Wine Down Eugene October 23-29
One of the highlights of this past summer was attending my first-ever International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC). With food and Pinot-centric festivities from morning until midnight, I was able to feast on some outstanding cuisine while enjoying some of the finest Pinots from around the globe.
The evening before IPNC officially started, I attended a pre-IPNC dinner fundraising event at the beautiful Stoller Family Estate in the Dundee Hills of Willamette Valley: Summertime ¡Salud! The Big Dinner: Big Bottles. Big Tables. Big Hearts. With 14 incredible wineries from Oregon, California and France, we had the opportunity to taste some rare and highly prized Pinots from Anam Cara, Domaine Drouhin, Shea Wine Cellars, California’s Flowers Vineyard and Winery and France’s Domaine Jean Grivot, to name a few. We tasted many at the Big Bottle wine reception prior to dinner, while many more were served along with dinner.
The upscale family-style meal was prepared by JORY Executive Chef, Sunny Jin, and was served by the wonderful sommeliers and staff of the sponsor for the ¡Salud! dinner – Allison Inn & Spa. There was a Marketplace that featured large format and library wines that were available for purchase, with 100% of the sales to benefit ¡Salud!; as well as, one-of-a-kind Cuvées made exclusively for the ¡Salud! auction, sold in cases at a pre-set price of $1,500 per case.
¡Salud! is a collaboration between Oregon winemakers and healthcare professionals to provide access to healthcare services for Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families. The relationship between vintners and physicians, united in their mission to benefit this essential workforce, is unique to Oregon. No other state in the country has such an effective and far-reaching program to support the seasonal worker population. Since 1992, the program has been supported by ¡Salud!, The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction and other generous contributions. Since its inception, the mission has raised over $9 million and contributed to the health and well being of thousands of individuals.
In 2012 over 7,400 medical and dental procedures were documented, and over 4,000 workers and family members were registered in the program – an increase of more than 10% percent from 2011.
“Wineries cannot supply health care and other benefits to this vital workforce because they are only with individual vineyards for a short period of time, often just days or weeks,” says event co-chair Donna Morris of Winderlea Vineyard & Winery. “To our understanding, no other agricultural industry in the country supports its seasonal workers at this level, and we donate our best wines as an impactful way to give back to the people who work hard to bring in the grapes to make outstanding wine.”
The next ¡Salud! event will be held November 8 and 9, 2013. A $395 dollar ticket price includes a Pinot Noir tasting of the heralded 2012 vintage and auction on Friday, November 8, 3:00-6:30 pm at the beautiful Domaine Drouhin in Dayton; in addition to, a Saturday evening Dinner and Auction Gala from 5:30-10:00 pm at Portland’s historic Governor Hotel.
I was completely impressed by the amount of wine that was sold at the Summertime ¡Salud! at Stoller Family Estate. It’s enlightening to realize the level of care we Oregonian’s are capable of.
Follow me over to my award-winning website, WineJulia.com for a photo essay of the Summertime ¡Salud! dinner.