News Briefs for May 2009

Greatest of the Grape

This year’s Greatest of the Grape (GOTG), an annual wine and food gala held at Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort in Canyonville, featured 28 wineries and 14 restaurants executing palatable pairings on March 21.

Participants did notice some effects of the current recession with a dip in this year’s attendance—about 750 people—leaving the most dedicated wine lovers to participate in the public judging for the GOTG Wine Awards.

Sponsor Umpqua Valley Winegrowers calls it the oldest such event in the state.

“This was a very successful evening, especially considering the troubles in our economy today,” said GOTG Coordinator Jannelle Wilde.

Chosen by the attendees, the “Greatest of the Grape Award” was subject to an unprecedented tie, giving the top honor to HillCrest Vineyard & Winery for its 2006 Syrah San Roc and Delfino Vineyards of Roseburg for its 2007 Syrah.

For the “Best Red Wine,” guests chose the 2007 Pinot Noir from Becker Vineyards in Roseburg; first runner-up was the 1999 Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir from Henry Estate Winery in Roseburg. The “Best White Wine” award went to Girardet Wine Cellars in Roseburg for its 2006 Chardonnay, and first runner-up went to Crater Lake Cellars in Shady Cove, near Medford, for its 2008 Riesling.

Mary Gardner, co-owner of Crater Lake Cellars, described the Riesling as “beautiful, elegant and sweet,” adding that the pairing with spicy shrimp brought out the flavors of both wine and seafood.

Dyson DeMara of HillCrest said his Syrah tastes of bacon and lavender. The 1,400-case production is available only in the tasting room, where it sells for $50 a bottle. The wine was pressed by the feet of children and fermented for 40 days in his patented concrete containers.

Professional judges for this year’s event were Lisa Shara Hall, senior editor for Wine Business Monthly, Ken Robertson, executive editor of the Tri-City Herald and Lance Sparks, wine writer for the Eugene Weekly.

The “Platinum Professional Judges’ Award” went to a 2006 Pinot Noir from Misty Oak Vineyards in Oakland, while gold went to four Jackson County wineries: Daisy Creek in Jacksonville for its 2007 Viognier, Foris Vineyard & Winery in Cave Junction for its 2006 Maple Ranch Pinot Noir, Cliff Creek Winery in Sams Valley for its 2004 Claret and Valley View Winery in Ashland for its 2006 Anna Maria Tempranillo. Silver went to Bradley Vineyards of Elkton for its 2007 Riesling, Crater Lake Cellars in Shady Cove for its 2008 Riesling, Henry Estate Winery of Roseburg for its 1999 Pinot Noir, Eola Hills Vineyard of Amity for its 2006 Reserve Wolf Hill Pinot Noir and EdenVale Winery of Phoenix for its 2003 Reserve Cabernet Franc.

In the category of “People’s Choice” for wine and food pairings, the winner was Bradley Vineyards of Elkton with its 2007 Riesling paired with Mayan shrimp, “camarones de Maya,” from Tomaselli’s Pastry Mill & Café of Elkton. The runner-up in that category was Delfino Vineyards of Roseburg with its 2006 Syrah, paired with savory Parmesan-stuffed pâte à choux with pear, prepared by the Umpqua Community College culinary program, located in Roseburg.

“Best Booth Presentation” went to Sandy’s Place of Roseburg.

UVW donates part of the proceeds to the Sylvia Henry Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to students studying viticulture or enology.  Story By John Darling.

Wines Women Love!

At the Wines Women Love! 2009 National Women’s Wine Competition, March 9–10 in Santa Rosa, Calif., international and U.S. wines were invited to enter both the 2009 Open Competition and Women Winemaker’s Challenge. Oregon placed well in both contests.

Open Competition: Best of Class
Agate Ridge ’07 Viognier RV
Maryhill ’06 Syrah CV Proprietor’s Reserve
Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyard ’07 Syrah UV
Stone Wolf Vineyards ’07 Pinot Gris

Open Competition: Double Gold
Stone Wolf Vineyards ’07 Pinot Gris Oregon
Volcano Vineyards ’06 Syrah RV
Maryhill ’06 Syrah CV Proprietor’s Reserve

Open Competition: Gold
Agate Ridge Vineyard ’07 Viognier RV
EdenVale ’03 Tempranillo RV Pearhouse Reserve Collection
Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyard ’07 Syrah UV
Maryhill ’06 Cabernet Sauvignon CV
Terra Vina ’07 Sangiovese CV

For Open Competition Silver and Bronze medals, and a list of Oregon’s Women Winemaker’s Challenge awards, please visit .

KEY: CV: Columbia Valley; RV: Rogue Valley; UV: Umqua Valley. ◊

This Just Inn…

Dundee welcomes its first boutique hotel to its roster of vine-related ventures. The Inn at Red Hills will feature 20 rooms with views of the Dundee Hills and local orchards.

The hotel’s restaurant, Farm to Fork, will feature sustainable, organic local fare created by Chef Paul Bachand—formerly of Hunter’s Ridge in Sherwood—and Press, the hotel’s wine bar, will focus on local, small-lot Pinot Noirs and boutique white varietals.

Owners Kendall Bergström, a local real estate agent and co-owner of de Lancellotti Family Vineyards, and Dustin Wyant, a native from Bend with luxury hotel experience, also have plans to open a 60-room sister hotel on nearby land in the future. The two hotels will share guest services.

During Memorial Weekend, The Inn at Red Hills will host an open house with a grand opening set for June.

The hotel is located at 1410 N. Hwy. 99W in Dundee. For more information about the Inn at Red Hills, call 877-544-1314 or visit . ◊

All for the Birds

Bird watchers, wine lovers and nature enthusiasts are invited to the fourth annual Fern Ridge Wings & Wine Festival, May 9, to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. A variety of activities will be held throughout the day at Secret House Winery, west of Eugene, and at nearby Fern Ridge Reservoir, one of Oregon’s best birding areas.

The day’s schedule starts at 7 a.m. and includes bird and nature walks, hands-on workshops, canoe trips, educational talks, children’s activities and a guided wine-tasting and bird-watching tour to four local wineries.

The educational event offers visitors a diverse offering of bird watching and learning experiences, and the opportunity to connect with birding and wildlife experts, including biologists, authors, lecturers and photographers.

“Whether you’re a beginning backyard birder or a longtime avid wildlife watcher, there’s going to be opportunities for all ages to learn and discover more about how we can enjoy, protect and access our area’s vast natural environment,” said Patti Chappel, owner of Secret House Winery and festival co-organizer.

Chappel’s 60-acre estate, the site for many of the festival’s activities, features an ample display garden designed specifically to attract birds.

Fern Ridge Reservoir was designated an Important Bird Area in 2003 by the American Bird Conservancy and is home to more than 250 species of birds, including tundra swans, northern harriers, peregrine falcons, egrets and eagles.

International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America to support migratory bird conservation and focus attention on one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird: the journey between summer and winter homes.

In 2008, over 330 events were registered at The 2009 theme is “Celebrating Birds in Culture,” which ties in well with Oregon sesquicentennial celebrations statewide.

Many activities are free, while some require pre-registration and a fee. For more details about birding opportunities, go to . ◊

Cover Artist

The label on the cover was painted by Elizabeth Berg, who recently moved to Newberg from California.

Berg grew up in a house full of antique books; as a young child she enjoyed pouring over Gustave Doré’s illustrations from the Bible.

“We had tons of Victorian books,” Berg said. “The Pickwick Papers, beautifully illustrated, was one of my favorites. I just love the children’s books from the 1920s and 1930s.”

She won the first of several awards at age 10, was recognized as a prodigy at about 11 years old and was accepted into The Chouinard Art Institute in California, as a “special student.”

Her work experience is as varied as her art. Berg has worked as an illustrator for women’s magazines, New Age publications, children’s books, package design and advertising. And she has designed everything from corporate logos to jewelry and clothing.

To see more of her work, visit . ◊

Awards Aplenty

The 2009 Spring Beer & Wine Fest, April 10–11 in Portland, was a toothsome success with a Tour de Cheese, gourmet delights, chef demonstrations, wine tastings and a wine competition consisting of a variety of Oregon winners. Here is the cream of the crop:

Best of Show
Valley View ’06 Anna Maria Cabernet Franc

Valley View ’06 Anna Maria Cabernet Franc
Valley View ’07 Anna Maria Late Harvest Pinot Gris
Maryhill ’07 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley
Vitis Ridge ’06 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Zerba Cellars ’05 Merlot, Columbia Valley

For silver and bronze medal winners, please visit

150 Days of Wine

In honor of the Oregon 150 Celebration and as part of 150 Days of Wine in the Willamette Valley, over 150 wineries are opening their doors for the 19th annual open house. It’s one of the oldest wine events in Oregon and the perfect opportunity to meet winemakers and taste the best of Willamette Valley wines.

Visit for more information. For specific details, turn to page 58 and look for a bold 150 next to the event name. ◊

Wine at Mine

There’s a new biz in Beaverton that’s already on the move. Actually, mobility is their M.O. Wine at Mine is a traveling host of wine tasting parties, wine events and informative wine classes, all in the comfort of your home or corporate locale.

After hosting wine tasting parties and events for the past 15 years in other locations around the country, Owners Robert and Jennifer Johnson decided it was time to take it to the next level as a formal business.

Wine at Mine is located at 12600 S.W. Crescent St., No. 225, Beaverton. For more information, call 503-984-5505 or visit . ◊

April Corrections

In “Where to Buy Wine” listing, the following were omitted: Papa Di Vino, 1130 Royvonne Ave. S.E., No. 104, Salem, 503-364-3009, , Tim Wallace; b2 Wine Bar, 2794 Shadow View, Eugene, 541-505-8909, , Beverly Biehl.

MetroVino’s Executive Chef Gregory Denton was formerly the executive sous chef at Lucier in Portland. ◊

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