Early Harvest for Wine Grapes

Wine grapesCENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Local winemakers say the hot, dry summer is causing many vineyard grapes to mature faster, making for an earlier harvest.

A fairly young local winery is welcoming their first in-house winemaker to the Rogue Valley.

“We’ve been actively involved in the process but having our own in-house wine maker takes it to the next level of oversight and looking forward to building our own winery, and having him involved in that process as well,” said David Traul, the owner of Ledger David.

Kiley Evans is joining Ledger David Cellars with more than 15 years of wine industry experience under his belt. After spending a few years in North Carolina, Evans says coming back to the climate in Southern Oregon was an easy choice.

“It gives us this really great balance of sugar, acid, and when you have great vintages like what we have this year, uh you get wonderful flavor development in the fruit as well,” Kiley says.

It’s been an early season for many Oregon vineyards, making for some of the highest quality vintage wines.

“A lot of people have already started picking and I would say average wise the harvest is probably 2 weeks ahead of normal,” Kiley says.

Ledger David’s Vineyard in Talent produces 11 varietals and several different blends. The owners say the wide diversity of the grapes makes things more complicated, but Evans says he is ready to take on the challenge.

“Crossing the Oregon state line it was uh, it was a powerful moment, I’m very excited to be back,” Kiley says.

Evans already contributed to one wine you can try right away here at Ledger David, that’s their 2010 Tempranillo along with their port-style wine.

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:

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


Wine Down Eugene: August 10 – 16

Wine Bars & Wine Shops

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Marché Provisions: Fri. 7p Annual Rosé Party. This party will be held around the fountain at 5th Street Market for snacks and an array of wines from the old world, and the new. Live gypsy jazz by Manouche Noir $35 p/p. A portion of each ticket goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. For tickets visit:

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Open during construction! Wed. 5-8p ½off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. 6-8p Live music with Johan Forrer; Fri. 6-8p live music by Gus Russell.

Red Agave: Wed.7:30p Special Event/Fundraiser for CASA. 4 course meal with wine pairing, limited seating, $75 p/p. 50% of proceeds goes to CASA. Call 541-868-3087 for more information and to purchase tickets. Or just stop by and savor a glass of wine from their excellent wine list including Oregon’s finest from King Estate, Four Graces, Bethel Heights & Cristom to name just a few, it’s impressive:

Sam’s Place Tavern: Fri. 7-10p Live music in the Cabana with Skip Jones; Great wine list, 21 glass pours, all under $7! Wine list includes some excellent Oregon & NW wines. Check it out at Every booth has its own flat screen TV in addition to 22 plasma TV’s – watch the PGA Championships this weekend!

16 Tons Beer & Wine/The Tap House/Union Café: 16 Tons has a new location! The original 16 Tons will now be known as The Taphouse (corner of 13th & High St) and the new location (29th & Willamette’s Supreme Bean) will now be known as The Union Cafe. Live music every Friday on the patio at The Union Cafe- Fri. Aug 12th~Rockin’ Blue Grass Fun!

The Washburne Café: Fri. 5-8p Second Friday Art Walk! Artist reception with Emily Schultz, live jazz with Dennis St. Germaine, beer tasting with Hop Valley, and dinner specials featuring lobster bisque, panini’s and salads. As always, there will be local wines available from Sarver, J. Scott Cellars, LaVelle & Patchwork Cellars. Get the delicious Sarver Pinot Noir Rosé here-great summer wine!

Mac’s at the Vet’s Club: Wed 6-9p . Wine, Jazz & Variety Show with Gus Russell & Paul Biondi. A different Oregon winery is featured each week – this week it’s Silvan Ridge!

B2 Wine Bar: Thu. 7:30 live music with Maria Skipper & Gary Hemenway; Sat. 9:15p Movie’s Under the Stars: Karate Kid. Bring a chair, enjoy wine, watch an outdoor movie. Loads of Northwest wines offered here:

Cork & Bottle Shoppe: Fri. 4p free wine tasting. The Cork & Bottle Shoppe is one of Oregon’s only liquor stores that carry a large selection of local and international wine & craft beer in addition to liquor. Free wine or beer tastings every Friday at 4pm. 812 Beltline Rd. Springfield.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7p themed Frugal Friday wine tasting with Mario; Sat. 5-7p featuring local and regional wineries. Check their facebook page frequently for updates on events and tastings:

Jiffy Market: Fri. 5-7p Free wine tasting, house picks and pours; Sat. 6-10p Purchase a whole sandwich from the deli and receive a Ninkasi pint for $2!

Broadway Wine Merchants: Fri. 5-7p Free wine tasting weekly. Last Friday, Angus celebrated the sun showing it’s face with glass pours of an $80 bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc…be sure to check their website for featured wines and which winemakers will be present or call 541-685-0790

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11p Tim Mclaughlin presents great music with a revolving cast of players. August Art – Shauna Trumbley. 907 W. 3rd, Eugene

Ambrosia: UPDATE: The remodel will finish this weekend and First Wednesday Wine Tastings will resume Sept. 7th with Small Vineyards Imports. Be sure to check out their great Happy Hour Mon.-Fri. 4-6p $4.50 house wines.  See their award winning wine list:

Café Zenon: Tues. 50% off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30p $1 off glasses of wine and pints of beer. Find King Estate’s Domaine Pinot Gris & Capitello’s Sauvignon Blanc here – ½ off on Tuesdays!! Their fabulous wine list:

Café 440: Wed. Wine Flights for the month of August- 3 pours for $10.50. Featured wines are Sonoma Red & Whites!

Sabai Café & Bar: Wines by the glass $6 and under. Excellent local wines from Territorial, King Estate Capitello and Benton-Lane. Check out their wine list:

Agate Alley Laboratory: Now open for lunch 11a-3p & 5p-midnight Tue.-Sun. This is Agate Alley Bistro’s  sister restaurant. 25 varieties for $25 dollars! It’s a must try and their wine list is one not to miss

Capella Market: Fri.. 4-6p Free beer tasting with Sierra Nevada Brewing; Sat. 4-6p Free wine tasting with Oakdale Cellars

Café Soriah: Wed. Celebrate Wine Wednesdays! All day ½ off bottles of wine, including notable names such as: BrickHouse, Capitello, King Estate, Broadley! Great outdoor seating for the summer!

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. 5:30-7:30p Wine Night – all bottles 35% off. Complimentary wine tasting in the lobby. Excellent wine list:

Granary Wine Bar: Wed. all day $5 glass pours of house white or red.

Cornucopia Maize Lounge:  Every Thur. until October 20th– New Belgium Beer night. Buy a New Belgium beer and receive $1 off & a raffle ticket for the 20 yr anniversary Fat Tire Bike from New Belgium Brewery Giveaway to benefit The Bridgeway House. All other nights raffle tickets cost $1. Winner of the bike will be picked October 20th.

Agate Alley Bistro: Mon. all day – 6 cheese fondue and glass pour wines are ½ off for a bottle!


Wineries & Vineyards

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LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Fri. 6-9p Friday Night Flights~live music with Jesse Meade & Craig Chee (guitar and ukulele) , flight tastings (free), and food offered by Devour Gourmet Food Cart. No cover.

Sarver Winery: Fri. 5-9p Steak & Sarver Caesar Fridays – Grilled tri-tip steaks served with the Sarver Caesar Salad & a side of red skin potatoes. Live music by the Franklin Ladies Aid Society. Call in your reservation by noon on the previous Wednesday. 541-939-2979. Space is limited to 40 people. $25.00/pp. Whether you dine with them or not, you’re welcome to join the Sarvers, drink wine, and listen to the tunes; Sun. 5p Hootenannies with legendary blue grass musician Mark Ross!

J. Scott Cellars: New tasting room located in The Wine Place in Yachats! Be sure to stop by and taste his excellent small boutique handmade Rhone varietals from the Pacific Northwest. Spcializing in Roussanne, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet…and a little Pinot Noir!

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. 6-8p live music with Apropos on their outdoor stage. Locally made wood-fired pizza, salad, cheese plates & cheesecake. Bring a blanket or chairs and the whole family

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri.-Sun. 12-5p Try Brigadoon’s 3 excellent wines-A Pinot Blanc & two Pinot Noirs, which can now be enjoyed on their lovely deck with a view!

Capitello Wines: One of the South Willamette’s “Wineries Without Walls”. Check their facebook page for events and where to find them to taste their incredible wines:

Chateau Lorane:  Open 7 days a week 12-5p Try some of their rare and distinguished wines: Baco Noir, Huxelrebe, Leon Millot, and Melon de Bourgogne. The new Entourage Red Blend is a winner!

Saginaw Vineyards: Fri. 6-9p Friday Night Live 2011 presents Annie Rhoades Band. No cover charge.  80247 Delight Valley School Rd, Cottage Grove.  15 minutes south of Eugene at exit 176 off the I-5.  541-942-1364 visit:

Sweet Cheeks Winery:  Open daily noon – 6p; Fri. 6-9p Twilight Tasting, wine & cheese pairing with Oregon-made artisan cheeses, live music with Timothy Patrick from 6:30-8:30p; Sun. noon-6p Mimosa Sunday, bring your own brunch, live music 2-4p.

Pfeiffer Vineyards: Open daily 11a-5p; Fri. & Sat. 11a-9p! Order a glass (or bottle) of wine and enjoy their new beautiful Water Garden -4 terraced ponds and waterfalls set in the vineyard~gorgeous!

Noble Estate: The winery is open 7 days a week noon-5p.Tasting room with beautiful new patio and gorgeous view.

Iris Vineyards: Mon.-Fri. 11a-3p Stop by their state of the art winery & tasting room in Cottage Grove. $3 tasting fee includes free wine glass and cheese and crackers. 541-942-5993


Save the Date or Reserve Now

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Marché Provisions: Aug 18th 7:15p Wine Not-So-Basics: Les Oddities – Learn about the strange corners of the world with wines you’ve never heard of. Light snacks & $15 gift card included. $35 p/p. for tickets visit:

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. Aug. 19th – Twilight 5 / 5K Run, outdoor concert, food, wine & beer. The first-ever 5K race in the Southern Willamette Valley’s wine country! Run the race, then enjoy food, wine, beer, and an outdoor concert featuring the Peter Giri Band. More info. & an official entry form:

LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Aug 20th, 7-9p Saturday Evening with the Winemaker. Catered by Field to Table for a 4 course dinner with the winemaker along with 4 ½ glasses of wine for only $35! Gratuity included. Call 541-935-9406 for tickets.

Marché: Aug. 31st French Regional Dinner with specially paired French wines. Provence region. For more information and details:

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene

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