Celebrating Syrah


Attendees during the Grand Tasting event at the Celebration of Syrah. ##Photo provided by McMenamins
Syrah dinner guests enjoying a five-course meal with special wine pairings. ##Photo provided by McMenamins

By Michele Francisco

Winegrowers often remark how Syrah prefers a view. This vigorous variety grows best near the tops of ridges with panoramic vistas– and, most importantly– shallow, well-draining soil. Did you also know Syrah contains elevated levels of antioxidants? In my opinion, eliminating free radicals while sipping is a serious bonus.

McMenamins Edgefield recognizes the versatility of this bold red wine and hosts a celebration not to be missed.

Epicureans will revel in the five-course gourmet dinner on Friday night. Diners begin by sampling white Rhône-style wines while mingling in the winery before heading upstairs to the Edgefield Ballroom. In keeping with McMenamin’s brand (and a nod to the property’s history), an oversized mural in the spacious room illustrates what life was like for residents of the former poor farm. Black Rabbit Restaurant chefs prepare special dishes matched with Syrah wines from distinct vineyards. Enjoy wines crafted by Edgefield Winery, Valcan Cellars, Helioterra Wines, Quady North and Watermill Winery. Hear captivating stories and learn more about each wine from the winemakers as you dine.

Seeking a more immersive experience? Saturday’s Grand Tasting and Benefit Silent Auction presents the perfect opportunity to sample Syrah from 20 Northwest and French producers. During the annual event, Edgefield’s Blackberry Hall bustles with activity. While Syrah is the belle of this afternoon’s ball, wineries will pour other Rhône varietals as well. Attendees can sip while savoring assorted small pairings, all designed to complement Syrah. Discover wines you can’t live without? Pick up those bottles to take home as mementos of a lovely afternoon.

The silent auction offerings range from large-format bottles and complimentary winery sample flights to weekend getaways at various McMenamin hotel locations. Your winning bids return revenue to our local wine community and the people tending our grapevines. Proceeds from the auction benefit ¡Salud!, an Oregon nonprofit focused on accessible, free healthcare to seasonal vineyard stewards.

¡Salud! Services Clinical Nurse Manager, Leda Garside, adds, “Wine has an incredible power to bring people together and can be a powerful conduit for community change. We are deeply grateful to McMenamins for their unwavering support of ¡Salud! Their Celebration of Syrah exemplifies the collaborative spirit of Oregon’s wine industry, showcasing not only exceptional wines but also a commitment to enriching the community. We’re honored to be included.”

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

Celebration of Syrah
April 5-6
McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 S.W. Halsey St., Troutdale
$140- Syrah Dinner
$85- Grand Tasting

Wineries pouring at the Celebration of Syrah Grand Tasting:

Airfield Estates
Amavi Cellars
Aniche Cellars
Barnard Griffin Winery
Domaine Bernard Gripa
Brittan Vineyards
Domaine de Couron
Dunham Cellars
Edgefield Winery
Domaine François Merlin
Hawkins Cellars
Helioterra Wines
J. Scott Cellars
K Vintners
L’Ecole No 41
Mt. Hood Winery
Quady North
Saviah Cellars
Valcan Cellars
Watermill Winery
Zerba Cellars

Michele Francisco spent her childhood reading and writing, eventually graduating from UCLA with an English degree. She attended graphic design school and began a career in design and marketing. After moving to Oregon in 2010, Michele studied wine at Chemeketa Community College and began Winerabble, a Northwest-focused wine blog. She has been a cheerleader for Oregon wine since her arrival.

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