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Winter's slower pace gives wine enthusiasts new opportunities to enjoy wines, meet winemakers and other enthusiasts

For wine lovers seeking a Willamette Valley experience free of peak-season hustle and bustle, Cellar Season presents an ideal opportunity. Beginning the first of the New Year and continuing until the onset of spring, this season is both relaxing and vibrant, full of unique offerings to learn, discover, explore and simply enjoy the glow.

Visitors are treated to open country roads, quiet tasting rooms and casual one-on-one time with winemakers. The holiday rush gives way to irrestible fireplaces and mellow cellars where just-barreled wines come of age. There's a quiet and contagious energy to the Cellar Season, from the neatly pruned vineyard rows and moody sunsets to the newly invigorated winemaking community, fresh off another outstanding vintage.

A soothing soundtrack and beautiful addition to the valley landscape, the rain also nurtures the dormant vines and ensures a healthy foundation for the growing season to come. Here, rain is something to celebrate, says Willamette Valley Wine Association (WVWA) Executive Director Morgen McLaughlin. "When it rains, we pour!" she says.

Cellar Season events include:

¦ Pairing dinners, such as Lange's Winter Wine Dinner Series, celebrating both wines and talented local chefs.

¦ Seminars like the foundational See, Smell, Sip series at Brooks Winery, offer a chance to deepen your wine knowledge.

¦ Seasonal festivals including the Truffle Festival and Oregon Chardonnay Celebration, where visitors can discover even more about the Willamette Valley's treasures.

New releases like roses, dessert wines and the Willamette Valley's signature Pinot Noir further accentuate the sense of excitement the season brings.

"It's an incredible time to acquaint yourself with a new wine or winery as distractions are few and far between," McLaughlin said.

Cellar Season manages to pair beloved wines with extraordinary peaceful surroundings. The year's harvest is busy aging in barrel while tasting rooms are humming with new wines, fresh winemaking stories and the calm majesty of the offseason.

For more information about the Willamette Valley and Cellar Season events visit willamettewines.com/cellar-season.

The WVWA is a nonprofit industry association dedicated to achieving recognition for Oregon's acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premium Pinot noir producing region. The WVWA has more than 230 members representing wineries, tasting rooms and vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley.

Learn more online at willamettewines.com.


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