The harvest crew at Open Claim Vineyards pauses for some fun. ##Photo by Andrea Johnson

Muchas Gracias

¡Salud! and recipients deserve gratitude

By Hilary Berg

For an event to reach 25 years is an accomplishment worthy of recognition. For a celebration to create a positive impact on the surrounding community, affecting future generations, is truly remarkable.

I am referring to ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction, which celebrates a quarter century next month. From this two-day gathering, serious funds — last year, $800,000 — will be raised for one purpose only: healthcare for vineyard workers and their families.

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.

No doubt, those receiving services from this donation-funded program are grateful for the care. In turn, I’d like to express my appreciation for these hardworking members of our community; they enrich our lives and make our country a more diverse, vibrant place.

This is a wine publication, so it’s OK if I start with the food... Imagine America without authentic Mexican fare. Not possible. Just walk into Martha’s Tacos in Lafayette, and you’ll see how she packs her place with winemakers, workers and families, serving everyone with a smile.

Add music, art, language, pastimes — soccer, anyone? — and you realize how the culture contributes layers of interest and enrichment.

In the vineyards — the nurseries, the orchards, the kitchens, the hotels, the factories, etc. — many do the hard, backbreaking work few others want to do. It is this work ethic we need to acknowledge. Without them, our wine industry — our country — would come to a standstill.

And yet, I am most thankful for the people themselves; they are our friends, colleagues, family members, mentors, students and much more. Without them, America would be a lesser version of itself.

So, on behalf of the Oregon wine industry, I would like to express my appreciation. And thanks to ¡Salud! for taking care of such an important part of our community. ¡Gracias!

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