Oregon wineries offering viewing parties for solar eclipse - KPTV - FOX 12

Total Solar Eclipse

Oregon wineries offering viewing parties for solar eclipse

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Tyee Wine Cellars in Corvallis, OR (KPTV) Tyee Wine Cellars in Corvallis, OR (KPTV)

Viewing parties are common for major sporting events but on August 21, people from all over will gather together to watch something they may only see once in their lifetime.

Here in Oregon, this year's great American solar eclipse is expected to generate a huge spike in tourism.

Oregon wine country happens to be directly in the "path of totality" - which is the area where folks will be able to witness a total solar eclipse, as opposed to a partial eclipse.

Vineyards in the Willamette Valley will become popular destinations for those who want to see the sun momentarily disappear behind the moon.

Brian Benson, general manager of Tyee Wine Cellars, estimates that the Corvallis area alone will have about four times its normal capacity. For that reason, Tyee Cellars wants to provide people with a place they could just wake up and be at the place where the solar eclipse is going to be visible.

The night before the solar eclipse, Tyee Wine Cellars will convert their vineyard and 10-acre hazelnut orchard into a campground for the night. Benson came up with the idea of a campout because he thought it would alleviate travel concerns.

"If someone was trying to come from Portland or Eugene, more than likely they would be stuck in traffic from people trying to get here and they wouldn't actually make it. So by providing a place where people can hang out, have a great, relaxing campout experience, they will already be here in the morning," said Benson.

The payoff to getting away from the light pollution common in urban areas, will be a completely unobscured view of a rare cosmic event.

In fact, there hasn't been a total solar eclipse in Oregon since 1979. That's why people are going to such lengths to get a good view.

However, Benson warns against paying big bucks to watch the eclipse at a venue that may be over-booked or not well-equipped to host large events.

"There is a lot of time that goes into planning into this type of event. Luckily we have experience with events because we host weddings and we throw concerts," said Benson.

Benson says Tyee Wine Cellars is limiting their viewing party to around 200 people so that everyone can have a, "nice, relaxing and easy time."

When choosing a venue, Benson also recommends comparing what is included with the price of entry. Tyee Wine Cellars is providing three meals, a bonfire, live entertainment, hayrides and protective eyewear.

One last thing to consider if you're still on the fence about where you'll go to watch the solar eclipse, is how long it will last. The duration of the solar eclipse in one particular spot, depends on where it lies within in the path of totality. 

In Corvallis, the solar eclipse will start at 10:17 a.m. and last for about a minute and a half.

Tyee Wine Cellars isn't the only winery that will host a solar eclipse viewing party. Below is a list of vineyards where you could go to watch this historic astronomic event.

Local vineyards hosting solar eclipse viewing parties:

Tyee Wine Cellars in Corvallis, OR. (541) 753-8754
Arcane Cellars in Salem, OR. (503) 868 -7076
Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall, OR. (503) 623-2405
Brooks Winery & Tasting Room in Amity, OR. (503) 435-1278

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