wine down

Wine Down Eugene

//

We’ve got another great Frugal Wino from Sarah Tunnell.  Originally published a year ago, Sarah was spot on then and it’s perfect for now.   If you’d like to try some of Sarah’s suggestions, many are available at Creswell Bakery, you can even ask Sarah!

sokolblosser-2010dhpn-bottle

The Frugal Wino: Evolution 16th Edition by Sokol Blosser Winery

by Sarah Tunnell (the frugal wino!)

There is always a little adventure that comes with buying a blend.  Whether it is white or red, you never know what you are going to get.  I was bumbling through Costco recently and a wine caught my eye.  Appealing to us locavores, Costco has a great selection of local wines  from Oregon and Washington that I’ve only begun to tackle. The bottle that had immediately caught my attention was the Evolution 16th Edition by Sokol Blosser Winery.  When I saw it was from Dundee, Oregon, (specifically the Dundee Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley), I just had to try it.  I’ve had a great number of wines from the Dundee Hills AVA, so I simply knew purchasing it was a safe bet.

Sokol Blosser Winery has been around for a long time (in Oregon’s wine history).  It had its start in 1971 when Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser planted their first grape vines.  Flash forward to 1977 and they had their first vintage release and the construction on their new winery completed.  By 1979, they were winning awards and working on expanding their vineyards.  This family owned winery is currently run by second generation, Alison and Alex Sokol Blosser.  Winemaker Russ Rosner has a long history as well, working for Robert Mondavi for more than 10 years before he caught the Oregon Pinot Noir bug and headed up north.  From Pinot Noir to Muller Thurgau, Sokol Blosser produces many wines.

sokolblosser-evolution

The Evolution 16th edition was a fantastic find.  This blend of nine different grapes go extremely well together to create a very pleasant, well balanced drinking experience.  On the bottle it states, “Luck? Intention?” (regarding their grapes used in the blend), but with a wine this delicious, I’m thinking it was all intention.

The Evolution was sealed with the traditional wine cork, which I love.  There is nothing like the feeling of the cork popping out of the bottle and that first initial sniff.  I can tell a lot from the nose of a wine, and I knew before taking a sip that it had a crisp acidity mixed with delicious fruit flavors.  Peaches and crisp green apple notes popped in my mouth, and it had a slightly crisp but sweet finish – very well rounded and enjoyable.  I drank this all on its own, but Sokol Blosser recommends, ” fresh salads, spicy Thai dishes and grilled meats.”  I would wholly agree with this statement, I think it would hold its own to a spicy Asian dish or a fresh, chilled salad.  I picked this bottle up for $15 dollars at Costco, but it is available on the Sokol Blosser website and at stores across the country.  If you are looking for a great go-to white blend, look no further – the Evolution 16th edition is where it’s at. Cheers!

evolution_RED_label__00356

Sokol Blosser just opened up a new tasting room, and I can’t wait to check it out!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please join me – the Frugal Wino –  every week on WineJulia.com.  I plan to introduce you to an under $20 dollar Pacific Northwest wine on a weekly basis – everyone deserves a delicious glass of wine that won’t break the bank! Cheers! ~ Sarah

Wine Down Eugene: Special New Year’s Eve Edition

////

Wine Down Eugene December 30 – January 7

Every New Year’s Eve, family and friends gather at my house for a feast of tasty appetizers and filled flutes of shimmering sparkling wine.  We eat, sip and celebrate while watching the festivities unfold in New York City’s Times Square via Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  It’s become a tradition – one we look forward to each year.  With tradition comes appetizers that are so immensely enjoyed that they must be made each year.

The three dishes that guests rave about most each and every year are Neuchatel Cheese Fondue, Chunky White Chocolate S’mores and Hot Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon and Gruyère – the ultimate crowd pleasers, and all three delectable goodies are stellar with any Dry or Brut style sparkling wine or Champagne.

Below are two of the three recipes.  For the third and most popular recipe of all, follow me over to my award-winning website WineJulia.com for Hot Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon and Gruyère

Cheese FonduNeuchatel Cheese Fondue

Ingredients

8 ounces each Gruyère, Emmentaler and Appenzeller
1 pound loaf of good rustic Italian bread like Pugliese
1 garlic clove
1 & 1/4 cups of dry white wine (I use dry Gewürztraminer)
1 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp Kirsch (I use Calvados Apple Brandy)
Pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation

Trim rind from cheese; cut into very small cubes. Cut bread into bite-size cubes.
Peel and halve garlic; rub the inside of the fondue pot with it. Pour wine into fondue pot and heat slowly on the stove. Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly in a figure 8 with a wooden spoon. Let cheese melt over low heat, then bring to the bubbling point.
Whisk cornstarch with kirsch until smooth, pour into cheese and let bubble. season with pepper and nutmeg. Stir only until thickend and smooth.
At the table, keep fondue hot on the burner over a small flame. Have bread ready. Stir the cheese mixture while dipping the bread cubes to keep its consistency creamy.
Tip: High quality cheese is the key to a successful and delicious cheese fondue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IMG_3705Chunky White Chocolate S’mores

Ingredients

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg $
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup uncooked regular oats
3/4 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 (4-ounce) bars white chocolate, broken into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
12 large marshmallows

Preparation

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; add sugars, beating well. Add egg, beating until blended.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating after each addition.
Stir cereal, vanilla, and white chocolate into mixture.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets; flatten with fingertips. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool slightly on cookie sheets; remove to wire racks to cool. Store in tins.
Place marshmallows on a long stick or skewer; toast over low heat (below 300°), 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. Place 1 marshmallow on a cookie, and top with a second cookie.
Note: I used Lindt Classic Recipe White Chocolate Bars

 

 

 

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 August 7-13

IMG_9967This has been the summer of sparkling wine.  Each time I meet up with friends for lunch, frequent local wine bars, relax on my deck, or head out to some of the many stellar wineries in our area, I find myself wanting a glass of chilled bubbly more often than not – it’s crisp, refreshing and downright delicious on a hot summer day.

Ranging in style from sweet to dry (Brut), the common characteristic in all sparkling wine is bubbles.  Sparkling wine goes through two fermentations: the first is for the production of the still wine (also called the base wine), and the second turns the still/base wine into a wine with bubbles.  Depending on the preferred production method used by the winemaker, second fermentation can either happen in the tank (Charmat Method) or in the bottle (Champagne Method, also known as Méthode Champenoise).

Tank fermentation (Charmat Method), is quick and efficient and used to produce bulk sparkling wines that are fairly inexpensive, sometimes even under five dollars a bottle. Bottle fermentation, or Méthode Champenoise, has been used to make Champagne for hundreds of years. It’s a labor intensive and costly process that requires aging before being available in wine shops around the world; therefore, the prices are much higher than sparkling wines that are tank fermented, and can range from twenty to several hundred dollars a bottle.

IMG_9982From Champagne in France and Cava in Spain to Sekt in Austria and Asti in Italy, different terms for sparkling wine indicate the wine region where the sparkling wine was produced. Here in Oregon, we simply call it Oregon Sparkling Wine.

Last Friday (which is steadfastly becoming a Friday family tradition), I packed up our lawn chairs, a small cooler and a frisbee and headed out to Veneta’s Domaine Meriwether – the only local winery that focuses on sparkling wine.  I knew before our arrival that I’d be ordering a bottle of Domaine Meriwether Non Vintage Discovery Cuvee Brut – one of my favorite sparkling wines.  With a view of the Coastal Range foothills and live music each Friday, there’s no better place to enjoy a glass of fresh, crisp, delicious bubbles.  Made using Méthode Champenoise, the Discovery Cuvee is a steal at just $24 dollars a bottle.

IMG_9988With family in town visiting from Arizona, we celebrated their arrival with popping the corks on two other divine Oregon Sparkling Wines: R. Stuart Rosé D’ Or Non Vintage Brut and Sokol Blosser Evolution Sparkling Wine.  Each was produced using Méthode Champenoise, and coincidentally, they were both produced by winemaker Rob Stuart of R. Stuart & Company.  While the Evolution’s fruits are boisterous, forward and fun, the Rosé D’ Or’s fruits are mellow and subtle with loads of finesse.  Both are equally delicious and end with clean, crisp and refreshingly dry characteristics. Just like Domaine Meriwether’s Discovery Cuvee, both are a steal at $35 dollars for the Rosé D’ Or and $20 for the Evolution.

As Oscar Wilde once said (which is also on the back label of the Rosé D’ Or), “Only people with no imagination can’t find a good reason to drink Champagne.”

Also try Kramer Vineyards 2010 Brut and their Müller-Thurgau Celebrate! Sparkling Wine.

 

Wine Down Eugene

//

Wine Down Eugene July 31-August 6

salmon bake
World-famous Salmon Bake at IPNC

I am still on Cloud Nine.  Last weekend, I experienced my first International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) – a three day, Pinot-centric wine and food extravaganza that takes place annually in McMinnville, Oregon.  With a plethora of information and adventures to share, from a Champagne Growers seminar with legendary Champagne expert Terry Theise to witnessing countless fresh-caught filet of Pacific salmon slowly roast above open flames during the world famous Salmon Bake, IPNC was much like dying and finding myself in food and wine heaven.  Absolutely the most spectacular wine event I have ever attended, memories of IPNC will forever be ingrained – it was truly an unforgettable event that I’ll be sharing in detail on my award-winning website, WineJulia.com.

For this weeks Wine Down Eugene, a slew of congratulations are in order for some of my friends in the wine industry here: Buzz Kawders, Lorrie and Eric Normann, Ray Walsh and Mark Nicholl. Changes are happening all over the South Willamette Valley, and I’m a firm believer in change is good.

Buzz and Meriwether fans
Buzz Kawders (right) and Meriwether fans. | photo: Meriwether facebook page

Buzz Kawders, congratulations on retiring! Buzz Kawders of Domaine Meriwether, one of my favorite wineries in our area, has retired from his ownership in the South Willamette Valley’s only sparkling wine focused facility (the still wines are excellent, as well). In a letter to his friends and wine club members, Buzz mentioned health along with his love for certain activities, people and places, taking precedence over running a business that (as anyone who’s owned a business knows), can be very stressful at times.

But, retirement couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for Buzz – long time friends, Lorrie Normann and her husband Eric, have taken over Buzz’s ownership in Domaine Meriwether, and Buzz couldn’t be happier.

Lorrie Normann at DM
Lorrie Normann (right) and Meriwether goer Judith Conrad | photo: Meriwether facebook page

Congratulations Lorrie and Eric Normann on acquiring a well-established, wonderful winery!  Many Eugeneans know Lorrie through her extraordinary accomplishments at LaVelle Vineyards and Sweet Cheeks Winery, but what they may not know is that both Lorrie and Eric have been in the vineyard side of the wine industry since the ’90s – they’ve got a stellar five acre vineyard of Pinot Gris perfectly situated just steps outside their back door. There’s no doubt their involvement, along with Buzz’s long-time business partner Ed Kittrell, will bring Domaine Meriwether to new heights.  I am excitedly looking forward to the bright future of Domaine Meriwether.

Over in Eugene’s free-spirited Whiteaker Neighborgood, changes are happening at Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company (another one of my favorite wineries): they’ve got a new winemaker.  Congratulations to Ray Walsh (owner of Capitello Wines and winemaker at Domaine Meriwether) on becoming the new winemaker at Territorial!  Ray’s track record of solid, noteworthy winemaking capabilities has earned him super-star status in the South Willamette Valley.  First through bringing worldwide attention to Oregon Pinot Gris as the winemaker at King Estate Winery and then through his own label (Capitello Wines) by producing high quality, stellar Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Dolcino and the Pacific Northwest’s first and only Straw Wine, Ray’s solid reputation and years of experience will undoubtedly be rewarding for Territorial.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co
Whiteaker’s Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co. | photo: Territorial facebook page

Not far from Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company, a new incubator/ winemaking collective urban Tasting Room and Winery project is well under way, named The Oregon Wine LAB.  Providing an avenue for consumers to taste and buy wine from many of our local wineries without walls, The Oregon Wine LAB will also offer full winemaking services.  Due to open in mid to late August, this new urban tasting room and winery will be the home to another one of my favorite local winemakers, Mark Nicholl.  Long time winemaker at Sweet Cheeks Winery, Mark is now focusing on his already established line of excellent wine: William Rose and Bootlegger Wines, congratulations, Mark! 

There’s definitely an excitement in the air with the changes that are taking place – Eugene and surrounding areas just keep getting better and better.  Don’t miss a beat, check out the featured event listings on the right hand side of Wine Down Eugene.

 

 

Wine Down Eugene

//

Wine Down Eugene April 3-9

IMG_5503
Ribera Del Duero tasting at New York’s Salinas Restaurant – outstanding

In last weeks Wine Down Eugene, I wrote a little bit about my trip to New York City, and I mainly focused on sharing my thoughts and pictures on my emotion-invoking visit to the 9/11 Memorial.  My half day visit to the spot where the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center once stood will forever be imprinted on my heart, it was truly astonishing. Also leaving a lasting impression were the experiences from the rest of my four days in the big city, where the main focus was on my favorite topic in the world: wine.

The worlds leading wine-related socially interactive website, Snooth.com, invited a group of top wine and food bloggers to attend a weekend filled with tasting world-class wines. Ranging from a $38 dollar bottle of delightfully crisp and refreshing 2011 Sohm & Kracher Austrian Gruner Veltliner to a $500 dollar bottle of 1978 Scarpa Barolo Le Coste di Monforte from Italy that displayed alluring notes of smoke and freshly-rolled cigars, we bloggers were feeling mighty special.

IMG_5474
$500 dollar bottle of 1978 Barolo from Italian winery, Scarpa. Scarpa wines have not been sold in the U.S. for 20 years – hoping to change that.

We experienced incredible culinary creations presented by local restaurants and chefs, and we were VIPs for Snooth’s First Annual People’s Voice Wine Awards Grand Tasting – where over 300 wineries from around the world shared their best wines alongside delicious Caribbean themed bites from the event sponsor: Cayman Islands.

The accomplished and well-respected wine and food bloggers that attended this phenomenal weekend with Snooth in New York City have joined forces to create a powerful voice about the wines and foods we experienced while in New York.  Snooth will publish an introduction to each of the events we attended, and then each of the bloggers will write a post about that particular event – providing a plethora of easily accessible information through multiple high quality websites.  My introductory post to the weekend in the city, including links to all of the attending bloggers websites, has been posted on my award-winning website, WineJulia.com: #SnoothPVA Weekend in New York City.

IMG_5487
A Moscato Rosé from Brasil – my first experience with Brazilian wines took place at this Snooth event in NYC.

As you all may have noticed, Wine Down Eugene (which is normally published every Wednesday), was published late last week and this week.  The two week tardiness of publication is partially due to my fun-filled trip to New York, but more-so lies in the fact that I had shoulder surgery just one day after returning from the Big Apple – let me tell you, shoulder surgery is absolutely no fun.

I desperately needed a rotator cuff repair, and so that’s what I did, albeit having a lung partially collapse during surgery was not part of the plan.  Although I’m on the mend and feel better everyday, it’s been one of the toughest weeks of my life!  I’ll be in an immobilizer sling for the next five weeks, and then physical therapy for another five months.  I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but will continue to share the weekly Wine Down Eugene; as well as, everything wine related on my website, WineJulia.com. Regardless of my typing bein restricted to one hand, I’m doing what I love, and I love what I’m doing.

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!

Wine Down Eugene

//

Wine Down Eugene February 20-26

Oregon is absolutely, positively, 100 percent, the most beautiful state of all.

Last week, my husband and I drove up a twisting road lined with tall banks of snow, to an elevation of 6,000 feet, where the historical Timberline Lodge is perched on the side of Mt. Hood.

View from Mt. Hood to Mt. Jefferson
View from Mt. Hood to Mt. Jefferson

One step out of the car, and the crisp, cold air, along with the view from Mt. Hood to Mt. Jefferson (46 miles away), literally took our breath away. It’s so beautiful, it’s surreal. But, the scenery got even better when we checked into our room at Timberline Lodge, where an unobstructed view of the peak of Mt. Hood was like looking through a painting – it was stunning.

We did the white-knuckled drive to Timberline Lodge to attend a Valentine’s Day Winemakers Dinner with Willamette Valley Vineyards at Silcox Hut – a historical building that sits even closer to the 11,245 foot peak of Mt. Hood, one mile up the mountain from the Lodge. Accessible in the evenings only by a ride in the Timberline Lodge Snowcat – it was quite an adventure that ended with gazing at the stars, and planets, that could clearly be seen at 7,000 feet above sea level.

It was an amazing two days, and I’ll be sharing the story in full on Snooth.com; as well as, my award-winning website, WineJulia.com.

Room with a view: the peak of Mt. Hood
Room with a view: the peak of Mt. Hood

With as much time as I’ve been spending up in the Portland area lately, I’ve been thinking it may actually be cost effective to purchase a second house up that way!

Tomorrow, I head north again, this time to attend the largest gathering in Oregon for people in the wine industry: Oregon Wine Industry Symposium. Taking place at the Oregon Convention Center,this is an excellent event for Oregon’s wine community to come together to learn, share and become acquainted. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ll undoubtedly have a lot of information to share when I return. Until then, 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 Beef Enchiladas, Rice, Beans, Fresh Tortilla Chips.  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.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with The Porch Band; Fri. 5-11 pm, Last Friday Art Walk, Sammich Cart and live music starts around 7 pm with Gypsy Brotherhood. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Cafe): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5 pm, Mini Tap Takeover with Ninkasi’s Jeff Long; 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 pm, Mysterious, Unexplainable and Intriguing Beer Event;  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.17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

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

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

Ninkasi Brewing: For beer events, check out the NEW Hopped Up Eugene! 272 Van Buren St., Eugene.

The Wine Place (Yachats): Fri. 5-8 pm, First wine club gathering. Wine tasting & light appetizers. Will meet every other month, the last Friday of month. Members pay $50 and receive 2 bottles of wine and 2 tickets to this wine-pickup party (plus special discounts).  Non-members may attend this event for $10 per person. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Wineries without Walls: Closed except for special events, which will be listed here.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.

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 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 Tyler Morin; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sunday with live music from 2-4 pm with Kenji Ota. 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 Joel & Ivy / Pop Country. 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 Mon.-Fri. 12-5 pm in January and February. 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.

– Did we miss something in Hopped Up? An event, a destination, a brewer? Let us know so it doesn’t happen again!

Would you like to sponsor Wine Down Eugene?  Click Here. Put “Wine Down” in the body of the contact form.

Wine Down Eugene

//

Wine Down Eugene February 13-19

IMG_4853
Chef Heidi Tunnell’s famous Ciabatta bread, grilled. Yum

I used to think that wineries sort of slowed down during the winter months, the perfect time for a well deserved break between harvest in the fall and bud break in the spring. Lately, however, wineries are buzzing year round with tastings and special events. I recently spent time in Carlton, sampling over 40 wines for the Winter Wine Tasting and Carlton Bite. I went truffle hunting at Willamette Valley Vineyards, followed by a fabulous truffle and mushroom themed lunch. The rest of the weekend was spent in food and wine centric Portland – where I joined in on a dinner event with Montinore Estate at wine destination restaurant Metrovino. There’s no doubt about it, the wineries are still very busy entertaining all of us wine enthusiasts.

IMG_4886
Valentine’s Cellar Dinner at Domaine Meriwether

Just this past weekend, I attended two stellar events, back to back. On Saturday, I enjoyed a food and wine feast out at Sweet Cheeks Winery for their special winemakers dinner, Feast In The Cellar. Featuring excellent culinary creations by Iron Chef Heidi Tunnell, a group of about 30 people imbibed in the beautifully decorated, candle-lit cellar. Sweet Cheeks winemaker, Mark Nicholl, talked about the wines as we sipped and ate. In between courses, Chef Heidi joined our group and talked about the food – where it came from and why she paired it with particular wines.

The very next day, I joined another group of about 30 people at Domaine Meriwether Winery for a Valentine’s Cellar Dinner. While a harpist played beautiful music in the background, we joined owner, Buzz Kawders, at a beautifully decorated red and white themed table for a delectable meal prepared by Chef Garrett Kirsch of B2 Wine Bar. I’ll be sharing these events and more on my award winning website, WineJulia.com.

Lana.Oakshire
EDN’s new beer writer: Lana O’Brien

Attending all of these fabulous events makes me feel like a very lucky wine gal, and words can not describe how excited I am for tomorrow! I’ll be staying overnight at Timberline Lodge, and attending a very special Valentine’s Day Winemakers Dinner with Willamette Valley Vineyards. The dinner is being held inside the historic Silcox Hut, located at the peak of Mt. Hood – at 7,000 feet above sea level! Indeed, I’m quite the lucky wine gal. Life is good. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience in detail on Snooth.com.

Special Note: Please join me in welcoming our new beer writer, Lana O’brien. Lana will be in charge of the new Hopped Up Eugene column, published weekly – every Wednesday – in conjunction with Wine Down Eugene. Welcome, Lana!

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 a special Valentine’s Day Dinner with Braised Pork Cheeks, Salad and Ciabatta Rolls. Reservations are strongly recommended. 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.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Hot Milk; Fri. 5-11 pm, Third Friday BBQ and live music starts around 7 pm with Sean Peterson Jazz Trio. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Cafe): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 6-10 pm, Party Cart Valentine’s Day Dessert and Beer Pairing; 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): 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 with Foundry Vineyards; Tue. 6 pm,  Corte Alla Wine Dinner. Call 541-685-0790. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

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

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

The Wine Place (Yachats): Sat.12-4 pm wine tasting – NW wines with special guest Aaron Jensen; Sat. 4-7 pm, Happy Hour with J.Scott Cellars in the Loft. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Wineries without Walls: Closed except for special events, which will be listed here.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.

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): Sat. Feb. 16, Annual Mardi Gras Party; Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Sweet Cheeks: Thu.12-6 pm, Romancing the Vineyard live music and food featuring Crepe CycletteFri. 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 Jen Sennet-Franklin. 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 John Shipe / 60s – 80s originals and covers. 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: Sun. Heart of Willamette Wineries Association 3rd Annual Barrel Tour. Call the winery for details 541-847-5792; Open Mon.-Fri. 12-5 pm in January and February. 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.

The Bier Stein: Feb. 20, 7-9 pm. Green Flash Brewing Draft Night and Free Tasting. 345 E. 11 Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Cafe): Thu. Feb. 21, Ninkasi’s Allies and Aliens – Mini Tap Takeover with Ninkasi’s Jeff Long. Jeff will be pouring samples of Allies and Aliens and more! El Dorado and other beers also on tap; Feb. 22, 5-8 pm. Claim 52 Tap Takeover and Tasting. Meet the brewers and taste the beer. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

Wine Down Eugene

//

Wine Down Eugene December 5-11

Remy Wines | photo: A Theology of Wine

I’m off to McMinnville Wednesday morning for a two day wine tasting extravaganza, where I will be focusing on two Willamette Valley AVA’s (American Viticulture Areas): McMinnville and Yamhill-Carlton. The first day will be spent visiting some of the McMinnville AVA urban wineries, located in the Granary District, in downtown McMinnville. Grochau Cellars, Remy Wines and Biggio-Hamina are three wineries that I’ve never previously visited, so I am really looking forward to learning about their wines and meeting the owners and winemakers.

From McMinnville’s Granary District, along with my host and excellent planner of this two day visit to the north, Carl Giavanti, of Carl Giavanti Consulting, we’ll be heading over to Youngberg Hill Vineyards and Inn, where we’ll join some of my Oregon-based wine writing colleagues, and Youngberg Hill owners, Wayne and Nicolette Bailey. The Bailey’s will be pouring us their line-up of fantastic wines, including a few library wines, while educating us on their holistic approach to farming.

Youngberg Hill Vineyard Inn : photo: YoungbergHill.com

After we sip the delicious wines of Youngberg Hill, we plan to have dinner at the famed Nick’s Italian Restaurant in downtown McMinnville, and then end the day with a night stay back at Youngberg Hills, in their incredibly gorgeous Inn at the top of the vineyards that boasts a gorgeous panoramic view.

On Thursday, my tour guide extraordinaire, Carl, will be taking me to Carlton for a full day of tasting and touring, starting with a tour of the Carlton Village with Jeff Lorton of Valley Emporium. Lunch will be with Ken Wright of Ken Wright Cellars; including, a tasting along with a tour of Ken Wright Cellars and some of the other Yamhill-Carlton wineries. From Ken Wright Cellars, we’ll visit Lenne Estate and Blakeslee Vineyard, where the two day tasting and touring extravaganza will sadly come to an end.

Indeed, I am very much looking forward to the next two days, and I can’t wait to share my adventures when I return. Follow me over to my award winning wine blog, WineJulia.com, for updates and everything wine!

Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

[WineDown-Shops]

The Barn Light: New coffee house/bar downtown that features local wines and brews. 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, Thursday Night Dinner – Braised Chicken [raised on their own Furrer Farm] with bourbon mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed Fall 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 (Supreme Bean): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5-7 pm free wine tasting and happy hour & movie begins at 8 pm; Every Fri. 6 pm, free live music; Fri. 5-10 pm. Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover -Sierra Nevada Ovila beers as well as other special releases on tap.The first 30 people to get an Ovila will receive a stemmed Sierra Nevada glass; Sat. 5:30 and 8:30 pm, Cheese War IV: Block 15 vs. Champagne, details here. Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St., Eugene.

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

Broadway Wine Merchants: Wed. 6-8 pm,  Kopke Port Tasting. $25 sit down tasting with appetizers and chocolate paired with the Ports. Sign up in advance; 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.

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Fri. 5-7 pm, Shop pours; Sat. 4-6 pm,  Wine tasting with Stanton Vineyard; Fri. and Sat. 4-7 pm, Shop Pours available for purchase on nights there is no featured winery. 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, Holiday Gala – customer appreciation Event – chocolate tasting, wine tasting and trunk show. 15% percent off purchases; Free Friday wine tasting. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Tom & Johnny’s: Thu. 7-10 pm, Wine & Jive (wine tasting and live music). 471 South A St., Springfield.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Tim McLaughlin; Fri. 5-11 pm, live music starts around 7 pm with Strange Charm. 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, Gus Russell; Fri. 5-7 pm, live music. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Ninkasi Brewing: Wed. 12-9 pm, Benefit for Cahoots Whitebird Eugene; 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.1-4 pm Foreign, Fun and Frugal wine tasting of foreign wines that are easy on the wallet. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

SweetWaters at Valley River Inn: Every Thu. 4 – 7 pm, Free wine tasting on the patio 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: 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: Wed. 5-7 pm, special wine tasting of Italian wines from distributor Small Vineyards; 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]

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 Jen Sennett-Franklin. 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.

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

King Estate:  80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night LIVE featuring W.J. McEachern (Dreamdog). 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. Try their hot mulled wine. 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.

16Tons (Taphouse): Dec. 15 and 16, 12-10 pm. Winter and Strong Ale Fest. 70+ beers on from Oregon and beyond. Special drafts and rare bottles, free entry, cash only for 3 oz. tasters from $1 dollar each. 265 East 13th Ave., Eugene.

Marché Provisions: Dec. 15, 8:15 pm. Annual Bubbly Party – Caviar, triple crème cheese, smoked salmon and enough sparkling wine to float a Buick, all yours for $35. This is no class, this is a party where we’ll try sparkling wines from all over the world, from $9.00 Prosecco to triple-digit, serious Champagne. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

1 2 3 5