After seven years in operation, Oregon's King Estate is opening its first tasting room over the July 4 weekend. In the past, the winery encouraged guests to make appointments if they wanted tours or tastings. About 45 minutes from Eugene, King Estate is not close to other significant wineries or attractions that would make it a stop on the average tourist itinerary, but the winery's highly rated Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay have attracted a growing number of visitors every year.
King Estate's tasting room, located at 80854 Territorial Road in Eugene, will be open from noon to 5:00 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and from noon to 5:00 p.m. on weekends, or by appointment, during the rest of the year. For more information, call (800) 884-4441.
Later this month, Ponzi Vineyards, famed for its Pinot Noir, will open a restaurant in an area of the Willamette Valley about 30 minutes south of its winery. The Dundee Bistro, debuting on July 13, is right on the well-traveled wine tourism route of Highway 99, in Dundee, about 45 minutes from Portland.
"The vision for the Dundee project is to create a culinary center for Oregon visitors," said winery cofounder Nancy Ponzi. The restaurant joins both the Ponzi Wine Bar & Tasting Room, where visitors can sample wines from Ponzi and other producers throughout the state, and a retail market of food products and gifts made in the Pacific Northwest.
The 80-seat bistro is headed by executive chef Michael Schreck, formerly sous chef at Wildwood Restaurant in Portland. He will focus on Willamette Valley cuisine, using products available from nearby gardens and farms. Lunch entrees will range from $7 to $12, while dinner entrees will cost $8 to $20. In addition, a special tasting menu will feature wines paired with dishes that can be ordered in small or family-size portions.
Dundee Bistro's wine list will emphasize Oregon wines, but also includes French, Italian and other U.S. producers. Bottle prices will be less than the usual double markup.
100-A SW Seventh St.
Dundee, Ore. 97115
Tel: (503) 554-1650
For ratings of King Estate and Ponzi wines, check the Wine Search.
For more on Oregon wines, read Harvey Steiman's most recent reports:
To learn more about King Estate:
For more on Ponzi Vineyards: