Wine Yakima Valley rallies to support food banks

By on November 25, 2016
Wine tourists who visit participating wineries will see the Thanksgiving in Wine Country Taste to Fight Hunger posters, encouraging them to help support food banks in the Columbia Valley.

Wine tourists who visit participating wineries in and around the Yakima Valley will see posters for Thanksgiving in Wine Country Taste to Fight Hunger, encouraging patrons to support food banks in the Columbia Valley.

YAKIMA, Wash. — Thanksgiving Day gave way to Black Friday, and while Pacific Northwest winemakers are encouraging consumers to visit them on Small Business Saturday, wineries in the Yakima Valley region hope their supporters will help fight hunger this weekend.

Wine Yakima Valley, the marketing arm for member wineries in the cradle of the Washington wine industry, is partnering with Northwest Harvest during Thanksgiving in Wine Country. Wine lovers who visit participating wineries in the Yakima Valley and the Tri-Cities are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to the tasting rooms or make a cash donation to the Thanksgiving in Wine Country Taste to Fight Hunger box.

Donation incentives offered at Wine Yakima Valley tasting rooms range from a free tasting flight to discounts on wine sales and having a winemaker sign your bottles. A number of wineries also will be donating their tasting fees directly to Northwest Harvest.

Northwest Harvest, a nonprofit food bank distributor that operates statewide, delivered 17,000 tons of food in 2015 to more than 350 food banks, meal programs and schools throughout Washington. That effort provided more than 2 million meals each month.

Last year’s Thanksgiving in Wine Country Taste to Fight Hunger effort provided more than 5,000 meals to families in need throughout the Columbia Valley. And 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of Northwest Harvest, which is set up to send more than 90 cents of every dollar received to its programs. Northwest Harvest can provide a complete meal for 22 cents.

Weekend celebrations beyond Wine Yakima Valley

The 44th Street Wineries tasting room features wines by Cinder, Coiled and Telaya.

Cinder Wines in the Boise suburb of Garden City, Idaho, will open Thanksgiving Weekend and help raise funds for the Ada County Boys and Girls Club. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest)

Thanksgiving Weekend has become one of the most important celebrations throughout the Idaho wine industry, and Cinder Wines in the Snake River Valley joins in the spirit of giving by raffling off a double magnum of reserve Tempranillo each day to raise money for the Ada County Boys and Girls Club.

The winery in Garden City owned and operated by winemaker Melanie Krause and her husband, Joe Schnerr, raised $1,000 with the first raffle on Black Friday.

In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, many wineries will participate in their annual Wine Country Thanksgiving.

Among the interesting features this weekend is that pioneering The Eyrie Vineyards looks to make more history with what Jason Lett is billing as the Willamette Valley’s first release of Trousseau Noir, aka Bastardo, a grape native to the Jura region in France.

  • Sineann and its acclaimed winemaker Peter Rosback will be pouring wines he’s made from five appellations — including Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough (New Zealand) and Pinot Noir from Central Otago (New Zealand).
  • McMinnville’s Honest Chocolates will be available at Methven Family Vineyards & Winery in Dayton, Seven of Hearts in Carlton and Vidon Vineyard in Newberg.
  • And while this weekend marks the rare time when Shea Wine Cellars is open, neighboring Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, originally scheduled to be open this weekend, is closed because flooding of Chehalem Creek has made the road up to its scenic tasting room temporarily impassable.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

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