Savor unexpected pleasures at southern Willamette Valley's King Estate
With a winery set high on a hill like a Tuscan castle surrounded by 1,033 acres of organic vegetable gardens, orchards, and vineyards, King Estate lives up to its name. Last fall's opening of a luxurious tasting room, a new menu of savory small plates, and an open-air market brimming with estate-grown produce makes this winery ― now one of the state's largest ― a destination in itself. But there's lots more to see and taste among the rolling hills in the southernmost corner of the Willamette Valley wine country.
Getting there: King Estate is about 20 miles south of Eugene on Territorial Rd., 1 mile north of the community of Lorane.
King Estate. Both wine tasting and dining in the tasting room, which serves light meals, are worthwhile, but the standout activity here is shopping at the MarketPlace just down the hill. Find gifts and picnic supplies, plus a selection of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables that peaks this month. $$$; 11-5 Fri-Sun; 80854 Territorial Rd.; www.kingestate.com or 800/884-4441.
Iris Hill Winery. Taste Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay at another new hilltop winery. Noon-5 Thu-Sun; 82110 Territorial Rd.; www.iris-hill.com or 541/345-1617.
Chateau Lorane. The tasting room at Lorane's first vineyard and winery, tucked in the woods, overlooks a lake where many a couple has exchanged vows. Noon-5 daily through Sep, noon-5 Sat-Sun Oct-May; 27415 Siuslaw River Rd.; www.chateaulorane.com or 541/942-8028.
Lorane General Store and Linda's Deli. A favorite stop among touring cyclists. Whether you arrive by bike or not, this is a good place to shake off autumn's chill by the woodstove and settle in for a patty melt or a piece of homemade pie. $; 80233 Territorial Rd.; 541/942-2074.
Le Roost Lorane Bed & Breakfast. Both the Coop de View and Coop de Grass have private baths in the new handcrafted home. From $95; www.leroostlorane.com or 541/767-1777.
Blue Rooster Inn. Large guest room with private bath is tucked into an 1853 farmhouse surrounded by gardens and pastures. $75; www.blueroosterbnb.com or 541/684-3923.