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Cozy Cellar Season Tasting Rooms

Published: February 11, 2022

 

Cellar season may be the best time to visit your favorite wineries and tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley. Head out into Oregon's Wine Country for an intimate experience at one of these locations.  Each one has something special to love and unique varietals to taste and take home. 

Bennett Vineyards & Wine Company   

Located near Cheshire, Oregon, Bennett Vineyards is only 25 minutes from downtown Eugene. Bennett sits on an 85-acre farm where they focus on perfecting Pinot Noir made in traditional Burgundy fashion. There is inside seating available in the tasting room as well as a heated outside tent. During the winter season, guests are encouraged to bring picnics and snacks; during summer there are food trucks onsite. For visitors who want to enjoy the vineyard and wine beyond tasting room hours, Bennett offers a guest house that sits between the tasting room and a lovely pond. 

Benton-Lane Winery

Benton-Lane straddles Benton and Lane County on beautiful acreage adjacent a golf course and overlooking the valley. The vintners at Benton-Lane have taken exceptional care with each step in the winemaking process since wine was first produced here in 1991. The wine tasting room has a lovely patio with a woodfire pizza oven that gets fired up for special events. On a rainy day, enjoy an artisan cheese and meat plate with an unforgettable glass of wine inside their charming tasting room. Reservations are encouraged.

Brigadoon Wine Company

Enter Brigadoon Wine Company's intimate tasting room and you'll be greeted by Gracie, the darling old golden retriever. Sit with a glass of wine produced by the family operation and enjoy the unique view of a secluded canyon brimming with wildlife. The charming tasting room is tiny, so reservations are recommended.

King Estate

King Estate Winery is one of the most iconic wineries in the Willamette Valley. Their wines are made with organic grapes grown on their USA certified Biodynamic® estate. Their restaurant offers fine dining paired perfectly with wine and the grand views of the valley. Take a tour to learn about the history of the site. Watch for large birds of prey soaring through the vineyard as this is a release site for rehabilitated raptors in partnership with Cascades Raptor Center. Reservations are required.

LaVelle Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards is a beautiful space located near Elmira, Oregon. The tasting room here offers a large bar, a cozy loft, a piano and an old-fashion jukebox. Outside, sit beside a fire pit on the covered patio to enjoy the landscape while staying warm. Wander the grounds and look for the stone labyrinth. As winter gives way to spring, cherry blossoms bloom around the tasting room.

Pfeiffer Winery

Pfeiffer Winery is a great place to learn more about the Pinot Noir that the Willamette Valley is known for. Owner and winemaker Robin Pfeiffer often offers informal tours and guided tastings for visitors to the cave-like tasting room or candlelit grotto. Roast oversized marshmallows in the tented Grand Fireplace Pavilion or step outside to explore the tiered water garden. 

Saginaw Vineyards

The Saginaw Vineyards tasting room is inside a historic red barn on green farmland dotted with grazing sheep. The dark, rustic interior is an enchanting backdrop for wine tasting on a stormy day. Bottling and labeling are done by hand for each of their unique wines. Saginaw offers fruit wines, rich ports, the rare Marechal Foch varietal and much more. 

Saginaw Vineyards bottling by Melanie Griffin

Sarver Winery

Cozy up on the couches with your favorite glass and a decadent cheese and charcuterie plate in this relaxed tasting room with stunning views. The Pinot Noir vineyards below are some of the oldest in the South Willamette Valley. Sarver also offers exceptional Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Riesling grown on the estate.

Silvan Ridge Winery

Silvan Ridge is great in cellar season because of the warm fireplace, sweeping views and friendly staff. Visitors often have the chance to meet the winemaker, Juan Pablo, who crafts some of the finest wines in the area. Especially noteworthy are their semi-sparkling early muscat and Elizabeth's Red blend.

Sweet Cheeks Winery

Sweet Cheeks is a well-known winery in the Eugene area. The tasting room in wine country offers an enclosed patio with a fire pit and a stunning view which includes neighboring winery Silvan Ridge. Sipping their Rosy Cheeks rosé tastes like a springtime treat which makes it the perfect choice for bringing a little sunshine to Cellar Season. 

Walnut Ridge Winery 

This charming French Colonial-style tasting room sits at the foothills of the coastal range. The fireplace and gas lamps give the space a warm and cozy feel. Walnut Ridge is recognized for its excellence in sustainable practices, fine wines and lovely country views. 

During the winter's Cellar Season, it is always a good idea to call ahead to confirm tasting room hours. With the darker days, some wineries are open on weekends only, some wineries open later in the day and close earlier in the afternoon, and some wineries require advance reservations to accommodate indoor spacing considerations. Cellar Season is a particularly cheerful time to enjoy the bounty of the valley and enjoy the slower pace of the winter countryside.

Author: Melanie Ryan Griffin

Melanie is a University of Oregon graduate who studied Cultural Anthropology. After finishing school, she worked as a touring concert photographer for many years before expanding into writing concert and album reviews for online publications. Melanie is now the Art Director for Travel Lane County. She has lived in Eugene for more than a decade and spends nearly every weekend searching for new favorite places in the county. She has also lived in California, New Mexico, Florida, Spain and Slovakia but loves Oregon the most.

Melanie enjoys exploring the vibrant arts and culture scene in Eugene.  She also loves painting, cooking for friends, dancing, hiking and learning new things.