Oregon summers typically sneak up on us – cool, June weather giving way to glorious, sunny Julys and Augusts – and this one is no exception, outside of a freaky hot spell that we had early in June. We suddenly find ourselves deep into July, the sun is out, visitors are discovering our wineries, and our Yamhill-Carlton tasting rooms are in full swing with special events, tastings, dinners and programming like music or extended hours (see individual websites for details).
Many summer events are tied to charitable causes, and we thought we’d point out some of the many ways that Y-C wineries are giving this summer. At the Roots Wine Company, for example, owners Hilary and Chris Berg pay tribute to the Hispanic community and its connection to the local wine industry through the creation of vivid t-shirts that Hilary designs that are patterned after traditional Mexican “loteria” bingo tiles. Proceeds from sales of the shirts benefit the iSalud! organization that provides medical services to vineyard and winery employees.
Elk Cove Vineyards and Kramer Vineyards get their woof on with the annual Canines Uncorked event on August 6th at Elk Cove that benefits the Oregon Humane Society. Pet owners taste wine while the dogs interact with portrait artists, pet psychics, an obstacle course…and each other. At Twelve on Carlton’s Main Street, an August 4th Ladies’ Night tasting will have a special flight that benefits the Yamhill-Carlton School District with school supplies, and half of all tasting flight fees after that during the month of August will go to the same cause.
At Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, founders Ron and Lynn Penner-Ash are combining wine, food and music in two events to be held at their beautiful estate winery on NE Ribbon Ridge Road. On July 28th, Ron will provide the BBQ and Lynn the library wines for a dinner that benefits the Children’s Cancer Association’s My MusicRx program, with tunes provided by Ages and Ages. A second benefit for CCA will be held on August 20th, with Punch Brothers providing the tunes and Portland chef Scott Dolich doing the cooking. Ron adds that in late-August, he is embarking on a 160-mile standup paddleboard journey on the Willamette River, with proceeds from donations also going to CCA and incentives that include a dinner at the winery with the Penner-Ash’s or a private jet journey to Santa Rosa on the Jackson Family Wines jet.
Ken Wright Cellars continues its long commitment to community giving by hosting two events that benefit community-based recipients like the Carlton Police and Fire Departments. On August 5th, a dinner prepared by KWC Chef Abby McManigle is paired with the movie The Big Green at the KWC tasting room in Carlton; a live concert there on September 9th by touring artist Callaghan will complete the summer. KWC is also the lead sponsor of a golf tournament on August 22nd that benefits local causes.
In another lead sponsorship, KWC hosts a massive finish-line party for the Oregon Wine Country Half-Marathon, which will be held on August 13th. The race through vineyards from Dundee to Carlton benefits the American Diabetes Association, Every Mother Counts and Yamhill Carlton Together Cares. Y-C Winery Partners for this year include Anne Amie Vineyards, Denison Cellars, J.L. Kiff Vineyard, Kramer Vineyards, Seven of Hearts, Stag Hollow Wines, Twelve, and Willakenzie Estate.
How long will summer last? Our vineyard managers are calling for another early year, with grapes looking to be ready by mid-September. See you at the tasting rooms.