CANNON BEACH, Ore. – As winter transitions into spring, so too does a fairly recent Northwest wine tradition take place with the annual Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival.
The event takes place March 12-15 in this coastal community amid some of the most spectacular beaches on the West Coast. Dozens of wineries from throughout the Pacific Northwest are participating in tastings, seminars and meals. Space is limited to 100 or fewer participants in the seminars, while up to 500 wine lovers will take part in the Wine Walk, which fills Cannon Beach’s downtown corridor.
Here is a look at this year’s festivities:
Savor Cannon Beach schedule
Savor Cannon Beach kicks off March 12, with the Thursday Night Throwdown, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Participants will taste 12 wines from six different varieties – one each from Oregon and Washington – and vote on their favorites. Light appetizers will be provided.
On Friday, March 13, Hank and Nancy Sauer of Kennewick, Wash., will lead a seminar called “Which Varietal Is It?” In this tasting, patrons will have the opportunity to taste and learn about some of lesser-known red and white wine grape varieties. It runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
After that, the Battle of the Blends will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Participants will taste eight red and white blends representing different wine regions of the Pacific Northwest and will choose their favorites. Five local chefs also will participate, creating small bites as part of the event.
On Saturday, March 14, the festivities kick off from 10:30 a.m. to noon with a blind tasting of Northwest wines that represent the noble varieties of France’s Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône regions. This will be led by Andy Perdue, editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine and wine columnist for The Seattle Times.
From 1 to 4 p.m., the main event will take place. About 40 wineries will be spread throughout downtown Cannon Beach for the annual Wine Walk. Hundreds of wine lovers brandishing wine glasses will be able to wander the town tasting award-winning selections from the Pacific Northwest.
On Sunday, March 15, Savor Cannon Beach concludes with Sparkling Wine & Brunch Bites, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Sparkling wines from Northwest producers will be paired with appetizers from Cannon Beach bakeries and restaurants.
Savor Cannon Beach tickets
Those who wish to attend all Savor Cannon Beach events may purchase a festival pass for $149. For those wishing to attend some events may purchase tickets for $35 each.
The event is organized by Gary Hayes, president and founder of Coast Explorer Magazine in Cannon Beach. Event sponsors include The Ocean Lodge, Surfsand Resort, Hallmark Inns and Resorts, Stephanie Inn, the Inn at Cannon Beach and The Wine Shack.