Rollin Soles presents Lynn Penner-Ash of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars the 2019 Legacy Winemaker Award at the ¡Salud! gala.##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser
A bidder exuberantly lifts his paddle at the 2019 ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction gala. ##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser

Industrial Strength

Oregon winemakers power up migrant healthcare with a million-plus raised

By OWP Staff

¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction raised more than one million dollars during its 2019 auction. The 28th annual celebration included two sold-out events: the Big Board Auction on Nov. 8 at Ponzi Vineyards, and the Grand Dinner and Live Auction Gala on Nov. 9 at Domaine Serene. Presented by O’Brien Construction & Open Concept Architecture, ¡Salud! raised a total of $1,060,971 in 2019.

The Vintners Circle poured special 2018 cuvées made for ¡Salud! during the Big Board Auction, while live bidding took place. Single cases of Beaux Frères and Penner-Ash Wine Cellars sold for $3,200 each, and many others sold for more than $2,000. New for 2019, bidders without a ticket to the events in Oregon wine country could register for an ePaddle to bid remotely, adding even more excitement to the event. In total, the Big Board Auction raised $217,375.

Guests at Saturday’s Live Auction and Gala at Domaine Serene had a chance to taste the special cuvées during a walk-around that preceded the live auction lots, including singular wine experiences and collections: a four-night stay at Château de la Crée in the Côte d’Or, a week with Beck Family Estates in South Africa, a 32-bottle French/Oregon collection of wines from Willamette Valley wineries with Burgundian ties, a 69-bottle lot of Oregon sparkling wine and many more. A silent auction offered even more unique packages.

The 2019 Legacy Winemaker Award winner was presented to Lynn Penner-Ash of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. The annual award acknowledges exemplary contributions to the wine industry and dedicated support of the ¡Salud! mission. An industry trailblazer, Penner-Ash was one of the first female winemakers in Oregon and has been a champion of ¡Salud! since its inception in 1992. Penner-Ash also introduced the Legacy Winemaker Lot: a long weekend at The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana, with the winemaker herself and her husband, Ron.

Estella Ortiz-Nino, a nurse-intraining who grew up alongside the ¡Salud! program, delivers an inspiring speech. ##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser

A moving speech was given by Estella Ortiz-Nino, a nurse-in-training who grew up alongside the ¡Salud! program. The daughter of migrant workers and ¡Salud! patients, Ortiz-Nino was exposed to its services and team from an early age. Her drive to succeed, coupled with encouragement and guidance from her parents and ¡Salud!’s committed staff, compelled her to pursue a career that could give back to the community.

“I’m becoming a nurse to be part of the solution,” Ortiz-Nino explained. “Let’s continue to be that voice that targets cost of care, decreases hospitalization visits and stays, improves health literacy, quality and access to care.”

Funds raised at the 2019 auction will directly benefit OHSU Tuality Healthcare and ¡Salud!’s worksite wellness clinics, dental and optical services, comprehensive health screenings and education, year-round case management and financial assistance. ¡Salud!’s care teams also support families in navigating a complicated healthcare system, without the barriers of cost, transportation, and language.  With ¡Salud!, Oregon is the only state in the country with a program designed to support the health needs of seasonal vineyard workers and their families.

More than 40 participating wineries in the Willamette Valley, named the ¡Salud! Vintners Circle, produce a custom, single-lot Pinot Noir cuvée for the auction every year.

A project of OHSU Tuality Healthcare, ¡Salud! works to address the hurdles faced by vineyard workers and their families in meeting their basic healthcare needs. The project serves approximately 2,500 vineyard workers and family members each year, providing comprehensive health screenings through the ¡Salud! Worksite Wellness Clinic, which travels to vineyards and wineries throughout the growing season, and case management, advocating for families as they navigate the healthcare system.

Each November, ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction is held in support of these services, bringing together winemakers and wine lovers for a two-day auction of some of Oregon’s finest Pinot Noir, produced exclusively for the event. The new Summertime ¡Salud! E-Auction in July gives bidders early access to these Pinot Noir offerings.

The 2020 auction will take place Nov. 13–14, 2020. 

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