Wine Country is gearing up for the new growing season!

The New Vintage Blooms

As you venture out into wine country around the months of April & May, you will see the newest vintage “breaking” through. The vines are waking up, leaves begin to open and reach for the sunshine. You are getting the first visible glimpse of the upcoming harvest. This is arguably the most nerve-racking time for a winery! Any hail storm or late frost could cause serious damage to the vines.

Book Reservations in Advance

The new “norm” for visiting wineries is to make reservations prior to visiting. Making a reservation allows the winery to be ready for you and it gives you a good idea on the experience you can expect.

Many wineries begin offering outdoor seating this time of year, but you may want to consider indoor seating as your first choice until May. The weather in Oregon can be a little finicky this time of year! You could be sitting outside enjoying sunshine, and ten minutes later have some sprinkles.

What if I’m a wine club member? Wineries want to give you the best experience possible, so I still recommend booking a reservation in advance or calling and asking if a reservation is necessary.

Oregon Wine Month

May is Oregon Wine Month : if you are loving the wines at a particular winery, this is a great time to either join their wine club or make sure to sign up for emails. More than likely, there will be some great specials on wine and/or shipping!

Stock up on your favorite spring wines this season!

Map Out Your Visit

While booking your reservations, or mapping out your visits, keep distance in mind. Map out the time it will take between each winery because you want to make sure you don’t feel rushed.

Some wineries may let you know in advance how long the experience can last, and if they don’t – expect to spend around 2 hours maximum.

Pack Provisions

Before you depart on your wine country adventure, it’s best to eat a meal and hydrate. Many wineries do offer a small cheese plate or snacks for purchase during your experience. If you are looking to pack some food, make sure the wineries you are visiting allow off-site food. The Lane County Farmers Market is an excellent place to stock up on some local snacks to have on hand or have at the table, if allowed! I don’t recommend packing a large cooler of food because it can be distracting from the main component of your day – the wine! If you are looking for lunch to enjoy during your day, look at local restaurant stops or wineries that have a restaurant on-site.

Additional Tips

Spring can mean allergy season! Eugene is notorious for higher pollen counts. If you are particularly sensitive to tree, grass or flower pollen – be sure to pack some allergy relief items!

Think about the type of experiences you are looking to enjoy and plan ahead.

Consider booking a night at a beautiful wine country hotel or b&b.

If you have the budget, think about hiring transportation. Keep in mind that most of the time Lyft or Uber won’t pick you up from winery locations.