Most Lane County-area wineries will swing their doors open wide this Memorial Day weekend, and even some vineyards that normally are not open to the public will swing their gates wide to greet visitors with open houses, entertainment and tastings.
It’s traditionally one of the year’s busiest winetasting weekends and the start to peak wine-touring season.
Holiday weekend visitors can expect live music and other entertainment, samplings of newly released wines, discounts, and plenty of delectables to enjoy — from free appetizers to a variety of food available for purchase from caterers and food carts. Tastings or admission fees may apply.
Open house dates are Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 24-26, unless otherwise noted.
Bennett Vineyards & Wine Co.: 25974 Hwy. 36, Cheshire. Boutique pinot noir producer opens its new tasting room from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and hosts a grand-opening party from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, with live music by Northwest Express at 1 p.m. and complimentary gourmet hamburgers and hot dogs from Zingaro. Wines available for tasting include pinot noir, pinot gris, riesling, white pinot noir and pinot noir rose’. Continuing tasting room hours will be noon to 6 p.m. daily through the summer. 541-998-3336, bennettvineyardsor.com
Benton-Lane Winery: 23924 Territorial Hwy., in Monroe, about 20 miles north of Eugene. Open house all three days, noon to 5 p.m. Admission of $7 includes tastings and is refundable with a $20 wine purchase. Live music by Jerome Monaco, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Gourmet pizzas from wood-burning oven offered for $10 each from noon to 4 p.m. Monday. Meat and cheese plates also available for purchase. 541-847-5792, benton-lane.com
Brigadoon Wine Co.: 25166 Ferguson Road, Junction City. Open noon to 5 p.m. all three days. Tasting fee of $5 includes recently released 2013 Pinot Blanc, 2013 Rose of Pinot Noir and 2013 Riesling. Appetizers include local artisan cheeses, fresh seasonal fruits and Spanish tapas. Picnickers welcome to enjoy the vineyard and forest views. 541-998-2600, brigadoonwineco.com
Capitello Wines: 540 Charnelton St., Eugene. New tasting room, featuring winemaker Ray Walsh’s Capitello label, open all three days (and continuing noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday). “Swine & Wine” event features caterer Elizabeth Stuart, who is roasting a hog on a spit Friday night in the parking lot. She will serve a Cuban-style pork plate Saturday and pulled-pork sandwiches on Sunday, when Capitello also is a featured stop on the Urban Wine Circuit tour. Capitello wines available for tasting include handcrafted Oregon and New Zealand pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, gewA~1/4rztraminer dessert wine, sparkling brut and more. 541-520-3092, capitellowines.com
Chateau Lorane: 27415 Siuslaw River Road, Lorane. “Wine at the Lake” event, noon to 5 p.m. all three days of the holiday weekend, features 20 wines available for tasting at scenic lakeside venue. Admission is $5, or $2.50 for wine club members and all their guests. 541-942-8028, chateaulorane.com
Domaine Meriwether Winery: 88324 Vineyard Lane, 2 miles west of Veneta on Highway 126. Open house all three days, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., preceded on Friday by Sparkling Nights, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring live music by Jennifer Sennett and a “Memorial lumineer” walk in the vineyard. The rest of the weekend features live music by the John Baumann Trio and Tyler Morin Session; an art walk; a Ducati motorcycle exhibit; food from Comforts Mobile Cuisine available for purchase, along with beer and non-alcoholic drinks; and tasting of Domaine Meriwether’s wines and sparkling wines. Free admission. 541-935-9711, meriwetherwines.com
Eugene Wine Cellars: 255 Madison St., Eugene. EWC’s downtown tasting room open noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (and until 6 p.m. for Urban Wine Circuit); and noon to 5 p.m. Monday. $5 fee includes tasting of six wines and is applied toward any purchase. Post-holiday hours will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment. 541-342-2600, eugenewinecellars.com
High Pass Winery: 24757 Lavell Road, Junction City. Open noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the holiday weekend. No tasting fee. Complimentary crackers and cheese offered. 541-998-1447, highpasswinery.com
Iris Vineyards: 82110 Territorial Hwy., Eugene. Original tasting room at scenic Lorane Valley vineyard reopens after a seven-year closure (see story, Page 8). Winemaker Aaron Lieberman, president Mike Lambert and other winery representatives host a “soft” reopening from noon to 5 p.m. all three days of the holiday weekend; beyond that, those hours are likely to continue from Thursday through Sunday every week. 541-942-5993, irisvineyards.com
J. Scott Cellars: 520 Commercial St., Unit G, Eugene. Holiday weekend hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Friday features live music by Nancy Hamilton & Mercury’s Refrain at 5:30 p.m., and guest winery Camp Creek Cellars’ first public pouring. Saturday features flamenco music by Norman Messman and guest winery Poco Collina/Gelardi Vineyard. Sunday, during the Urban Wine Circuit, live music is by Bailee Jordyn. J. Scott Cellars’ diverse lineup of wines available for tasting and a food truck onsite all weekend. 541-514-5497, jscottcellars.com
King Estate: 80854 Territorial Road, Eugene. Open for tastings Saturday through Monday of the holiday weekend, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Two complimentary tastings or a featured flight of four wines for $5 at the tastings bar. Tours of the facility are on the hour from noon to 5 p.m. Lunch served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; dinner, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call ahead to make dining reservations. 541-942-9874, kingestate.com
LaVelle Vineyards: 89697 Sheffler Road, Elmira. Open noon to 6 p.m. all three days. Free tasting includes three wines of your choice. Live music by Jen Sennett, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday. LaVelle Tap Room at 400 International Way in Springfield (541-246-8989) also open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Monday of the holiday weekend. 541-935 9406, lavellevineyards.com
Noble Estate Vineyard & Winery: 29210 Gimpl Hill Road (vineyard/tasting room) and 560 Commercial St. (urban winery/tasting room), Eugene; and 504 Hwy. 101, Yachats (satellite tasting room). Vineyard location open noon to 5 p.m. every day, with live music Saturday by Bailee Jordyn and Sunday by Ricardo Cardenas; a wine-barrel furniture showcase; and picnic opportunities. Urban location open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday with music by Heavy Chevy Lite, and Saturday with music by Skip Jones. Coastal location open all weekend, noon to close, with music by Jerry Zybach on Saturday. All three locations offer many award-winning wines to taste, including pinot noir, semi-sparkling muscat and pinot gris. Local beer on tap. Meat and cheese boards available at both Eugene locations until sold out. 541-338-3007, nobleestatewinery.com
Pfeiffer Winery: 25040 Jaeg Road, Junction City. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tasting fee for whites, $10; for reds, $14; for complete list, $20. Saturday and Sunday, a Stella and Dot jewelry trunk show takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; also, a gourmet flatbread/toppings luncheon is available for purchase both days. Other highlights include free toasting of marshmallows in the pavilion fireplace; the release of small-lot 2010 Pinot Noir; and the start of 2013 pinot noir futures sales. 541-998-2828, pfeiffervineyards.com
RainSong Vineyard: 92989 Templeton Road, Cheshire. Open house noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Release of 2012 Allie’s Rose’ of Pinot Meunier, 2012 Chardonnay and 2011 Sparkling Rose’, and tasting of wines from barrel-bottling program. No tasting fee. Free appetizers; locally made crafts and goods for sale in the RainSong Neighborhood Store. On Saturday and Sunday, neighboring Wolf Shadow Arena (wolfshadowarenallc.com) hosts an art show and sale featuring food, music, wine and beer. 541-998-1786, rainsongvineyard.com
Saginaw Vineyard: 80247 Delight Valley School Road, Cottage Grove. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday with live music by Mike Brewer & The Brewketts starting at 6 p.m. (21 and older); 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday with music by Mr. Blue at 3 p.m; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday with music by Mike Gelardi & Patrick Kavaney at 1 p.m. Also open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday (and daily before and after the holiday weekend). Saginaw winetastings are presented in a rustic tasting room on the vineyard’s historic farm property. No tasting fee. 541-942-1364, saginawvineyard.com
Sarver Winery: 25600 Mayola Lane, Eugene. Open noon to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday of the holiday weekend (continuing noon to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Thursday all summer). Live music on the patio throughout the holiday weekend starts at 6 p.m. Friday (Peter Giri and Lloyd Tolbert) and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Will Brown and Norman Messman). Wood-fired pizzas served all weekend. Sarver wines available for tasting include estate pinot gris, pinot noir, pinot noir rose’ and riesling, and several full-bodied reds. 541-935-2979, sarverwinery.com
Silvan Ridge Winery: 27012 Briggs Hill Road, Eugene. Open noon to 5 p.m. all three holiday weekend days. Select complimentary tastings, and select wines available at a discount. Live music from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. 541-345-1945, silvanridge.com
Sweet Cheeks Winery: 27007 Briggs Hill Road, Eugene. Open noon to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. No tasting fee. Wine specials and food available for purchase from local carts Bacon Nation and Oregon Wood Fired Pizza. Live music, including Miller Brothers Band on Saturday, Taste on Sunday and Teresa Cunningham Trio on Monday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 541-349-9463, sweetcheekswinery.com
Sweet Earth Vineyards: 24843 Kyle Road, Monroe. Open noon to 5 p.m. all three days. Winetasting ($5 per person, refundable with bottle purchase) along with light appetizers. Tastings include new release of several award-winning wines, including 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, 2013 Pinot Gris and Rose’ of Pinot Noir. Also tasting the 2012 Quilter’s Block Pinot Noir and 2011 Reserve. Music by Mike Davis from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Plenty of available picnic space. 541-514-5657, sweetearthvineyards.com
Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: 907 W. Third Ave., Eugene. Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday during the Urban Wine Circuit tour. Live music, snacks. Case specials on wines. 541-684-9463, territorialvineyards.com
Walnut Ridge Vineyard: 94739 Turnbow Lane, Junction City. Open noon to 5 p.m., for tastings featuring Sass Winery of Salem, the winemaking partner of this 30-acre vineyard that has produced grapes since the mid-1990s. Refundable tasting fee includes 2010 Pinot Noir, featured at the 2013 International Pinot Noir Celebration, and new pinot gris, pinot blanc and sauvignon blanc releases. Tastings take place in an old shed until new tasting room’s anticipated fall opening. 541-998-2606, walnutridgevineyard.com
Tastings editor Joel Gorthy can be contacted at email@example.com.