May to be a big party with Oregon Wine Month

By on April 11, 2015
Dundee Hills American Viticultural Area is in the northern Willamette Valley in Oregon.

The Dundee Hills is in the northern Willamette Valley, the heart of Oregon wine country. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Several hundred wineries are throwing a party in May, and they hope you’ll join them.

May is Oregon Wine Month, and dozens of events are planned.

“Oregon is a special place, and Oregon wines have a special reputation for excellence,” said Ellen Brittan, who is chairwoman of the Oregon Wine Board. “And while there’s a lot to love about Oregon wine at any time of the year, celebrating Oregon Wine Month is a great way to focus attention on the diverse and high-quality wines for which Oregon is now globally recognized.”

Many of the more than 500 Oregon wineries have special events planned throughout the month, and May will conclude with the annual Memorial Weekend in Wine Country, when most of the wineries fling their doors open during Memorial Day Weekend. This year, the big weekend is May 23-25.

This marks a special year for the Oregon wine industry, as it is the 50th anniversary of the first Pinot Noir planted in the Willamette Valley. David Lett, founder of The Eyrie Vineyards, planted those grapes in Dundee Hills in 1965. Lett died in 2008.

Not surprisingly, the region that will kick off Oregon Wine Month will be ground zero for Willamette Pinot Noir with the Taste Dundee Block Party, which takes place from noon to 3 p.m. May 2. The $20 event will take place in downtown Dundee as 14 wineries take part in this terrific tasting.

This will be the first of dozens of events through the month. Portland residents and visitors will want to consider the PDX Urban Wine Experience, which will take place May 3. This will involve a dozen wineries pouring two to three different wines each that afternoon.

But events are not limited to the Willamette Valley. On May 23, Roam the Rogue will focus on wineries of the upper Rogue Valley. That same day, Troon Vineyard will kick off its summer concert series with Val Blah. The next day, Weisinger’s Family Winery in Ashland will hold its grand release weekend.

To keep up on upcoming events and special throughout Oregon Wine Month, the Oregon Wine Board is maintaining a special section on its website that can easily be accessed via www.oregonwinemonth.org.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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