Willamette Valley wineries set to renew food drive

By on October 23, 2015
Brooks Winery in Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills is among the Willamette Valley wineries participating in the Willamette Cares Food Share food drive, which runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 19. (Photo by Andréa Johnson Photography/Courtesy of Brooks Winery)

Brooks Winery in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills is among the Willamette Valley wineries participating in the Willamette Cares Food Share campaign, which runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 19. (Photo by Andréa Johnson Photography/Courtesy of Brooks Winery)

PORTLAND — Wineries throughout Oregon’s Willamette Valley will be celebrating Thanksgiving with their traditional weekend open houses, and some members of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association again will be helping wine lovers give to those less fortunate.

For the second straight year, more than 60 WVWA wineries and partners from Portland to Eugene will be participating in the Willamette Cares Food Share, serving as collection points for donations of nonperishable food and money from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.

“This harvest is particularly special as it falls during the 50th anniversary year of the first planting of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley,” Sue Horstmann, executive director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, said in a news release. “It’s a triumphant time of year, as winemakers have just put their wines to barrel and much of the hard work of the vintage is behind them.”

60 wineries to offer incentives for donors

Argyle Winery in Dundee, Ore., will be among the members of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association to participate in the Willamette Cares Food Share campaign.

Argyle Winery in Dundee, Ore., will be among the members of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association to participate in the Willamette Cares Food Share campaign. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Wine Country Thanksgiving, which spans Nov. 27-29, serves as the focal point of the industry’s Willamette Cares Food Share campaign. Wine lovers who donate will receive raffle tickets, discounted tastings and other incentives.

According to the WVWA, donations of food go to Oregon pantries for distribution in the community, and monetary contributions help support food bank programs including nutrition and gardening education, mobile produce distribution and school-based food programs.

“Wine Country Thanksgiving is cause for collective celebration as well as a call to support those in need,” Horstmann noted. “Day after day, vintage after vintage, we’re reminded that people make this region so special. The Willamette Valley is a community of collaboration and generosity, and we’re proud to exist in such a bountiful region where we believe none of our neighbors should face hunger.”

The list of wineries participating in the Willamette Cares Food Share effort include:

Adelsheim, Airlie, Alexana Estate, Anam Cara, Anne Amie, Apolloni, ArborBrook, Archery Summit, Argyle, Belle Ponte, Bethel Heights, Brooks, Carlton Winemakers Studio, Chehalem Wines tasting room, Coelho, Cristom, Dion, Duck Pond, Elk Cove, Erath, The Eyrie, Fairsing, Honeywood, Hyland, Ilahe, Iota, Iris, J. Albin, J.K. Carriere, Keeler, Kramer, Left Coast, Longplay, MonksGate, Montinore, North Valley, Owen Roe, Patton Valley, Ponzi Historic Estate, Ponzi Vineyards, R. Stuart, ROCO, Seven of Hearts/Luminous Hills, Sokol Blosser, Solena Estate, Soter, Stag Hollow, Stoller, Torii Mor, Walnut City, Whistling Ridge, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Winderlea and Youngberg Hill.

3 decades of Wine Country Thanksgiving

willamette-valley-wineries-association-thanksgiving-weekend-poster-2015Willamette Valley wineries have opened their doors during Thanksgiving weekend for more 30 years. Many in the membership, which includes more than 200 wineries, produce 600 or fewer cases and limit their public tastings and events to two long holiday weekends: Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

This year, more than 150 wineries and tasting rooms will be open. Attractions range from seated wine tastings to tasting room grand openings. Barrel tastings, holiday specials, new releases, custom food pairings, live music and rare library wines also will available at some wineries. Details on individual winery events, the food share, hours of operation and tasting fees vary.

The WVWA is a nonprofit industry association with a stated purpose of “achieving recognition for Oregon’s acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premier Pinot noir-producing region.”

Horstmann’s organization also publishes an annual guide to wineries with a touring map. To request a touring map, go to www.willamettewines.com or call 503-646- 2985. Follow the WVWA on Twitter @wvwines and on Facebook.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

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