Just outside of Eugene, Oregon miles of forests, farmland, orchards, and rolling hills offer a relaxed day of wine tasting in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Wineries vary from chateau-like castles to homey boutiques and almost all offer free tastings of the areas renowned pinot gris, pinot noir and the up and comer dry Riesling. Join us as we enjoy a day exploring Eugene wineries in Lane County.
Is there any better way to explore central Oregon’s lush countryside than stopping to sip the grapes? The Willamette Valley offers more than 350 wineries and while many of the most visited and well known are located just south of Portland, if you venture a bit further past the famous winemaking region of Dundee, you will find the dozen or so wineries of Lane County. Here you can explore the wonderful Willamette Valley wineries of laidback Eugene in Lane County.
To get a sense of the wines in the region start your day at King Estate for a tasting and tour at their sprawling winemaking facility resembling a French chateau. Known mostly for their rich and round pinot gris as well as their pinot noir, this is the largest winery in Oregon and certified organic.
Next, head to the family-owned winery of Benton Lane that sits on the edge of Benton and Lane counties and produces a worthy Willamette Valley pinot noir. Sit outside on the patio that overlooks the vineyard with a glass of your favorite vino from the tasting.
For lunch, visit Our Daily Bread. This homey restaurant housed in a renovated country church complete with stained glass windows and steeple features regional cuisine, local Oregon wines and microbrews. In fact, they boast carrying wine from every local winery. A delicious option is their fish and chips, which is also a local’s favorite.
Afterward head to one of the newer wineries in the area: Sweet Cheeks. Busier than most of the small tasting rooms-they offer a fun laid back atmosphere. Twilight tasting every Friday from 6-9 with live music makes this feel like more like a neighborhood bar than a traditional winery.
Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company is the perfect last stop if you are ending your day in Eugene. Located in town, this urban tasting room and production facility tucked away in the funky Whiteaker neighborhood offers a corner bar quality-minus cheap drinks-instead serving quality pinot noir as a well as a very nice pinot gris.
For Dinner head to Davis’ Restaurant & Bar. Serving continental and nouveau entrées, Davis’ is a perfect choice after a day of wine tasting and exploring the area countryside. For a more casual experience dine at the impressive lengthy wood bar. The wine list is extensive, and the menu, with entrees such as roasted squash enchiladas, house smoked flank steak or wild mushroom cannelloni offers a solid and delicious range. All menu items are available in half or whole portions.
There is no better way to end your day than checking into the Campbell House (from $129). Located in Eugene and walking distance to downtown, this historic Victorian inn offers cozy rooms, a beautiful garden, and full breakfast. Built in 1892 by gold miner and timber owner, John Cogswell for his daughter, it is one of the earliest and largest houses built in the East Skinner Butte Historic district.
For more information on Lane County wineries visit www.wineriesoflanecounty.com
WHEN TO VISIT Lane County & Eugene
Average temperatures in Willamette Valley vary greatly. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year. The hottest months in the Willamette Valley are July, August, and then September. The busiest month for tourism in Willamette Valley is August, followed by July and June. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months. The least busy month for tourism is December.
If you enjoyed this article about Eugene Wineries and Wine Tasting in Lane County, you’ll also love 52 Things to Discover in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Traveling To Lane County & Eugene Soon? Here are a few tips:
How to get there: The wineries of Lane County are located southwest of Eugene, which is about two hours from Portland, Oregon. Eugene – Springfield is the largest metropolitan base in the south Willamette Valley, easily accessible by Interstate 5. Most wineries can be navigated from the 126 and Territorial highway. If coming from out of state, you can fly into Eugene or Portland or take Amtrak.
Where to stay: There are many places to stay in Lane County wine country as well as in Eugene. There is a wide range of hotels, from budget to luxury. For a luxury hotel that won’t break the bank, I recommend the Inn at the 5th, which is currently the #1 hotel on Tripadvisor. For a mid-level hotel, I suggest the Hilton Eugene. Finally, for a budget hotel, try the Emperor Hotel. You can also check HotelsCombined for the best Eugene Hotel Rates.
What to pack: The temperatures vary by season, but you can’t rule out rain even in summer. You will want a waterproof outer layer, rain jacket, and travel umbrella. You’ll also want a good pair of walking shoes (I love Keen). If you are visiting in summer, you’ll want to pack layers including a light sweater or scarf for evenings. Don’t forget sunscreen!
Oregon Wine Trip Essentials
6 Indispensable Items to Pack for a Lane County /Eugene Vacation
- Get the Wines and Wineries of Oregon’s Willamette Valley: From Pinot Noir to Chardonnay Guide Book.
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful vineyard photos. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Summers can be hot in Oregon, so make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- A great cross body travel bag. Cross body bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful sunny days. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
- You’ll want Wine Bottle Protector Sleeve Travel Bag’s to bring some wine home.
Read More About Oregon
Oregon’s Dundee Hills: Wine Tasting at it’s Best
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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.