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Oregon Tempranillo Celebration returns to Ashland for 2019
Last winter, organizers found a warm response in Portland for the consumer tasting and trade seminars near the historic Lloyd Center. That experience and potential outreach has prompted them to consider a return to the Willamette Valley for 2020.
“The 2018 Oregon Tempranillo Celebration was held in Portland and the overwhelmingly positive response suggests that Tempranillo may be Oregon’s next great grape,” Eric Weisinger, co-founder and President of the Oregon Tempranillo Alliance, stated in a news release. “The feedback from numerous wine critics has affirmed that Oregon Tempranillo has excellent quality, rivaling even famous Spanish Tempranillo wines.”
This winter, they will be back at the sprawling Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, the setting for the inaugural Oregon Tempranillo Celebration in 2016. Asante Foundation, which spearheads the popular Oregon Wine Experience and expanding Oregon Wine Competition, joined on this fall to assist with the Oregon Tempranillo Celebration.
Organizers recruit Sacramento Bee’s Dunne
Organizers continue to restrict attendance at the first two days of the Oregon Tempranillo Celebration to the wine trade and wineries licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission that produce Tempranillo in Oregon. That includes producers in the southern portion of the Walla Walla Valley.
Guest critics for the 2019 Oregon Tempranillo Celebration will be Bree Boskov, a Master of Wine from Australia who works with the Oregon Wine Board and others as a consultant; Mike Dunne, wine columnist for The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee; and Alder Yarrow, founder of Vinography.com. Their duties include serving as chairs for the Saturday seminars.
Production of Tempranillo in Oregon now spans more than 368 acres planted, which produce more than 1,000 tons of grapes. The Oregon Tempranillo Alliance points to the grape’s economic impact as more than $10 million.
Admission is $50 for the consumer-focused Grand Tasting is Sunday, Jan. 20 from 1-4 p.m., and entrance fee includes a variety of tapas and a souvenir wine glass. The accompanying Silent Auction in the Constellation Hall at Ashland Hills will have 100 percent of the proceeds going to benefit Southern Oregon health care through the Asante Foundation, which includes the Children’s Miracle Network.
Wineries interested in participating must submit their winery participation form by Dec. 31. That’s also the deadline to submit Tempranillo for evaluation by Boskov, Dunne and Yarrow.