Oregon Wine Day Trips Part 1: South Willamette Valley

This is the first part of a five part series featuring day trip itineraries in Oregon’s wine country. Each itinerary features 4-5 wineries within driving distance of each other near a city or accommodations hub.

From Oregon’s largest to delicious whole-in-the-wall wineries, the South Willamette Valley knows how to mix it up and keep your taste buds guessing.  Hub: Eugene

Day Trip 1:

Start the day at Noble Estate Vineyard, one of the region’s smallest boutique producers and the closest winery to Eugene. From Estate Pinot Noir to their signature Cabernet Sauvignon, sip your way through their red flight or go for a delicate and sweeter start to the day with Noble’s white wines. Can’t decide, build your own flight with 6 tastes for $5. Open noon – 5 p.m., daily.

Saver WineryAfter, swing on over to Sarver Winery just a few miles west of Noble Estate. With some of the oldest vines in the region, sample this winery’s unique selection of Pinot gris, rose and red varieties. Either grab a glass or walk through their line-up for $5. Open noon – 6 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Fridays.

Next, pop on down to Sweet Cheeks Winery to savor their sprawling wine country views from their large patio and sip some equally as picturesque wines. The tasting here is complimentary and no visit is complete without a taste of their Pinot Fusion and Rosy Cheeks.

Finish the day at King Estate Winery, where you can enjoy not only their variety of award-winning wines but also a delicious farm to table, perfectly paired meal prepared by their onsite chefs. Make sure to try the crab cakes and take the winery tour if you have time. Reservations recommended. Open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., daily.

Day Trip 2:

Kick start the day with a complimentary sampling of bubbly at Domaine Meriwether, just 20 minutes west of Eugene. After their sparkling wines tickle your lips move onto their surprising and delicious signature Heritage wines. Open daily, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

From there slowly move north to the next winery, LaVelle Vineyards. Relax here while walking their garden labyrinth, taking a guided tour of the grounds and sipping both Willamette Valley and Columbia Valley wines. For $5 sample three wines or try one of their tasting packages. Open Monday – Thursday noon – 5 p.m., Friday, noon – 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon – 6 p.m.

Just a few more miles to the north, get your palate ready for some exceptional pinots. Enter Pfeiffer Winery and be enveloped in the tasting room’s candle lit, cave atmosphere as you savor their world-class Pinot Noirs or you bounce down their white wine flight. For an extra pour of education, join the owner Robin for their unique Pinot clinic. Open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily.

Finally, round out this day with a stop at Benton-Lane Winery. Spend the afternoon with a glass of their crisp Pinot Gris, luscious Chardonnay or keep the Pinot Noir trend going with their ruby bottled packed with rich spice and cherries.

Places to Stay in Eugene:

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