Local businesses and wineries team up to thank fans and followers throughout the holidays
Editor’s Note: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Oregon has enacted a four-tier risk framework for counties. Effective December 3, restaurants, bars & tasting rooms in Marion & Polk Counties can offer limited outdoor seating. Indoor seating is prohibited; take-out and curbside pick-up are encouraged. Indoor recreational facilities including museums and gyms remain closed. Retail shops are open but are limited to 50% capacity. A joint travel advisory is in place for Oregon, Washington and California. To protect our communities, we ask everyone to follow Oregon's Safe+Strong guidelines: wear a face covering, wash your hands and maintain social distance. We’ll get through this together.
It’s a tradition like few others in the Willamette Valley: Every holiday season, families and friends gather at their favorite wineries, sample new releases, receive discounts on their favorite varietals and enjoy spending time in this world-renowned wine region.
But, like so many things in 2020, holidays in Wine Country will look a little different this season.
For starters, statewide COVID-19 restrictions currently prohibit on-premise consumption in tasting rooms. While the region’s popular, in-person events won’t happen like they have in the past, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on your favorite Willamette Valley wines to compliment your holiday meals and celebrate the holiday season at home.
The Oregon Wine Board and Willamette Valley Wineries Association have teamed up to launch the Season of Giving campaign so wineries can come together to thank their fans and followers throughout the entire holiday season. Several wineries are open in December for to-go purchases and order pickup, and the broader Willamette Valley Food Share—where wineries help raise funds and food to help communities in need throughout the Willamette Valley—will remain a key part of the season’s events.
Wineries Give Back for “Season of Giving”
Julie Burke, marketing and communications coordinator with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, says the Season of Giving campaign arose as a way to thank those who stuck with wineries through the early, uncertain stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to send the message that we're grateful,” she says. “We love the people who support the Willamette Valley, and they’re the reason we’ll emerge from this stronger. We’re so grateful, and we want people to feel like they’re a part of our survival and our success.”
So even if you’re limited to order pick-up and to-go orders, wineries around the region are showing their gratitude throughout November and December with discounts, gifts, and other fun experiences.
Lady Hill Winery, for instance, is holding weekly drawings for private tours and tastings early next year—as well as 20% off cases of select wines. Further south, Cória Estates is promising a private vineyard tour with the purchase of a case of its 2017 Grey Label Pinot noir. And Eola Hills Wine Cellars is offering small-batch Pinot noir chocolate truffles from Melting Pot Candy with the purchase of three or more bottles—along with a 20% discount on a future purchase.
Is your favorite winery participating in the Season of Giving? Check out the full list of participating wineries here.
Willamette Valley Food Share Heads Online
Another big change will be to the region’s Willamette Cares Food Share, which has traditionally raised food and funds for the Oregon Food Bank Network.
Wineries that joined the Season of Giving campaign have collectively donated $7,000 to the Oregon Food Bank Network, which will help the less fortunate throughout the Willamette Valley, and visitors are invited to make safe, secure online donations this season. Select wineries are also accepting in-person donations, though visitors should bring a credit or debit card to cut down on potential points of contact.