News Briefs for September 2009
Celebrating its 40th year, the Umpqua Valley Wine, Art & Music Festival—the longest continuously running festival in the state—is on the move, from downtown Oakland to the Umpqua Community College campus just north of Roseburg.
This year’s event, Sept. 12–13, will bring wine, art and music lovers together for a weekend of high quality fun. Guests will enjoy major performers on the stage of the College’s Swanson outdoor amphitheatre, find a wide selection of local and regional art to peruse or purchase, and discover a variety of wineries and gourmet food vendors on the school’s grassy campus above the scenic North Umpqua River.
To kick off the celebration, a dinner of grilled lamb and chicken—catered by Aromatica’s Feast—with Southern Oregon wines, dancing and a charity auction will be held Friday evening, Sept. 11, at the Oakland City Park.
Weekend headliners include the Norman Sylvester Band on Saturday (7:30 to 9 p.m.) and the Colin Ross Band on Sunday (4 to 5:30 p.m.). Other bands include: Volifonix, Big Horn Jazz, Paul Biondi & the Michael Tracey Band, Colliding Rivers Band and Slowpoke.
Sunday also will include a performance by the winners of the Umpqua’s Got Talent! Competition. All amateur musicians are invited to vie for $500 in cash prizes and an opportunity to perform on the big Swanson stage during the Festival from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. For more information, an entry form and rules, go to www.uvwineartandmusic.com.
As far as wine goes, 18 wineries will pour their latest, including Agate Ridge, Becker Vineyard; Bradley Vineyard; Delfino Vineyard; Girardet; Henry Estate; Julianna Vineyards; MarshAnne Landing; Melrose Vineyard; Misty Oaks; Palotai; Reustle-Prayer Rock; River’s Edge; Saginaw Vineyard; Sienna Ridge; Spangler Vineyards, Triple Oak Vineyard and Wild Rose Vineyard. For those wanting to learn more about the wines of Southern Oregon, noted wine expert Bob Sogge will hold a seminar, for an additional cost, on Saturday.
The fun stuff includes an antique car show, a kids’ play area, cooking demonstrations with Chef Brandi from Seven Feathers and animals from Wildlife Safari. Plus, the whole family will enjoy the wiener dog races.
From baklava, to barbecue, to vegetarian corn dogs, this year’s food vendors will impress with an array of gourmet goodies. Variety is also the key word when it comes to the art part of the fest—textile weaving, quilting, ceramics, watercolor, metal work, fused glass, original paintings, photography and more.
For the sporty festival-goer, there will be a 45-mile bike ride to seven local vineyards—HillCrest Vineyard, Melrose Vineyards, Henry Estate, Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, Becker Vineyard, Juliana Vineyards and Palotai Vineyards—on Saturday. More information about the ride can be found at www.umpquavelo.com . ◊
Umpqua Valley Wine, Art & Music Festival
Location: Umpqua Community College
Address: 1140 Umpqua College Rd., Roseburg
Date: Sept. 11 (pre); 12–13 (event)
Time: 6–10 p.m. (Fri.); 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (Sat.); 11 a.m.–6 p.m. (Sun.)
Tickets: $10 (adults); $18 (2-day); $5 (ages 4 –12); $25 (families)
A new business specializing in small-production, artisan crafted wines is now open in downtown Eugene. Located in the historic Smeede Hotel at 766 West Park Street, Authentica Wines is characterized by owner Steven Baker as an “Artisan Wine Underground,” where customers can find exceptional, under-the-radar, handcrafted wines from around the world, with a special emphasis on Oregon.
Baker is a veteran of the wine industry in Oregon and has worked at every level of the three-tier distribution system, from retail to wholesale. Also a frequent contributor to regional wine publications, Baker is not shy to state what he thinks about the current world of wine retail.
“Today’s wine market is dominated by generic, industrially produced wines that have little character or sense of place,” Baker commented. “Now, more than ever, people are sick of corporate anything, especially in the wake of the corporate banking fiasco. Authentica champions the little guys—small, family-owned, honest, traditional producers who make wines that say something about their origin and that give the buyer more value, as well as a more authentic drinking experience.”
A major component of the business plan is the “Underground” wine club, where members are presented Baker’s selections at a monthly wine tasting, and for mail order customers through the monthly newsletter.
“The idea is to be as proactive as possible and aggressively seek out great wines and exceptional values for my customers,” Baker said. “I will be going directly to the source as much as possible, so what you get from Authentica is firsthand information and tasting impressions, not stale and inaccurate second- and third-hand marketing and public relations propaganda.”
Members will also receive special discounts, the first opportunity to buy rare or allocated wines, special Authentica cuvées and invitations to exclusive wine events and wine country tours.
Customers can sign up for the Artisan Wine Underground newsletter at the shop Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or through www.authenticawines.com .
Although there is a strong club component, this is also a specialty wine shop where everyone is welcome—especially those who wish to take advantage of Baker’s artisan inventory and wine classes, which will be offered monthly. ◊
The Mount Hood Railroad offers the second in a series of Friday Night Guest Chef dinner trains on Friday, Sept. 11, with French Master Chef Philippe Boulot.
Boulot is the executive chef of the Portland-based Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC). Prior to joining MAC in January, he was executive chef at The Heathman Restaurant & Bar for a decade. He is also past recipient of the James Beard Award for Excellence: Best Chef in the Northwest.
Boulot is renowned for combining traditional French rustic-style cooking with local seasonal ingredients to create a sophisticated French/Northwest cuisine.
Tickets for the evening are $75, which include dinner and a four-hour scenic train ride through the Hood River Valley. The train offers a full-service bar, including an extensive wine list of Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley wines.
The Mt. Hood Railroad Guest Chef dinner train departs the Hood River depot at 6:30 p.m. For more information or reservations, call the Mount Hood Railroad at 800-872-4661 or book online at www.mthoodrr.com .
The final Mt. Hood Railroad Guest Chef dinner train will be Oct. 9, featuring Chef John Gorham of Toro Bravo. ◊
Students, Please Take Your Seats
Prospective and current students at Chemeketa Community College’s Northwest Viticulture Center can now register for fall term wine and vineyard classes.
Students can register on the web at http://my.chemeketa.edu . If the student has not attended a class at Chemeketa within the last year, he or she must call 503-399-5139 or 503-589-7946 for registration information. Fall term runs from Sept. 28 through Dec. 12.
Classes include: General Viticulture VMW101 (CRN 32711); Fall Vineyard Practices: VMW110 (CRN 30281-lecture and CRN 30282-lab, register for both); Wine Appreciation: VMW131 (CRN 30283); Wines of the Pacific Northwest: VMW134 (CRN 36983); Wine Production: VMW244 (CRN 33739-lecture and CRN 33740-lab, register for both); Wine Marketing 1–Brand Development: VMW271 (CRN 35708); How to Evaluate Winegrape Maturity: XAGR9800A (CRN 38414); French for Wine Enthusiasts: XVMW9800V (CRN 38449); Private Applicator License Training: XAGR9801L. ◊
Labor Day Weekend
Throughout Oregon’s AVAs, many wineries will be hosting open houses during the Labor Day Weekend.
Join the wineries of the Columbia Gorge for a weekend of tasting and more. Thirty tasting rooms will be open for traffic-free touring during the holiday weekend. Or check out the Chehalem Mountains and Ribbon Ridge AVAs for their Labor Day promotion, “Explore, Tour & Taste!” Winemakers and growers will host special winery and vineyard open houses throughout the weekend as they head into harvest.
For all these events and more, check out the OWP Calendar of Events.
Dobbes Family Estate Winery is proud to announce that it will be the first custom winemaking facility to be certified sustainable. The Dundee winery is currently acquiring LIVE certification in both their vineyard and winery, making a huge contribution to their Green Project. ◊
Rock Wall Concert
Domaine Margelle Vineyard, located in Scotts Mills, is having their premier wine release party on Sept. 5, from 4 to 10 p.m. This brand new winery will mark their first vintage with a five-band concert. The cost is $8, and they will have glass pours available for purchase, as well as beer and food. Kids, 12 and younger, get in free. More info at www.domainemargelle.com . ◊
150 Days of Wine
The 150 Days of Wine in the Willamette Valley concludes its series of wine events and special activities this month (in partnership with Oregon 150). It’s been an action-packed 150 days—over 130 events with nearly 60 wineries, including everything from live music and helicopter rides to family-friendly events and hands-on educational seminars.
Don’t miss out on the remaining September events. As harvest approaches, it’s the perfect time to explore the Valley.
Visit www.willamettewines.com for a full listing of events and participating wineries and tasting rooms. ◊
“Head for the Foothills”—In this article about the McMinnville AVA tasting, OWP stated Yamhill Valley Vineyard was the oldest in the AVA; this is incorrect. Hyland Vineyards (planted in early ’70s) is the oldest vineyard in the McMinnville AVA; not Yamhill Valley Vineyard, which was planted in 1983. Next was Meredith Mitchell Vineyards in 1988, then Coleman in 1991. ◊