Local Wineries Offer Drinks, Eats, More Drinks, But let a nondrinker drive
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Local Wineries Offer Drinks,
Eats, More Drinks
But let a nondrinker drive
by Lance Sparks
Post-thanks-feasting, a fine way to kick off the holiday season is to tour our local wineries. The harvest is in — and by all reports ’09 rocked the vintage — crush is done, this year’s grapes are brooding in tanks and barrels, and the folks who grow the grapes and make the wines are ready to par-tay. In many of the wineries, decorations are up, nibblies grace tables, glasses gleam, hosts wear wide grins, ready to pour their best (some new releases included). Many offer discounts. Some offer live music, art shows and other entertainments. Many wineries pour tastes at no charge, but some ask nominal fees to cover costs. All they need is YOU.
First order of biz, designate a driver — no wine for you! OK, maybe later. Pile friends and family in the ride, roll into the hills in autumn splendor. Our tour starts north, turns to the south. Pick your favorites and have a jolly time:
Broadley Vineyards, Monroe, 265 S. Fifth, center of town, open 11-4 Fri-Sun. The $10 fee gets guests a tasting glass and sips of some of Oregon’s best pinot noirs, barrel tasting from the 2009 wines. broadleyvineyards.com or 541-847-5934.
Benton-Lane Winery, about 1.5 miles south of Broadley on Territorial Road, prize-winning pinot gris, pinot blanc and pinot noir. Open 11am-5pm Fri-Sun, finger-foods in the tasting room, pizza from the wood-fired oven Saturday only. The $10 cover nets a logo glass and all the tastes. benton-lane.com or 541-847-5792.
Pfeiffer Vineyards: Watch for signs on Territorial, turn left on Ferguson Lane to Turnbow to 25040 Jaeg Rd., roll into a slice of Tuscany in Oregon, beautiful building (all solar-powered, house and winery), one of Oregon’s premier pinot noir sites. Their wines are sold only at the winery, so make room in the trunk, and don’t miss Blue Dot Pinot Noir. Open Fri-Sun, 11am-5pm. Fees: $10 for a glass and 8 wines, appetizers; $20 for a fine glass and ALL the wines. pfeiffervineyards.com or 541-998-2828.
High Pass Winery, back up to Territorial, signs to High Pass Rd to 24757 Lavell Rd; Fri-Sun, noon-5pm. Nibblies and tastes free, mighty good wines. Don’t miss the sweet dessert wines. highpasswinery.com or 541-998-1447.
RainSong Winery, Cheshire, 92989 Templeton Rd: Fri-Sun, noon-5pm, free tastings, especially custom-made pinot noir. rainsongvineyard.com or 541-998-1786.
LaVelle Vineyards, in lovely Elmira, follow signs to 89697 Sheffler Rd; then gravel lane to beautiful grounds, open Fri-Sun noon-5pm, free tastings, especially merlot, cabernet sauvignon, 2007 Pinot Noir, paired with crackers, cheese, chocolates. lavellevineyards.com or 541-935-9406.
Domaine Meriwether, Territorial to Hwy. 126, turn right toward coast, find what was Secret House, now site of Meriwether and some of Oregon’s best sparkling wines, open 11am-4pm, Fri-Sun. The $10 fee yields a glass and appies, tastes of fine bubblies and “still” wines. meriwetherwines.com or 541-521-9690.
Sweet Cheeks Winery, back to Territorial, roll thru Veneta, follow signs, turn left to 27007 Briggs Hill Rd; open Fri-Sun noon-6, twilight festivities on Friday night to celebrate Sweet Cheeks’ fourth anniversary; free tastings, live music (1pm-5pm), appies, lively wines, and lofty vistas. sweetcheekswinery.com or 541-349-9463.
Silvan Ridge-Hinman Vineyards, 27012 Briggs Hill Rd; across from Sweet Cheeks, open Fri-Sun, noon-5pm, Free tasting, live music, art show, discounts on some wines. Don’t miss sparkling Muscat. silvanridge.com or 541-345-1945.
Briggs Hill Vineyards, just up the road to 27127 Briggs Hill Rd. Open by appointment only; delish wines, rarely seen, no fees. briggshill.com or 541-554-4054.
King Estate Winery, 80854 Territorial: See the castle, be there, incredible views, superb wines very fine dining. Open every day, with special Thanksgiving buffet, 1pm-5pm, by reservation. Open Fri-Sun 11am-8pm Taste three wines free, $5 for four more; huge array of wines, world-class pinot gris. kingestate.com or 541-942-9874.
Chateau Lorane, 27415 Siuslaw River Rd; just west of downtown Lorane, above a lovely lake, free tastings of their wide array of wines, many quite unusual—grignolino, negrette, baco noir — but don’t miss the honey mead. chateaulorane.com or 541-942-8028.
Saginaw Vineyard, Cottage Grove, 80247 Delight Valley Rd; open Fri-Sun 11am-5pm, free tastings, light appies, yummy wines from passionate people, but don’t miss the blueberry wine, really. saginawvineyards.com or 541-942-1364
Stuck in the city? Our in-town whoop-de-doo:
LaVelle Club Room at the Market, Fifth Street Market, features LaVelle wines, no fees, open Fri 3pm-9pm with live music 6pm-9pm, Sat, Sun noon-6pm. Bistro menu. lavellevineyards.com or 541-338-9875.
Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company, 907 W. Third Ave; terrific wines, lovely tasting room in urban setting. Open extended hours, Fri/Sat 2pm-9pm, Sun 2pm-6pm, live music, no fees, munchies. territorialvineyards.com or 541-684-9463.
Noble Estate: Closer than you think, take W. 11th to Bailey Hill, turn south, turn right at Bailey Hill Market, roll through an almost secret valley, to 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., watch for signs. It’s surprising, for views and wines, open Fri-Sun, noon-5pm, with $5 fee to taste 12 wines. nobleestatevineyard.com 541-954-9870.