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 opened a brand new wine bar and tap room off of International Way in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room. The tap room serves as an in-town location for wine club members, but also to provide a new wine-bar-meets-tap-room experience with more than 30 wines to choose from and several local beers on tap.
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. 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.
Through exhibits that explore everything from astronomy and physics to biology and paleontology, the Science Factory inspires a lifelong love of science in children as well as adults. Above all else, the nonprofit embraces a motto of "please touch," creating safe, engaging opportunities for children to act on their curiosity and gain insight into the principles underlying scientific and technological theories.
The Exploration Dome exemplifies the immersive nature of the Museum, surrounding audiences with a full-dome screen that displays digital and live-action films. These educational features can take guests to virtually any location in the world and beyond, including the heart of the Borneo rainforest, the depths of prehistoric oceans, the edge of our galaxy's super-massive black hole, and a universe where popcorn kernels never get stuck in your teeth. Permanent exhibits—including a feature on responsible recycling as well as a terrarium of lizards, frogs, and plants, complete with Renegade, the Museum's resident iguana—explore topics in more depth, complementing both the Exploration Dome’s videos and an ever-changing roster of special attractions.
Chef Bupar acquired her culinary prowess alongside her mother, who operated a street-side café in Bangkok for more than 20 years. Today, she draws on recipes she learned from her mother to conjure up the bustling, spice-tinged air of the city of her youth. The traditional Thai flavors of ginger, lemongrass, and garlic flood dishes and thick coconut milk helps lower the potency of red chilies in a range of curries to a pleasant warmth. Beneath the eatery’s saffron-hued walls and decorative greenery, bouquets of basil, cilantro, and fresh sprouts bestow portions of noodles and rice with textural variety.
Diners can sit outdoors if the weather and 80-foot sentient dragon statue permits, or enjoy after-dinner entertainment at the nearby Matthew Knight Arena. Downstairs in The Underground Lounge, diners can feast on the main restaurant’s full menu in a more casual atmosphere adorned with pool tables, HDTVs, and dartboards.
David Minor Theater?s two large projection screens broadcast new releases, classics, and cult films, but there's just as much appeal happening off-screen. One example: the front row of Theater One, where a long spread of plush couches stands in for typical movie seats. Then, of course, there?s The Livingroom Theater, an aptly named 16-person screening room outfitted with recliners, couches, and state-of-the-art sound.
Other creature comforts abound. The theater serves apps and entrees from local restaurants such as Caf? Lucky Noodle, The Jackalope Lounge, and Granary Pizza, not to mention local and seasonal beers from Ninkasi and Hop Valley, all of which guests can enjoy inside the theater during the show. Moveable tables at the end of the aisles also make eating or folding laundry during films a breeze. Moviegoers can even text their food or drink order to a special number and have it brought to them so they don't miss any of the film.
Ever since taking childhood piano lessons, Susane Reis has tickled the ivories in college, graduate school, and while touring with bands throughout the US. It wasn't until moving to Eugene, however, that she encountered the perfect tool for teaching the instrument to future generations of pianists: the Harmony Road music method. Rooted in group classes, the comprehensive program helps children aged 18 months to 12 years train their ears, refine their keyboard skills, and even write their own compositions.
Once they have three to four years of piano experience under their belt, pupils can enroll in The Eugene Piano Academy, LLC's private lessons. In these sessions, Susane and her fellow teachers further hone students' skills by focusing on everything from jazz improvisation to playing entire Bach concertos with just your nose.
Steve Daniels has been crafting beautiful pottery in his cozy home studio for more than 18 years. A master of the irregular, smoky hues of shino glaze, Daniels' cups were most recently featured in a juried exhibition at the University of Missouri's Bingham Gallery. During wheel throwing classes and intensive workshops, he imparts that mastery to aspiring potters, helping with technique and glazing finished pieces in his studio. His signature glazes can come out a variety of colors, from a smoky purple to a rusty orange. Daniels' wife, Leonie, also nurtures artistry with handbuilding classes and parties, exposing students to innovative sculpting ideas such as textured tiles, chess pieces, and beautiful but impractical bowling pins.