Starting May 1, Oregon wine lovers are set to celebrate Oregon Wine Month – a month long celebration of the best in Oregon’s rapidly growing wine industry. The event is occurring, even as winery tasting rooms in 15 Oregon wine producing counties are slated to temporarily close, because of the extreme risk of COVID transmission, starting the first week of May.
This is the 9th year of Oregon Wine Month, and it gives wine lovers many different ways to celebrate the event with four collaborative ideas winemakers and wine lovers can engage in, both virtually and in-person.
The first is a social media campaign hosted on Instagram and Facebook called Pour It Forward (#pouritfORward), which serves as a chain of appreciation between Oregon winemakers across the state.
Thirty-one Oregon winemakers are featured in the campaign, which debuts on May 1. In videos posted every day of Oregon Wine Month, winemakers will talk about their favorite among their peer made wines in engaging videos lasting 60 seconds or less. To see the campaign, go to the Wine Board’s Instagram and Facebook channels during the month of May. Videos will also be housed on the Oregon Wine Month site.
The first video on May 1, features winemaker John Grochau of Grochau Cellars in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA tasting and sharing his thoughts on a Vermentino from winemaker Nate Wall of Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley AVA. The following day, Wall discussed a Mencia from Analemma Wines in the Columbia Gorge AVA.
The month-long campaign will feature wineries from all corners of Oregon’s rich and varied winemaking landscape – from The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater to the Chehalem Mountains in the Willamette Valley.
The short videos provide a window into the collaborative Oregon wine industry and gives a platform for winemakers to praise wines made by their talented peers. As well as on social media platforms, the videos will also be housed on the Oregon Wine Month site.
Other episodes in the Pour It Forward series feature winemakers like Master of Wine Billo Naravane from Rasa in The Rocks District and Walla Walla Valley, fellow Willamette Valley alums Doug Tunnell of Brick House, Grant Coulter and Renée St. Amour from Hundred Sons Wine. They are just of few of the 31 winemakers who will be showcased.
Second, the Oregon Wine Month sweepstakes returns this year with even bigger prize package for those eager to visit Oregon wine country. This year the stakes feature two spectacular prizes with two grand prizes – one trip to the Rogue Valley in partnership with Rogue Valley Vintners and one trip to the Willamette Valley in partnership with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.
The third Oregon Wine Month enhancement is a series of free educational seminars led by Master of Wine Bree Stock. Stock is a leading authority on the Oregon wine industry.
In her first seminar, 370 people from all over the globe registered to hear Stock explain the virtues and true character of Oregon wine. The four webinars are open to anyone who wants to learn more about Oregon wine and the state’s iconic wine appellations. The webinars on May 10, May 17 and May 24 will explore the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon and the Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Gorge.
Finally, there are a broad array of other Oregon Wine Month events and stories on the OWB’s calendar and in the new story library. These events range from outdoor tastings, virtual cooking classes, trivia contests and innovative wine and food pairings, which feature delicious combinations of wine and chocolate or wine matched to Oregon’s abundant seafood.
If you are thinking of making a trip to visit the Oregon wine country, either this month or at a later date, there is a detailed trip planning guide and a listing of many more ways to engage with Oregon’s winemakers on the Oregon Wine Month 2021 website.