Mike chose a couple of wineries to visit on our Oregon trip. Last year we visited Valley View Winery near Jacksonville, this year we first stopped at King Estate. Leaving Cottage Grove, we circled west on Territorial Hwy. From our route around the valley, we could see King Estate on a distant hill. It was a bit like looking at Oz, as it appeared so big. Sorry, phone doesn’t do distant pictures well, so these pictures are from the winery looking back down the valley.
Apparently, they are prepared for bicycle traffic
and you could charge your electric car.
They have a beautiful dark wood tasting room and a busy restaurant with patio dining. We tasted a few and chatted with the knowledgeable server. I was distracted by the wonderful smells from the restaurant while Mike purchased several bottles. Okay, I rather like the NxNW varieties – but who wouldn’t want something called North by Northwest? They grow grapes here, but also buy them from the Columbia River Basin.
As did our next winery, with only 17 local acres. We stopped at Lavelle Vineyards on our way west to Florence. Rising from the Willamette Valley in the small town of Elmira, we felt we were entering the woods, when we turned onto a gravel drive. Then we arrived at the tasting room.
Lavelle is proud of their Oregon-style chardonnay made without oak. Okay, it’s different, but we’re enamored with Sonoma County oak barreled wine. Great setting though. We loved Catalpa, chardonnay from Argentina (Lavelle has an agreement with them).
Have to go again to walk the labyrinth (didn’t realize at the time of our visit, they had one.) They don’t have a restaurant, but you can bring a picnic or have your wedding here.
Back on Hwy 126, we stopped off for one more covered bridge about halfway between Eugene and Florence. Across Wildcat Creek, this bridge was built in 1925.
Wildcat Creek feeds into the Suislaw River. Our destination, Florence near the ocean is on the Suislaw. The old town part of Florence is charming with shops and restaurants pocket parks along the river
a wildlife park-lette.
This is one beautiful town. We were fortunate because coastal Oregon, like the Sonoma Coast is usually foggy in summer – but on our visit it was sunny and warm. We’ll try it again next year.
See you on the trail!
Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar