place on Saturday, August 10, at ArborBrook Vineyards in Newberg, Oregon, with over 30 wineries showcasing their wines and featured chefs from EaT: An Oyster Bar with The Parrish, Bollywood Theater with Coquine, Wildwood Restaurant, Subterra and Olympic Provisions, this is an event that should not be missed. Just check out the cool poster for this event – the captured theme in the artwork is truly remarkable.

There are a number of exciting wine events going on this summer, and I could continue with few thousand more words in just this single Wine Down! Because I need to sleep at some point, be sure to check the featured event listings on the right side of Wine Down Eugene at least once a week – wine events are emailed to me on a daily basis.


Wine Down Eugene: 100th Edition!


Wine Down Eugene March 6-12

child pic of me with wine
100 weeks seems so long ago… (Julia in 1974: my parents must have had a premonition)

Wow, this is the 100th issue of Wine Down Eugene! For a total of 100 weeks, I’ve been bringing the readers of Eugene Daily News a weekly listing of wine related happenings and events at local shops, restaurants, bars and wineries. From Eugene to Cottage Grove and Oakridge to Yachats, Wine Down Eugene is the ultimate go-to list of events for wine enthusiasts seeking fun in the South Willamette Valley.

Looking back at the very first Wine Down Eugene , I only listed places that were having special events. For the week of April 11-19, 2011, just seven bars and three wineries appeared on the list. It was a very simple beginning to what is now a list of of over 60 wine related listings topped by a story of what I’ve been doing and where I’ve been going in the world of wine.

From issue number 1 all the way to 100, so many great things have happened. WineJulia.com was launched in February 2012, and just six months later was awarded Best New Wine Blog of 2012 from the prestigious Wine Blog Awards, I became a Mentor on the world’s largest and longest running wine related social network, Snooth.com, where I represent the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon, and I’ve written wine articles in a few magazines and publications. One of the greatest perks about all of this wine writing is that I receive hundreds of samples of wine – not just from Oregon, but from all over the world, so I always have fresh content and my palate continues to be educated by new flavors, aromas and varietals.

Silcox Hut and Snowcat
The Snowcat that took us up Mt. Hood to a winemakers dinner at the historic Silcox Hut – one of many great events. | photo: Iwalani Carr

The best perk of all is being invited to join in on incredible wine events in Oregon and around the world. I’ve attended many outstanding wine events and dinners, and I’m heading to New York City in just two weeks to attend the first Snooth People’s Voice Wine Awards. I’ll also be attending my first IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) this summer, and planning a Fall trip to Virginia wine country. It’s been a wonderful journey filled with incredible adventures, outstanding wine and ambrosial food.

And It all started with Wine Down Eugene.

With the success of Wine Down Eugene, we are in the process of working on implementing a similar listing come June 1, for our neighboring wine region to the south: Umpqua Valley. Umpqua Valley is home to stellar wines that range in varietals from cool climate Pinot Noirs and Rieslings to warm climate Tempranillos and Cabernet Sauvignons. There are many excellent wineries and award-winning wines coming out of Umpqua Valley, and for the many wine lovers in Lane County, a visit to the Umpqua Valley is most certainly inevitable.

I’m looking forward to bringing you 100 more weeks of Wine Down Eugene; in addition to, the summer launch of Wine Down Umpqua. Cheers, and thanks for reading!

Domaine Meriwether’s Inaugural Fine Dining in the Cellar


IMG_4888I must admit, I really love my job. Who wouldn’t love attending fabulous food and wine events around the state of Oregon? Like I’ve said before, I’m a lucky wine gal, and I never take that for granted. I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by world renowned wineries that produce some of the finest wines in the world, in a state that is unmatched in beauty and bounty.

One of my favorite wineries in the southern Willamette Valley is Domaine Meriwether. Owner, Buzz Kawders, is not only one of the funnest people to be around, but he’s got a heart of gold and has an affinity for life unlike most. He has a great thing going: a state of the art winery that’s just outside of Oregon’s second largest city, Eugene, located on a beautiful piece of property with views of the nearby Coastal Range, and a stellar winemaker named Ray Walsh, who is well known for his success in crafting outstanding sparkling and still wines.

So, when I was asked to attend their inaugural Fine Dining in the Cellar event, it was marked on my calendar before I could say, “count me in.”

IMG_4882From start to finish, this Valentine’s Day themed cellar dinner at Domaine Meriwether blew me away.The food, wine, service and conversation were truly incredible – there was even a Conversation course offered after a five course meal and appetizers, it was an amazing evening.

Tasting room manager, Jennifer Sennett-Franklin has more events planned for 2013, and food and wine enthusiasts should be keeping an eye out for what’s to come at Domaine Meriwether.

Follow me over to my award-winning wine website, WineJulia.com to read the full story on this spectacular evening.

Banning GMO’s: The New Civil Rights Movement


Guest Viewpoint by Kai Huschke
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund


As the fight over genetically modified canola and other GM crops escalates in the Willamette Valley, a group of farmers and neighbors in Benton County have spent the past year talking about how to stop GMO’s. They’ve asked the question that people across the country ask when faced with corporate threats – such as GMO’s, fracking, or water privatization – how do we say no?

Traditional environmental activism would have them writing letters to elected officials, submitting public comments on proposed GMO plans, and testifying at hearings. This kind of
activism is based on the assumption that we have the legal authority to decide what happens in our communities. And from this, that if we build enough support in opposition to unsustainable practices such as GMO’s, that the folks who run things will take heed and respond.

The problem is that this simply isn’t true.

And thus, as folks in Benton County are finding out, this kind of activism won’t stop GMO’s. And so they’re taking a different path, which is forcing them to dig deeper than they ever imagined into how and for whom our system of law works, placing them side-by-side with hundreds of other communities in what may become this country’s new civil rights movement.

Bringing Down the Hammers
Corporations have painstakingly constructed a system of law – through the use of public institutions including the courts, state legislatures, and Congress – to ensure we can’t stop threats such as GMO’s, and chilling community efforts by punishing us when we step outside the box they’ve constructed for us. To maintain the box, corporations have devised four large hammers which they use on us when we dare to say things like “we don’t want GMO’s here” and seek to drive that idea into local law.

The first hammer is called Dillon’s Rule, named for a railroad lawyer who wanted a legal doctrine that would put a halt to municipal “interference” with railroad expansion. Under Dillon’s Rule, communities can’t enact any laws unless our state legislatures say we can. Our municipalities are thus subordinated to the position of “children” to our state “parent,” only able to do what we are told. If we do otherwise, corporations clobber us with Dillon’s Rule, suing us for acting outside our authority.

The second hammer involves our legislatures (and occasionally Congress), banning communities from adopting certain kinds of laws. At the behest of industry, our legislatures routinely draft laws which preempt communities from having decision making authority over things like factory farming and fracking. Here in Oregon, Big Ag is seeking to have the legislature pass a bill preempting communities from making any decisions about GMO’s.

When these first two hammers fail to sufficiently smash us, corporations have two more at their disposal. The first is “corporate personhood.” Beginning in the 1800’s, by pressure from railroad and other corporations, federal judges began to recognize corporations as “persons” for purposes of constitutional rights. Today, corporations routinely wield these “rights” to override community lawmaking. The fourth hammer comes when corporations wield our own civil rights laws – written to protect freed slaves – against us. Under these laws, corporations demand monetary damages from communities that challenge their authority to engage in fracking or other harmful activities.

Thus, if we seek to pass local laws to stop GMO’s, we must dodge all four hammers to be deemed “legal”; yet affected corporations triumph even when only one hammer hits home.

Running Around the Hamster Wheel
The big environmental organizations have mostly decided to work within these limitations. In the case of GMO’s, that has meant trying to do everything but ban them, since state and local bans of governmentally-approved seeds and foods fall directly under all four hammers. So instead they’re try to get federal agencies to deny applications for new GMO’s or better regulate GM crops, or push for labeling of GMO’s in food. They have settled for “what can we get,” rather than asking “what structural change do we need?” to guarantee that GMO’s never see the light of day. Such a strategy gives away the store without a fight – creating the illusion that GM crops can be controlled, and that the growth of GM foodstuffs is inevitable.

Reframing the Fight Against GMO’s
For the problem isn’t GMO’s, but a system of law that enables corporations to impose GMO’s upon our communities without our consent. Thus if we’re to stop GMO’s, we need to change the system itself. In short, while we need a sustainable food movement, we can’t have one until we launch a democracy movement.
We’re not the first to strive for structural change. When the Abolitionists looked out at the constitutional landscape, slaves were invisible to the law – much in the way our communities are today.

Recognizing that it was the system of law itself which was the problem – and not that they needed to just better regulate slavery – they pioneered a movement that forced the system to work for them. Thus, they defined existing laws – which refused to recognize slaves as “persons” – as unjust. And then they proceeded to break those laws, openly, frontally, and without apology. In so doing, they revealed how the system worked, in order to reach more and more people who would see that injustice and join their movement.

The fight against GMO’s must follow a similar path, transforming itself into a movement by revealing how the current system denies community authority to build sustainable farm and food systems.

Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability
In 2001, faced with an influx of factory farms and the state legislature’s preemption of local lawmaking around farming, Wells Township, Pennsylvania, adopted a law banning agribusiness corporations from farming. This ban on “corporate farming,” borrowed from similar laws adopted in Midwestern states, reflected a new understanding by communities – that the problem wasn’t odor or water quality – but rather the corporatization of agriculture. Communities redefined the problem from being about factory farming, to being about a system of law which authorizes corporations to define what food production looks like.

Wells was joined by other communities who passed laws which took on the key legal doctrines – those four hammers – which stand in the way of municipalities saying “no” to threats like factory farming, and the ability to build environmental and economic sustainability.

Over 140 communities in eight states have followed similar paths.

This kind of organizing – seizing our municipal governments to commit acts of collective, non-violent, civil disobedience through local lawmaking – isn’t focused on the hope that the courts will rescue us by overturning 200 years of corporate “rights.” Instead, it is being pursued with the understanding that structural change will only occur when we refuse to comply with a system bent the other way.

So, What Do We Do Tomorrow?
Over the past year, folks in Benton County asked themselves that same question – given the state of farming, and a system focused on delivering a toxic mix of corporate concentration and GMO’s. Understanding that without challenging the system of law itself they cannot stop GMO’s, they drafted a “Food Bill of Rights” law which establishes a “right to sustainable food systems” for the community, and prohibits those activities – like the planting of GMO’s – that would violate that right. The law takes aim at the existing system by re-defining corporate “rights,” invalidating preemptive state and federal actions, and elevating the right of the community to sustainability above competing rights claimed by agribusiness corporations.

In many ways, the proposed Benton County law, as well as other laws that have been adopted across the country, dare corporations to reveal how the current system of law works. If they seek to overturn these local laws, corporations must bring down those four hammers of Dillon’s Rule, state and federal preemption, corporate personhood, and other corporate “rights” – which they’ve constructed to ensure communities can’t interfere with the expansion of their authority and power. Exposing the hammers in plain sight, means communities can see them for what they are – legal doctrines intended to subordinate our communities to a “corporate state.”

These laws thus “reframe” the dispute – from being focused on the question of whether GMO’s are harmful – to being about the authority and “rights” of agribusiness corporations to override the authority and rights of communities to self-govern. This issue of “who decides” must build toward removing those corporate hammers at the state level, as is beginning in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Washington State. And then build toward federal constitutional change that elevates community self-
governance above rights claimed on behalf of corporations and commerce.

If we want to stop GMO’s, we need to instigate a community revolt which produces a system where it actually matters what we want. This means we have to stop deluding ourselves that it’s enough to write letters and wave signs, and instead begin to drive structural change to liberate our communities from the corporate grasp.

Kai Huschke
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
[email protected]

Wine Down Eugene

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.