In a proper tasting, wine must be held up to the light to gauge its color, tossed on a cat's back to judge its acidity, and sipped through a crazy straw to annoy the host. Become the toast of any tasting with today's Groupon to LaVelle Vineyards. Today's deal is valid at LaVelle's winery in Elmira or its Tasting Room in downtown Eugene. Each option also receives an additional 20% off gift shop discount. Choose between the following options:
For $20, you get an executive tasting for two (a $50 value), which includes the following:
- Wine tasting for two
- Cheese, fruit, and chocolate pairing plate
- Two glasses of wine
- Two logo-emblazoned glasses
For $30, you get a private group tasting for up to 10 people with the winemaker, including a barrel tasting and winery tour (if used at the Elmira winery location) (a $75 value).
The grape gurus at LaVelle Vineyards share sippings of their award-winning wines during tastings and tours. Within the winery's Old World–style tasting room or at the downtown Tasting Room, patrons partake of samples from a lineup of eight or more different wines from the Willamette and Columbia Valleys, discussing their aromas, palate-piquing flavors, and carpet redecorating potential. Drinking duos couple their potations with mouth-moistening morsels from a cheese, fruit, and chocolate pairing plate, and after the tasting they can relish in a full glass of wine and a pair of logo-emblazoned glasses to take home.
Teams of tasters can opt for the private group tasting to scrutinize the character, body, and career ambitions of wizened grape juice alongside friends or family. Afterward, for those who choose to redeem their Groupon at the Elmira location, a resident winemaker shepherds guests on a tour of the winery—whose finished barrel tables, stained-cedar, and Pacific stonework evoke the feeling of a northwest lodge. Weather permitting, visitors can venture outdoors to meander through the tranquility-infused labyrinth or step onto the outdoor deck to catch views of the 16-acre vineyard, Fern Ridge Lake, and grape-hungry flying squirrels masquerading as clouds.
The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serves as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery—then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley—in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently started building a new wine bar in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room, which is scheduled to open in late October of 2013.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. The LaVelle Tap Room will have 30 wines from around the world, as well as several local beers on tap. And at the rustic Elmira winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.