wine events in oregon

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene March 12-18

Last weekend, taking place at the beautiful Stoller Family Estate in Oregon’s layered and rolling Dundee Hills, the 2014 Oregon Chardonnay Symposium began with a Technical Panel and Tasting that had a very impressive line-up of Oregon Chardonnay producers.  From some of the well-known pioneers like David Adelsheim (who brought the first Dijon Chardonnay clones into the state) to today’s generation of impassioned producers like Melissa Burr of Stoller Family Estate – we wine enthusiasts were all ears when each panel member shared their thoughts on the future of Oregon Chardonnay.

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Nine stellar Oregon Chardonnays waiting to be tasted during the tech panel tasting.

During the tasting, which included nine incredible Chardonnays from nine different producers throughout the state, I was remarkably impressed with the common vision the panel members had for the future of Oregon Chardonnay: plant Chardonnay on your best blocks, the future for this popular and well-known varietal that thrives in our climate is far beyond promising.  Their common vision, along with their individual voices and styles, are a force that is bound to heighten worldwide recognition for Oregon’s elegant, terroir driven Chardonnays. 

Each of the panel members discussed their thoughts on Oregon Chardonnays while we sampled their selected wine.  David Adelsheim thinks that Oregon’s Chardonnays are about “elegance, transparency and purity,” which perfectly describes his 2012 Willamette Valley Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay with its super fresh, focused and clean fruit that was very elegant, structured and quite classic characteristically.  Josh Bergström of Bergström Wines thinks that “vibrant acidity and mineral freshness” are of the utmost importance, which he totally accomplished with his 2011 Sigrid Chardonnay  – it was one of my favorites of the day.  Jesse Lange of Lange Estate winery believes that “acidity is the framework for white wine,” and everyone on the panel appeared to nod in agreement.  The Lange Estate 2012 Three Hills Cuvee most certainly offered a solid acidic backbone that rounded out the subtle, juicy fruit qualities to perfection.

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Oregon wine industry pioneer David Adelsheim discussed his thoughts on the future of Oregon Chardonnay while I reveled in the Adelsheim Vineyards Caitlin’s Reserve

Two of the panel members who brought an international flair to the conversation were Dominique Lafor of Evening Land Vineyards and Véronique Drouhin of Domaine Drouhin Oregon.  Véronique noted that “clones, soil and the relationship with one another” were very important for producing outstanding Chardonnay.  The wine she selected for the panel tasting was Domaine Drouhin’s 2011 Edition Limitée Chardonnay made from 100 percent Dijon clones, and the super complex qualities really defined this Chardonnays classic rich palate that expressed the varietals true characteristics – it was especially lush and lovely.

After the tech panel tasting, 40 select Chardonnay producers gathered for an unbelievable Grand Tasting of Oregon Chardonnays – the largest display of Oregon Chardonnay in one room to date.  Some of my favorites from the Grand Tasting were Keeler Estate’s 2012, Domaine Drouhin’s 2012 Arthur, Omero Cellars 2012, Crowley Wines Four Winds 2011, Kramer Vineyards 2012, Big Table Farm 2012, North Valley 2011 Reserve, Brick House Cascadia 2011 and Evening Land’s 2010 Seven Springs Vineyard.

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A true testament to the ageability of Oregon Chardonnay

Really, the list goes on and on – Oregon has a plethora of Chardonnays that are absolutely divine and of the highest quality.  Our producers are creating world-class wines that are true to the varietal, and without a doubt, fully deserve world-wide recognition.

And one Chardonnay I was lucky enough to sample is a true testament to how Oregon’s Chardonnay’s can stand the test of time and age with absolute beauty and grace, while retaining elegance, complexity and stellar depth of character: Eyrie Vineyard’s 1988 Chardonnay – wow. Simply wow.

I’ll be writing about each of my favorite Chardonnays from the Grand Tasting; as well as, the Chardonnays from the Tech Panel tasting over on my award-winning website WineJulia.com.

 

 

 

Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene April 3-9

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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.

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$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.

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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

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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!

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