Oregon Wine Month
Oregon’s wine roots run deep. When you stroll through a vineyard in the Willamette Valley, step into a tasting room in Southern Oregon or take in a grape-covered vineyard in the Columbia River Gorge, you have Oregon’s wine pioneers to thank. For Oregon Wine Month, we celebrate industry founders like Frank Wisnovsky of Valley View Vineyard, a civil engineer turned winemaker who planted the vines on the 19th century Britt homestead near Jacksonville in 1972. Not long after, in 1984, it was John Paul of Cameron Winery, whose Dundee vineyard was the first certified Salmon-Safe in Oregon. And in 1998, after a decade in the Oregon wine world, Lynn Penner-Ash launched Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in Newberg.
For this year’s Oregon Wine Month, chefs from Oregon Wine A-List Award restaurants are sharing their favorite recipes and pairings. Cook St. Jack Chef Aaron Barnett’s chicken forestiere with a glass of Pinot noir, Marché Chef Stephanie Pearl Kimmel’s grilled skirt steak recipe with Syrah, or Larks Chef Damon Jones’ pan-seared Petrale sole with Pinot gris.
The pioneer spirit is alive and well in Oregon. Get out and experience it for yourself during Oregon Wine Month.
The festivities start early at Pour Oregon in Portland. Beloved wine club Cellar 503 will host a special festival on the eve of Oregon Wine Month. The event will showcase the state’s small artisanal winemakers. Sip from more than 40 boutique wineries at the Castaway Portland on April 30, 2017 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. Best of all, 100% of proceeds from tasting tickets will go to Make-A-Wish Oregon.
Revel in the Rogue
See (and taste) the scenic Upper Rogue Valley at Roam the Rogue. Take a self-guided tour of six wineries on May 6, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located in and around Ashland, the event includes tastings and special paired menus at Agate Ridge Vineyard, Cliff Creek Cellars, Del Rio Vineyard, Folin Cellars, Kriselle Cellars and Labrasseur Winery. Join a shuttle or bring a designated driver at a reduced ticket price.
The Hills Are Alive
Top Willamette Valley wineries, chefs and restaurants will showcase their skills at the Taste Dundee Block Party. Enjoy live entertainment, local eats and special wine pricings from 22 participating wineries. The fun happens at the Dobbes Family Estate Winery on May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate spring with a wine tour of “the land of 100 valleys.” During the Umpqua Valley Barrel Tour on May 6, 2017, guests are escorted to six different wineries, where they can sample Southern Oregon varietals paired with local foods while enjoying the budding vines and rolling green hills of Umpqua Valley.
Portland winemakers will be in the spotlight for the annual PDX Urban Wine Experience tasting on May 7, 2017 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Seven Bridges Winery. All 14 PDX Urban Winery Association members will be on hand to pour their wine and talk about the world of winemaking: Angel Vine, Boedecker Cellars, Clay Pigeon Winery, Division Winemaking Company, ENSO Winery, Fausse Piste, Hip Chicks do Wine, Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, Japser Sisco, Seven Bridges Winery, Teutonic Wine Company, Viola Wine Cellars, Welsh Family Wines and Willful Wines.
Memorial Day Weekend
The last weekend of Oregon Wine Month might be the biggest. On Memorial Day Weekend, more than a dozen events will be held at wineries across Oregon. Enjoy rare open houses and sneak-peek releases at Urban Crush Winery in Portland, Winter’s Hill Estate in Dayton, Erath Winery in Dundee, Calamity Hill Vineyard in Amity, Styring Ribbon Ridge Estate in Newberg, Raptor Ridge Winery in Newberg, Redhawk Winery in Salem, Remy Wines in McMinnville, A Blooming Hill Vineyard in Cornelius, R. Stuart & Co. Winery in McMinnville, and Valley View Winery in Jacksonville. Some wineries will only be open by appointment so call ahead to reserve your spot. Memorial Day Weekend is known for being a popular weekend at wineries — for good reason.
Find out more about Oregon Wine Month, including special tastings, events and specials around the state at OregonWineMonth.org. You can even enter to win a 4-day, 3-night immersive wine and food experience in Southern Oregon wine country.
about author Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.
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