Oregon wine country bracing for busy Memorial Day weekend - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon wine country bracing for busy Memorial Day weekend

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Oregon’s wine country is gearing up for a busy Memorial Day weekend with more than 150 vineyards and tasting rooms taking part in the annual “unofficial” start to summer. 

This year will be slightly different that years past. Vineyard owners and employees are expecting sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 80’s and close to 90 degrees. 

“We’re all geared up,” Joseph Jackson said. “Every year has gotten busier and busier.”

Jackson works at Red Hill Market in Dundee, the town in the middle of wine country is bracing for a very busy weekend. 

“It’s a huge, huge weekend,” Jackson said.

Jackson adds many are excited for the tourism season after being indoors for a fairly rough winter

“It seemed to really drag on and on and on,” Jackson said. “I think this summer has been anticipated more so than most other summers that I have worked in the valley.”

Not only is the forecast looking great for sitting outside but May is also Oregon Wine Month, and for the entire year, the Willamette Valley holds the title of “region of the year” handed out by Wine Enthusiasts Magazine.

“You couldn’t have asked, you know, for all the pieces being put together and just creating the perfect storm,” Chehalem Winery Events Coordinator Brittney Eisele said. 

Eisele adds they are ready for thousands of people to descend on the vineyards and tasting rooms.

“The fact that we have had this entire week of pretty much of just solid sunshine and then going through the weekend to continue the sunshine it has been super awesome for us," said Eisele.

Chehalem Winery is kicking off the summer season by giving away $40,000 worth of wine to charity.

The winery wrote in a press release:

“From now until June 15th – Chehalem invites qualified charities and not-for-profits to make their case for a wine donation and explain how they plan to use it to inspire giving. The catch? There isn’t one. Why? “Giving back is in Chehalem’s DNA,” says Harry Peterson-Nedry, founder and co-owner. “In the 30+ years we’ve been in business, we’ve committed ourselves to supporting and contributing to the communities around us." Peterson-Nedry adds, "And, Oregon Wine Month is the perfect time to boost charities' fundraising efforts using Oregon wine.” Chehalem plans to make this an annual May tradition.”

More information can be found at chehalemwines.com

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