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Oregon Wine Board supports the wine industry by kicking off Oregon Wiine Month

Wine grapes were first planted in Oregon 55 years ago and now have expanded into 18 designated areas located in four regions. Oregon has more than 730 wineries and 1,050 vineyards that produce 72 grape varieties. It has grown into a $5.61 billion industry.GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - This is the seventh year that the Oregon Wine Board has designated May as Oregon Wine Month with a mission to increase support for distributors, restaurants and retailers in the Pacific Northwest, to create a platform for wine promotions and to develop a deeper affinity or Oregon wine.

This is the seventh year that the Oregon Wine Board has designated May as Oregon Wine Month with a mission to increase support for distributors, restaurants and retailers in the Pacific Northwest, to create a platform for wine promotions and to develop a deeper affinity or Oregon wine.

"This is an important time for us in the spring because this is when the wine growing season really kicks off," Sally Murdock, communications manager of Oregon Wine Board, said. "This is a good way to not only to support that but to remind the Oregonians that there is plenty going on in wine country."

The Oregon Wine Board provides a toolkit to support those involved in the industry that includes tips on point of sales, trade tools, end cap displays and marketing through in-store events. The board also teaches winery owners how to utilize social media platforms.

"We are charged with providing support in the form of marketing, research and education across the state and we are a state agency, Murdock explained. "There is over 730 wineries now in Oregon, so we have a lot of ground to cover. Seventy percent of the 730 are so small that they are family owned. That is the charm about Oregon wineries that you can go to any of those wineries and you can visit and talk with the wine maker.

"Oregon wines are really food friendly, when we are talking about wines and our wines can be robust especially in southern Oregon, but they still pair real well with food. That is what this month is about."

Some of the events in the Newberg-Dundee area to celebrate Oregon Wine Month include Taste Dundee on Saturday at Dobbes Family Estate. Roco Winery will celebrate the release of their first rose' from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 5 at 13260 N.E. Red Hills Road.

Lange Estate Winery will launch the summer season with the grand opening of a new wine wing as well as tastings from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. May 5 on 18380 N.E. Buena Vista Drive Dundee.

Barrel tasting with the release of Shameless Cabernet sauvignon is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at 19960 N.E. Ribbon Ridge Road. A spring release party and crawfish boil will be undertaken at La Belle Promenade Vineyard, featuring Chef John Rowland from New Orleans, from noon to 5 p.m. May 19 at 20195 N.E. Kings Grade Road.

Memorial Day will be a busy time as well in the area. Torii Mor Tasting Room in Dundee is celebrating with a garden party, lawn games and tastings from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 26-27 at 18323 N.E. Fairview Drive in Dundee.

Roco Winery will hold an open house to celebrate Memorial Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 26-27.

Styring will hold open house with live music and tastings from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 26-27.

Business briefs

The Noon Rotary Club will hold an auction at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Allison Inn & Spa, 2525 Allison Lane. Enjoy wine, food and bid on a selection of auction packages. The proceeds benefit more than 40 youth-related charities and causes in the community. For more information, call 971-264-1287.

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