Experience Oregon’s wine scene

Here are a couple opportunities to get out and experience Oregon’s wine scene:

Discover Laughlin Loop, a seven-mile route of eight award-winning Yamhill-Carlton wineries.

Transportation is supplied by complimentary Laughlin Loop shuttles, with stops at every winery on the tour. Participating are Beacon Hill, Fairsing Vineyard, Gran Moraine, Lenne Estate, Roots Wine Co., Saffron Fields Vineyard, Solena Estate and WillaKenzie Estate.

Tickets, in the form of a scavenger trail guide, are $45 each and are valid for Aug. 6 and 7. Feel free to split up your winery visits for the weekend. The scavenger trail guide includes complimentary wine tasting at each winery, complimentary shuttle service, $10 in food cart vouchers and a chance to win a wine country gift basket. You are not required to use the shuttle service.

If you don’t make it to all the wineries this weekend, don’t worry. Keep your Laughlin Loop scavenger trail guide and visit the wineries you missed through Labor Day.

Take a peek into the Eola-Amity Hills AVA by participating in EA Confidential, to be held Aug. 20.

It’s a day of touring the Eola-Amity Hills appellation and learning about the vineyards, and the people who create the wines. The fun begins at 10 a.m. when you board luxury buses in Eugene or Portland and travel to Bethel Heights Vineyard for a gourmet lunch and hear the stories from winemakers and vineyard owners about how they began their careers in the wine industry. After lunch, tour participants will board the bus and depart for Keeler Estate Vineyard, where Nicholas Keeler of Tonnellerie Allary will discuss the role of barrels in winemaking. What’s the difference/benefits between new and old oak? You’ll find out. You’ll also get to sample wines from a selection of Eola-Amity Hills producers.

Next stop is Bjornson Vineyard, where you will work alongside winemakers to learn when to pick for the upcoming harvest. Learn about this decision by walking the vineyard, trying fruit samples and then testing for ripeness and flavor in the lab. You’ll get to sample more wines here, and enjoy the view of the Cascades from the Bjornson Vineyard.

A quick ride north will bring the group to Brooks Winery for dinner prepared by Chef Bernard Malherbe of the Crooked House Bistro, paired with a selection of rare and limited library wines. To cap off the day, each table will be hosted by winemakers and vineyard owners who will share special bottles from their cellars.

Guests board the bus and will either be shuttled back to their parked vehicle or shuttled back to Portland or Eugene at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $199 per person. For more information, email Lauren Fuhrman-Burch at the Eola-Amity Hills Winegrowers Association.
Information from Barb Randall, Community Editor, Pamplin Media Group.