Spring Events in Oregon Wine Country: 2016 Willamette Valley Spring Events
Just in time for budding vines and blooming hillsides, Oregon wine country raises a glass.
Willamette Valley producers of all shapes and sizes host a wide variety of events this spring, from cellar crawls to vineyard tours to celebrating local chefs. It marks the start to another growing season in one of the world’s most lauded winemaking regions.
“In the Willamette Valley, we look forward to this season every year as it marks the beginning of another vintage,” said Sue Horstmann, Executive Director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA). “The mood is optimistic and celebratory, and wineries are eager to show off their newest wines and demonstrate the tremendous state of the Oregon wine industry.”
On top of gorgeous views of growing vineyards, visitors are treated to educational tastings, limited release offerings, live music and inventive food pairings. In many cases, the winemaking staff is on hand to provide context for what’s being poured. Area hotel and restaurants participate as well, hosting winemaker dinners, AVA (American Viticulture Area) tastings and offering seasonal specials.
The Willamette Valley is the epicenter of Oregon wine, made famous by Pinot noir but stretching into many other varieties. Producers take advantage of the longer, warmer days of spring to invite visitors into their cellars, tasting rooms and vineyards to better understand and enjoy their craft.
Below is a listing of group and AVA events in the Willamette Valley. Many wineries host individual events. Visit www.willamettewines.com and winery websites for additional event details.
[box]North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend[/box]
The eighth annual event showcases over twenty wineries via a self-guided tour just outside of Portland. Guests are treated to complimentary tastings, reserve pourings, food parings and hands-on activities throughout the weekend. April 9-10, 2016 (11-4 PM) nwvintners.org
[box]Dundee Hills Vintage Tour[/box]
Participating wineries from one of Oregon’s most celebrated AVAs pour their specially selected Pinot noir that’s part of the 2013 Vintage Collection. Organized by the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association, this collection of wine features an exclusive bottle from 24 lauded labels and is sold online. April 23rd, 2016 (hours vary) dundeehills.org
[box]Cascade Foothills Winegrowers Launch Party[/box]
The region’s newest winegrowing association introduces itself in style at the Mt. Angel Festhalle. Wineries like AlexEli and King’s Raven join their fellow area producers for an afternoon of tasting and an introduction to some of the newest names in the industry. April 30th, 2016 (1-5 PM) cascadefoothillswine.com
[box]Yamhill Carlton AVA Spring Tasting[/box]
Annie Amie Vineyards hosts an open house that spotlights wineries and chefs from one of the Valley’s foremost growing regions. Experience terroir via world-class wines and inventive small plate creations. April 30th, 2016 (11-4 PM) yamhillcarlton.org
[box]Oregon Wine Month[/box]
The state has surpassed the 600 mark for active wineries, and the Oregon Wine Board believes that’s cause for celebration. Bask in an entire month devoted to the industry, with special tastings and promotions at scores of wineries, restaurants and shops. All May, 2016 oregonwine.org
PDX Urban Wine Experience: Portland’s inner-city producers toast to Oregon Wine Month with newly released and limited production wines alongside bites and special discounts on bulk purchases. Some of the Valley’s most creative, up-and-coming wine minds are hard at work in cellars set within city limits. May 1st, 2016 pdxurbanwineries.com
[box]Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country[/box]
Brought to you by the WVWA, this holiday weekend has become Oregon wine country’s official introduction to summer. Over 150 producers welcome tasters with vineyard tours, barrel samples, new wines and live entertainment. This is one of two weekends each year some of the smallest, most exclusive vineyards open their doors to the public. May 28-30, 2016 (hours vary) willamettewines.com