NEWS / FEATURES

News Briefs for December 2009

Salem Fest Gets Makeover

The Oregon Wine & Food Festival in Salem, recently purchased by Scott and Jill Ingalls of Ingalls & Associates, has been set for Jan. 8–9, 2010.

Ingalls & Associates is an advertising and promotions firm and has been in Oregon for 20 years. The Ingalls duo has management and production experience in over 200 festivals, events and trade expositions. Scott has provided advertising and marketing services to dozens of Oregon events, while Jill was the marketing and events director for the Linn County Fair and Expo Center for 10 years.

“We want this festival to become Salem’s signature event again,” Scott said. “This used to be the premier event in Salem and should be again.”

Entering its 28th year, the Festival will have many of its past components: Oregon wine, food, art, entertainment. Its location, the Jackman-Long Building at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, will stay the same, too. But there are some changes attendees will notice and appreciate, starting with the name. It is now the “Oregon Wine, Food & Brew Festival.”

Scott and Jill also have added Oregon microbrews and spirits, upgraded the food vendors and organized a wine competition prior to the Festival, with winners announced in the first hour of Friday’s activities.

Another new addition is complimentary concierge service for those buying wine or artwork—purchases may be placed at will call and held until attendees are ready to leave.

“We are doing this to make it easier for people to enjoy the wines and music, and so forth,” Scott said. “We don’t want anyone worrying about buying something and having to carry it around all evening.

“We also won’t have any home show-type vendors in the Festival this year. We want to feature more upscale area restaurants, chocolatiers, bakeries and focus on Oregon-specific foods and products.”

Also new to the 2010 event is the offer of a travel package with Amtrak and Shilo Inns & Suites of Salem. The package includes two-for-one Amtrak tickets from Portland to Salem and a room at the hotel, which will offer complimentary shuttle services from the Amtrak Station to the hotel and from the hotel to the event. Shilo Inns will be offering a VIP package, which includes a suite, two commemorative wine glasses, tastings and admission to the VIP hospitality area at the Festival.

“We are looking forward to bringing this event and the fun back to Salem,” Scott said. “New sponsorships with Comcast and KINK FM will help with promotion from Eugene to Tacoma.”

Advance tickets will be available through www.absolutelytix.com, at selected retail locations, including the Elsinore Gallery in downtown Salem, and through the Exchange Club of Salem, which will be the benefiting charity for the 2010 event.

EVENT INFO

Oregon Wine, Food & Brew Fest
Location: State Fairgrounds (Jackman-Long Building)
Date/Time: Jan. 8 (2–10 p.m.); Jan. 9 (noon–10 p.m.)
Tickets: $10 (includes parking); VIP Package: $25 (includes admission, VIP lounge, wine glass, complimentary tastings)
Information: 866-904-6165; www.ingallsagency.com/orwinefest


For Quality Radio’s Sake

Over 29 years, Jefferson Public Radio’s Wine Tasting event has grown so popular that at this year’s soirée on Dec. 3, tables will be set up in the Ashland Springs Hotel’s Grand Ballroom and Crystal Room, but also spill into the conservatory, mezzanine, lobby, garden and even some of the hallways.

Abby Kraft, a JPR staffer and the coordinator of the winter fundraiser, said she’s “a sucker” for letting in new wineries. Many of them use the occasion to debut new releases.

“At 31 wineries, this will be the largest group ever pouring,” said Kraft, admitting that space gets crowded when 500 people are jostling for tastings of wine and hors d’oeuvres.

“It’s tight, but the hotel is festive, the staff handles everything so only one paid JPR person has to manage the event, and it’s downtown, where visitors want to stay.”

Robert Trottmann of Weisinger’s of Ashland, which has participated since 1988, says, “We all listen to JPR around here and it’s a kick-in-the-pants event.”

Tickets have sold out in the past, but not last year when the economy tanked. As for this year, “Your guess is as good as mine,” said Kraft, who explained that proceeds from tickets, sponsorships and the silent auction fund JPR’s operational cost, including programming.  —Janet Eastman.

Janet Eastman has posted details about what the wineries will be pouring in her column on www.examiner.com

EVENT INFO

Jefferson Public Radio Wine Tasting
Location: Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main St., Ashland
Date/Time: Dec. 3, 6–9 p.m.
Tickets: $45 for NPR members; $50 for non-members
Information: 541-552-6301; www.ijpr.org


OWB Announces New Board Directors

On Nov. 11, the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) and Oregon Winegrowers Association (OWA) announced the appointment of three new directors to the nine-member board of directors by Governor Ted Kulongoski.

The new Directors include: Leigh Bartholomew, Dominio IV Winery (Columbia Gorge); David Beck, Crawford Beck Vineyard (Willamette Valley); and Michael Donovan, RoxyAnn Winery (Rogue Valley).

Bartholomew, Beck and Donovan join six directors who are continuing their terms: David Adelsheim, Adelsheim Vineyard; Terry Brandborg, Brandborg Vineyard; Tim Kennedy, Don Carlo Vineyards; Kara Olmo, Wooldridge Creek Winery; Harry Peterson-Nedry, Chehalem; and Sam Tannahill, A to Z Wineworks.

“We’re proud to welcome Leigh, David and Michael as directors,” said Ted Farthing, executive director of the OWB and OWA. “The breadth of experience and diversity of knowledge these candidates bring to the table is immense and invaluable. We look forward to their fresh perspectives.

The OWB is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and winegrape industry. The board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions.

Those appointed to the OWB also volunteer to serve on the board of the OWA, which is a voluntary membership-based organization that provides legislative and regulatory advocacy and lobbying for the Oregon wine and winegrape industry. The OWA provides a unified voice on key industry issues before state and federal government agencies, legislative bodies and related associations. And it works to develop a positive and favorable environment for Oregon’s wineries and winegrape growers.

The Oregon winegrape and wine industry contributes over $1.4 billion of economic activity to the state economy each year, including over 8,500 wine-related jobs and $200 million in wages.


Frohe Weihnachten

The Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce is hosting the fourth annual Kristkindlmarkt, a German Christmas celebration, on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The downtown event will offer food, drink, music, entertainment and shopping. Vendors will be on hand to sell holiday wares and other crafts, while local restaurants will offer traditional food and drink, including Oregon wine, as well as “glühwein,” a hot, spiced wine—an authentic German tradition.

Along with live music and entertainment, there will be a special visit from Kris Kringle—transportation provided by the Mount Angel Fire District. He will hear wishes from the youngsters and light the tree to mark the end of the festivities. All children will receive a gift from Kris Kringle and his helpers.

Mount Angel will be decorated for the occasion with stars and trees dressed in holiday lights. As a centerpiece, a spectacular fire pit—designed and constructed by The Grant Company—will be ablaze to keep visitors cozy and warm.

For additional information, visit www.mtangelchamber.org or call 503-845-9440.


Cozy Alpine Cuisine

The vision of Grüner, Portland’s newest restaurant, belongs to award-winning restaurateur/chef Christopher Israel.

Inspired by a lifetime of wanderlust and epicurean curiosity, Israel’s new venture draws on the affinity between the geographies of the Pacific Northwest and the alpine regions of Northern Europe.

Israel explores the rugged flavors and seasonal cooking of Northern Italy, France and Middle Europe. Specialties from regions such as Bavaria, Bohemia and Alto Adige inspire dishes like roast duck breast with quince and spiced red cabbage; frisée salad with speck, gruyère and walnuts; and buckwheat späetzle with rabbit, wild mushrooms and crème fraîche.

“Grüner is an adventure through the Alps and along the Danube River, which begins in the Black Forest and ends at the Black Sea,” Israel said. “As it passes through Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania, an alternate Europe emerges, with a hearty, earthier culinary tradition favoring savory, dill, caraway seeds, crème fraîche, horseradish and paprika as opposed to the more familiar southern flavors of garlic, basil, olive oil, fennel seeds and tomato. Much like the Pacific Northwest, this rich variety of cuisines is woven together by seasons and mountains and rivers.”

Grüner, which means “greener” in German, will feature local foods, beers and wines, as well as the bounty of Oregon’s fruits and vegetables. Delivered daily, local produce is part of Israel’s farm-to-table philosophy.

Inviting and intimate, the bar offers unique cocktails, imported German beers and domestic ales, available both on draught and in bottle. The wine list is elegant and selective, with an emphasis on small producers and Biodynamic wineries that complement the dishes. Local small-batch distilleries also are featured, as well as a choice selection of spirits. The bar menu features an exemplary burger, artisan-cured meats, a myriad of regional cheeses and house-made pickles.

Israel is a two-time winner of The Oregonian’s “Restaurant of the Year” with Zefiro in 1990 and Saucebox in 1997. After serving as associate art director for Vanity Fair in New York City for six years, Israel returned to Portland in 2006 and stepped back into the kitchen as executive chef at 23Hoyt, which was subsequently chosen by Esquire as one of the ten best new restaurants in America in 2007. Israel has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Sunset, and Cooking Light, and his recipes have been showcased in several cookbooks.

Israel’s partner in this venture is ChefStable—comprised of four UC Berkeley MBA graduates and led by Kurt Huffman. Grüner is ChefStable’s second Portland area restaurant following up the opening of PING in the Old Town/Chinatown area.

Located at 537 S.W. 12th Avenue, Portland, Grüner will open its doors in December.


Wine Walk of Fame Adds Another Five

Five years ago, the Oregon Wine Walk of Fame was unveiled in The Dundee Bistro’s courtyard to celebrate individuals who have significantly influenced the success of the Oregon wine industry. The Bistro is proud to support the local wine community and this year, in celebration of the restaurant’s 10th anniversary, five remarkable Oregon wine industry personalities will be added to the Wine Walk of Fame.

Nominated by their peers, Cal Knudsen, Porter Lombard, Lynn Penner-Ash, Harry Peterson-Nedry and Rollin Soles will have plaques added to the walk and their biographies displayed in the hall between the restaurant and Ponzi Wine Bar.

The Dundee Bistro is located at 100-A S.W. Seventh St., Dundee.

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