24th Anniversary of Wine Touring in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Three-day weekend features tastings at more than 100 wineries, artisan foods, live music, local artists and the pastoral beauty of the Willamette Valley’s wine region located an hour from downtown Portland.

(PRWEB) October 24, 2006 — Winter wine tasting season in Oregon’s Willamette Valley kicks off with the 24th annual Wine Country Thanksgiving from November 24-26, 2006 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This annual event held the weekend after Thanksgiving brings families together to explore the pastoral beauty of the Willamette Valley and taste a wide range of Oregon wine — from Pinot Noir to Riesling, Syrah and Pinot Gris. Many small, family-owned wineries only open to the public during Thanksgiving and Memorial Day weekends allowing for opportunities to meet the winemaker and sample new releases. Each winery organizes their own events ranging from artisan food tastes of local cheeses and hand-dipped truffles to art displays and live music. For a complete listing of wineries open during Thanksgiving weekend, along with details about special events and individual tasting fees, visit www.willamettewines.com to request a touring map and guide.

Wine Country Thanksgiving Grows from Nine Wineries to 130
The Willamette Valley recently celebrated 40 years as a wine producing region, dating back to 1965 when David Lett, and his wife, Diana, planted 3,000 pinot noir vines in the Dundee Hills. But it wasn’t until the early 1980s when a small group of vintners banded together to hold open houses at all the wineries in the Yamhill Valley. The original nine wineries were Adelsheim, Amity, Arterberry, Chateau Benoit, Elk Cove, Erath, Eyrie, Hidden Springs, and Sokol Blosser. “Wine Country Thanksgiving became our biggest retail weekend of the year,” said Susan Sokol-Blosser in her new book, At Home in the Vineyard. “As the number of participating wineries grew, so did the number of visitors and the popularity of wine touring.” Wine Country Thanksgiving is now celebrating 24 years of annual open houses with more than 130 member wineries welcoming visitors to the Willamette Valley.

About Willamette Valley Wineries Association
The WVWA is a non-profit industry association dedicated to achieving recognition for the Willamette Valley as a premier Pinot Noir producing region. Currently, the WVWA has 138 members representing wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Willamette Valley region – from Portland to Eugene. Memorial Weekend in Wine Country (May 26-28, 2007) and Wine Country Thanksgiving (November 24-26, 2006) are the two oldest wine touring events in Oregon. The Board of Directors includes: Paul Hart, president and owner of Rex Hill Vineyards; Josh Bergstrom, Bergstrom Winery; Bill Hatcher, Hatcher Wineworks; Harry Peterson-Nedry, Chehalem; Steve Vuylsteke, Erath Vineyards; Pat Dudley, Bethel Heights; and Annie Shull, Raptor Ridge. For more information or to request a wine touring map, please visit www.willamettewines.com or call 503-646-2985.

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