News Briefs for January 2009

The Classic Wines Auction has garnered a secure spot as one of the country’s most prestigious wine auctions and has continually been honored on Wine Spectator’s top-ten charity auction list. As the Classic Wines Auction enters into its 25th anniversary year, the momentum is building for a Gala Auction on March 7 that will surpass all others. 

A devoted team of honorary past co-chairs has come together to make the 25th anniversary auction a special tribute to both the wine and philanthropic communities. Proceeds from all the 25th anniversary events, including the Gala Auction, will benefit Friends of the Children–Portland, Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Trillium Family Services and YWCA Clark County.

“We are gearing up for a successful 25th anniversary auction and hope to break all our previous records to help even more children and families in Portland and Southwest Washington,” said Heather Martin, executive director of CWA. “Not only do we have the support of past event chairs, but many others are stepping forward to participate as well.”

This year’s honorary wine ambassadors—serving as hosts for the Ambassador Dinner the Friday evening prior to the Auction—will include Grace and Ken Evenstad from Domaine Serene, Champagne Louis Roederer (Reims, France), Long Shadow Vintners in Washington and Pride Mountain Vineyards in Napa, Calif.

The chef chosen for the Gala Auction Dinner is David Machado, executive chef and owner of Lauro Mediterranean Kitchen and Vindalho in Portland. Machado will work with his longtime friend Jesus Cibrian, the executive chef for Aventura Catering at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

“The collaboration between these two seasoned chefs will give our 25th anniversary event a special touch,” said Martin. “They both bring a commitment to local and seasonal products and have the experience to serve over 800 people at our event.”

In honor of the anniversary, CWA has partnered with Deb and Bill Hatcher of A to Z/Rex Hill to produce commemorative magnums bottled with 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir to raise money for the benefiting charities. An etching by renowned artist Michele Russo will be featured on each of the 200 magnums. In addition, the original artwork will be offered in the live auction portion of the Gala Auction.

Additional wine and food events will be announced, including Taste Walla Walla and the 2009 Spring Winemaker Dinner Series, which features 33 of Portland’s finest restaurants—Paley’s Place, Sel Gris, Heathman Restaurant & Bar. Chefs will be paired with winemakers from wine regions around the Pacific Northwest and California.

Please visit for updates and reservation information. ◊


The third annual Wine, Beer, Seafood & Music Festival–Confluence 2009 is slated for Feb. 13–15 in Gardiner at the old W. F. Jewett School.

Friday night will kick off the event with a first-ever Confluence Wine Taster’s Dinner at 6 p.m., featuring a four-course gourmet food and wine pairing. This will be a semi-formal dinner with tickets on sale for $65 each. Seating for the dinner will be limited to 70.

Saturday and Sunday’s music lineup on the main stage includes: Kevin Selfe and the Tornados, Mark Madden and the Ferguson Brothers, Mofessor, The Satin Love Orchestra, Young Bucs, Soul Pie, and Paul Biondi, Deb Cleveland and Friends. Scheduled in the Rogue Room is ice sculpture carving by Chris Foltz, art and crafts, solo acts and cooking demonstrations by area chefs.

Wineries and breweries scheduled at this time include: Rogue Brewery, Wakonda Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, River’s Edge Winery, Wild Rose Vineyard, Saginaw Vineyard, Bradley Vineyards, MarshAnne Landing, Henry Estate, Lavelle Vineyards and Old Coyote Winery. Food vendors will feature Oregon seafood and other delicacies.

Tickets are $8 and are available at The Reedsport/ Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce. For more details, go to or contact the Chamber of Commerce at 800-247-2155. ◊

Newport Fest Tickets on Sale

Advance online tickets are now available for the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival, set for Feb. 20–22.

Online tickets will enable visitors to use the special “e-ticket” line at the entrance of the festival. Prices for e-tickets are the same as gate entry, but with a handling fee. Advance group tickets are also on sale, allowing larger groups a special entrance. Groups of 15 or more can call the Chamber office (800-262-7844).

The Festival—celebrating 32 years—expects 17,000 visitors. Thirty food vendors, 28 crafters and over 80 wineries will participate at this year’s celebration.

To buy advance tickets, please visit . Hours and gate prices (excludes handling fee): Friday, Feb. 20 (2 to 9 p.m.): $10; Saturday, Feb. 21 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.): $15; Sunday, Feb. 22 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.): $5. ◊

Top of the Wine Blogosphere

Sokol Blosser Winery’s wine blog ( ) has been ranked 22nd on’s extensively researched list of Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs, the highest ranking of any winery-based blog.

 “We are very proud to share the stories of our family-owned and operated winery. Writing blogs have become popular among our family and staff, and everyone has contributed at least one blog that tells the day-to-day stories of what happens at Sokol Blosser—what’s happening in the vineyard, notes from sampling barrels in the cellar, favorite recipes that accompany our wines, hot new restaurants, and the antics of our winery animals,” said Alison Sokol Blosser, second-generation winegrower and co-president. “Our blog is the most popular page on our website, and we view it as a fun way to interact with our consumers from around the world.” created the “Google Top 100 Wine Blog” list by typing in “wine blog” in Google’s search engine. After receiving over five million hits, they removed content that did not meet certain criteria, excluded blogs that hadn’t been updated in over three months, and excluded websites that listed other blogs.

Other local blogs that made the list include: Northwest Wine Blog (No. 30); The Wine Camp Blog (No. 45) by Craig Camp; and Decanterberry Tales–The Vulgar Wine Blog (No. 51).

According to, this is a high honor: “Based on Google’s rigorous indexing standards, blogs that rank near the top of this search result is commendable.  A congratulatory admiration is in order to those who made the list.” ◊

Brief Briefs

• Applegate Valley’s Troon Vineyard will soon be opening a Willamette Valley tasting room in the former Carlton Gallery space on Kutch Street in Carlton.

• ADEA Wine Co. recently donated $1,500 to a local food bank from a fundraiser in which all proceeds from case purchases of 2001 and 2002 Chardonnay were donated. Owners Dean and Ann Fisher offered the cases at $50 each.

• Sokol Blosser Winery was awarded the prestigious “Oregon Sustainability Award” in the State Capitol in Salem in mid-December. The award comes on the heels of another big win as one of Portland Business Journal’s “Most Admired Businesses.”

• About 100 deserving families enjoyed a traditional Christmas dinner at home this year, courtesy of the Stone Wolf Vineyards winery and the Lindsay family in McMinnville.  

This is the 11th consecutive year of the project that funds groceries necessary for a holiday dinner for Yamhill and Polk County families in need of help. 

“In these difficult times, it is so critical that each part of a community truly lives the holiday spirit to do whatever they can to help their friends and neighbors,” said Linda Lindsay, Stone Wolf winemaker.

Instrumental to the program is Roth’s grocery chain, Amity and Willamina high schools—students collect food from farmers—and local church groups and volunteers from other wineries who help deliver to homes. 

“So much of the spirit of this season is rooted in family and friends,” Lindsay added. “We are pleased to help families in our community enjoy the Valley’s bounty in their celebrations this year.” ◊


“Goodwill & Wine” December 2008: It states that the Classic Wines Auction raises funds for Metropolitan Family Service, but that is not accurate. They also benefit four others: New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children-Portland, Trillium Family Services and YWCA Clark County. The Auction has benefited multiple charities since 2003. Also Agate Ridge is owned by Kim Kinderman and her family. ◊

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