News Briefs for October 2009

October 2009
Harvest of Arts

In its 17th year, the Art Harvest Studio Tour of Yamhill County has become the artful way to explore Oregon’s Wine Country and the creativity tucked into its hillsides.

This self-guided studio tour, presented by the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County, features 40 local artists representing a wide range of media—ceramics, painting, jewelry, photography, fiber art, copper work, book art, paper cutting, sculpture and more.

Visitors create their own itinerary, stopping by as many studios as they can during the six-day event, which takes places the first two weekends in October.

At each studio, attendees are encouraged to ask questions, watch demonstrations and purchase work directly from each artist. More than 1,500 visitors from all over the U.S. are expected to take part in this year’s event.

In addition to the regular weekend hours, many of the studios are open mid-week—this year Oct. 6, 7 and 8—for the Art Harvest Educational Studio Tour. This is a wonderful opportunity for students of all ages to experience art outside the classroom, see how and where it is made and meet the artists who create it. Some studios also offer hands-on art experiences and demonstrations.

Adult admission for the regular Tour is $5 for all six days and children 18 and younger are free. Each admission comes with a collectible button and a commemorative catalog that features maps, artist information and pictures of work.

Financial support from tour contributors has helped keep the tour an affordable way to experience art while enjoying the vistas and vines of the northern Willamette Valley.

For more information, visit

Innspired Accommodations

The Gorge Hotels Group has announced the opening of their newest property, Celilo Inn, located in The Dalles.

Located at the site of the old Inn at The Dalles, the new Celilo Inn has been completely renovated and transformed into Eastern Oregon’s only modern boutique hotel experience. The inn features 46 specially designed one- and two-bedroom guest rooms and suites, each with a view of the Columbia River Gorge.

Centrally located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, the Celilo Inn offers visitors access to a multitude of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, camping, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, rafting and windsurfing, as well as many historic sites, museums restaurants and wineries.

“Guests won’t want to spend all their time away from their rooms,” said Celilo Inn Manager Jana Cickova.

Pillow-top mattresses, 32-inch flat screen TVs, Stumptown Coffee, artisan baked goods from Petite Provence, an outdoor pool and a patio fire pit are just a few of the upscale amenities offered.

“The Celilo Inn experience will be like no other in Eastern Oregon,” continued Cickova. “From our beautiful hilltop location, to our friendly expert staff, to the little touches and attention to detail, we want our guests to walk away surprised at just how well a modern boutique hotel fits into the Columbia River Gorge area.”

The Celilo Inn is located at 3550 E. Second Street in The Dalles. For more information, call 541-769-0001 or visit

Wine Bar: Take-Two

Alu Wine Bar in Portland recently re-opened under the guidance of new owners, Susan Killoran and Jeff Vejr.

With seating for up to 80 guests, Alu’s new concept, “A Taste of Passion,” was developed by Killoran and Vejr. It combines a modern culinary vision with a sustainable wine element, showcasing organic and Biodynamic wines with fine food and handcrafted cocktails.

Features of the re-invented restaurant include: an innovative “wine tag” system for wines by the glass; an 850-square-foot upstairs lounge; an 850-square-foot intimate space for relaxing and socializing; a 600-square-foot outdoor patio; a new seasonal food menu created by Executive Chef Sean Temple, featuring innovative appetizers, sharable plates, plus main courses and house-cured meats; handcrafted cocktails created by bartender Lee Watson; a new 250-bottle wine cellar; and future wine tastings and wine dinners.

Alu Wine Bar is located at 2831 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Doors open at 4 p.m., except for Tuesdays, when it will be closed for private events. A happy hour menu is available from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, go to

Celebrate This

It’s not all livestock, elephant ears and demolition derbys at the Oregon State Fair. No, there is much more than that. In fact, to kick off the annual event on Aug. 28, guests attended Celebration Oregon, where wine was poured and Oregon Wine Competition winners were announced. Here are the results of those taking the top spots: 

Best of Show
’08 Trinity Vineyards Viognier, RV

Best of Red
’06 Coelho Pinot Noir, WV

Best of White
’08 Trinity Vineyards Viognier, RV

Gold Medals
’06 Coelho Winery of Amity Pinot Noir, WV
’08 Phelps Creek Chardonnay Unoaked, CG
’07 Phelps Creek Vineyards Chardonnay, CG
’08 Trinity Vineyards Viognier, RV
’08 Tualatin Estate Muscat Semi-Sparkling Frizzante
’07 Zerba Cellars Viognier, CV
’06 Zerba Cellars Red Table Wine, WW

For silver- and bronze-medal winners, go to

Face the Talent

The Oregon Wine Board’s Facebook video/photo contest, Capture the Spirit of Oregon Wine Country, has announced finalists and grand prize winners (bolded).

Video finalists included: “Beauty Mark” by Christopher Jiron; “Feel Alright” by Kent Rochester; and “My Slice of Heaven” by Randee Meckley. Photo finalists included: “The Overlook” by Christine Collier; “Father and Son Walk in the Vineyard” by Peder Horner; and “A View from the Black Walnut Inn” by Larry Chalew.

Jiron and Collier received a wine country weekend valued at $2,000.

For a Good Cause

The Gorge Wine Celebration for Hospice of the Gorge on Saturday, Aug. 8, was a great success. The live auction brought in over $12,000, with the top item being a barrel of wine blended from The Pines 1852, Phelps Creek, COR Cellars and Syncline.

Go with the Flow

Erin Barrett of Erin Glenn Winery in The Dalles has opened a new establishment in the city’s downtown. Rivertap Pub features local libations, including eight brews on draft and 20-plus wines from the Columbia Gorge.

The new hot spot will have live music every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information and business hours, call 541-769-0059 or visit

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