Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene September 4-10

Although September is harvest month for Oregon wineries, wine enthusiasts may be surprised to know that many of the state’s wineries and winery associations put on exciting harvest events during this Autumnal Equinox month.

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Ripe and ready to be picked Pinot Gris

I’ve always felt that the best way for wine enthusiasts to celebrate harvest is to get involved – literally.  One hands-on harvest event that I’m really looking forward to this year is Kramer Vineyard’s 2nd Annual Oenocamp.  From the vineyard to the crush pad, I’ll be joining in as part of the Kramer crew for a day and assisting in harvest for the 2013 méthode traditionelle sparkling wine.  The tentative schedule has guests arriving at Kramer Vineyards in Gaston, Oregon, for coffee and pastries between 8:30 and 9 am.  From 9-10 am, we’ll harvest the grapes, and then we’ll all meet at the Kramer crush pad to saber a bottle of Brut, toast the 2013 harvest, and load the press with the harvested grapes.  Once the press is started, harvest goers will enjoy a catered lunch and take home a souvenir bottle of the 2011 Brut.

Since I’m what some may call a bubblehead (meaning I love sparkling wine), Oenocamp is the ultimate harvest experience for me. Taking place on Monday, September 16, tickets for this event are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.

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Freshly harvested Pinot Gris clusters

Another fun harvest event taking place Saturday, September 14, is the Carlton Crush Yamhill County Harvest Festival.  Wine enthusiasts can participate in a grape-stomp, wine thief relay race and barrel rolling competition.  With Midway games, helicopter rides, a magician and a watermelon eating contest for kids, this is an event that is great for all ages. There’s no better place than Carlton for an event like this; it’s a small close-knit community that is totally wine-centric and one-of-a-kind. There’s no entry fee or admission charge for Carlton Crush, for more information visit CarltonCrush.com.

Willamette Valley Vineyards are the pros at hosting grape stomp competitions.  Their 23rd Annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Celebration, taking place on September 21 and 22, is their most anticipated event of the year. Attracting visitors all over the country to their grape stomping competition, the winners will earn a trip to Santa Rosa, California for the World Grape Stomp Championships.  Costumes or team uniforms are encouraged, and there’s even a Kids Stomp, making this event fun for the entire family.  For more information visit, wvv.com.

For wine enthusiasts who want to enjoy the bounties of harvest (without obtaining wine stained feet from grape stomping or back aches from hand-picking grapes), check out Sarver Winery’s Lowland Cajun Boil.  Live music and a dinner to remember, each September the Sarver’s host a Cajun themed feast offering traditional gumbo and a Cajun boil filled with prawns, sausage, corn and red skinned potatoes.

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sorting line at Willamette Valley Vineyards | photo: Willamette Valley Vineyards facebook

For those that are wine club members at King Estate, one of their best events of the year happens in September: Harvest Moon Celebration. A true celebration of the season’s bounty, the four-course prix fixe menu is paired with library and limited wines, including dishes like Salad of Grilled Melon made with Ferns’ Edge Feta, Roasted Corn, Strawberry, Smoked Pumpkin Seeds, Watermelon Vinaigrette and Olive Oil-Citrus Cake made using Estate Blueberries, Rosemary-Honey Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream, Lavender Tuile.  With a menu that features fresh produce and foods from the King Estate orchards, gardens, charcuterie kitchen, and bakery; along with, high quality ingredients from local vendors, this is one event not to be missed for wine club members – it’s one of the many reasons why I’m a member, and the Harvest Moon Celebration is truly the ultimate way to celebrate the bounties that our beautiful region supplies for us.

For special wine related events happening in and around Eugene, check the Featured Events listings in the right hand column on Eugene Daily News often – these are updated as information is submitted to us.  For more wine events happening around Oregon, check out the Events tab on my award-winning website, WineJulia.com.

 

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