Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Zealand in Eugene

There is a movement afoot to FINALLY acknowledge the wine industry in Lane County! The Territorial Wine Trail, new tasting rooms, more coverage in the media, and now, 3 new wine bars in Eugene and one in Springfield!
Some people I talked to recently were worried that having tasting rooms in the city would discourage people from driving out to the wineries but I doubt that. I conversely think it will get people who would not have gone out to the wineries to taste and discover and perhaps venture out to sample other wines.
I wrote before about Route 5, the tasting room and wine shop at 5th Street Market, so today I will visit Capitello Wines at 540 Charnelton Street in Eugene (as apposed to 907 W 3rd Ave, where Eugene Magazine moved them to in the latest issue;) Great article by the way!
The face of Eugene is changing so rapidly that unless you drive around town and pay LOTS of attention you will miss what is happening. 
When I found that Ray and Jennifer had taken the leap and opened a BIG tasting room I got there as fast as I could.
I was greeted by Jennifer as she ran around getting things placed and putting out the Christmas decorations. She has such great energy paired with a deep knowledge of wines and it is such fun to see her eyes light up when she pours you a taste.
I am looking forward to relaxing and doing some real tasting next week but today I had one treat: The White Flight.  First came the Marlborough region Cab Sauvignon that spoke clearly of place. Bright, lime, crisp fruit, kiwi, and spice on the nose with a wonderful mouth-feel and finish. One of my favorites!
Next on the list was the Croft Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. I was blown away by the deep grapefruit, melon, lush white fruit of this wine. I could not stop tasting it! My freind Shannon Curren, who is opening the tasting room for Pyrenees Winery down town, described it as "rolling around on a fresh cut lawn with half a grapefruit"You simply MUST try this wine even if you are a Red Head! The last was the Walnut Ridge Sauv that is sourced near Junction City and has classical passion fruit and lemon zest with a smooth finish. Very good.
This weekend on Saturday from 4:00 there will be a ticketed event that will include the Urban Wine Circuit and visit all the wineries in town plus you will get to taste the guest wines from the region! 
You MUST taste the 2010 New Zealand Oinot Noir. I am not going to spoil the surprise, just stick your nose in and go for the ride!
Be sure to visit The Oregon Wine Lab on your visit.


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