Oregon Wine Country Celebrates with Tour of 163 Wineries
(Portland, Oregon) – For 27 years, the Wine Country Thanksgiving event has been the toast of Oregon, allowing residents and tourists to taste-test the state’s finest with a massive tour of 163 wineries. Put on by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, this year’s festival is posed to break many of its previously set records this holiday season – up 44 wineries from five years ago.
This annual event is held the weekend after Thanksgiving, November 27-29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for most wineries. It will bring the community and its surrounding neighbors together to experience Oregon's esteemed wine country and to taste the Willamette Valley’s celebrated bounty; from Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris to its lesser known varietals like Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer.
The Willamette Valley Wineries Association is reminding visitors there are many entry points to wine country.
“Because the Willamette Valley is so large and diverse, there are many interesting wine tasting routes for visitors to consider,” said Sue Horstmann, Executive Director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. “From the north, it’s a short drive down I-5 to Salem and west to 99W where you can get off the beaten path and visit many southern Willamette Valley wineries. Alternately, visitors can enjoy the northern Willamette Valley wineries by traveling on 99W into Newberg and then onto Hwy 240. From there, visitors can experience many of the back roads leading to the charming towns of Yamhill, Carlton and McMinnville.”
Diversity is also a hallmark of this year’s event, transforming itself into a celebration of wine and culture.
“This year more than other years, wineries are reconnecting with their roots, their individuality,” Horstmann said. “A visitor can spend the day dancing to Cuban music at one winery, pairing wine with a winemaker’s special home-made cassoulet at another, while enjoying a quiet horse and buggy ride at the next. Also, as always, visitors to this event will be able to see first-hand many of the Willamette Valley’s small, family-owned wineries only open at these select times of year.”
To top things off, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, many of the participating wineries in Yamhill County will be supporting the Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) in effort to build the region a new community food bank. For thirty years, YCAP has been advocating for seniors, the disabled and low-income people in Yamhill County, providing food, housing assistance and other requisite services. Participating wineries will be offering donation boxes during the event. For more information and to learn how you can help YCAP build a new Food Bank, visit www.yamhillcap.org.
For more information or to request a wine touring map, please visit www.willamettewines.com, call 503-646-2985, or follow on Twitter: @wvwines and on Facebook.