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The event features a seminar with local winemakers and tasting of 50 local producers

Wine is definitely a big deal in the greater Newberg area, so it only makes sense there be a celebration to honor it.

The eighth annual Oregon Chardonnay Celebration will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Allison Inn and Spa. The event will feature four highly acclaimed Oregon winemakers with decades of experience in making chardonnay. These winemakers will guide guests through tasting events and seminars.PMG FILE PHOTO - The Oregon Chardonnay Festival is set for Saturday at the Allison Inn & Spa.

The event will feature a walk-around tasting of more than 50 Oregon chardonnays from wineries featured by the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration, making it one of the region's largest varietal specific tastings.

Local wines to be featured include those from Adelsheim Vineyard, Domaine Serene, Erath Winery and others.

The seminar panel will be moderated by Jason Lett, a winemaker from the Eyrie Vineyards. Lett has decade's worth of experience in Oregon vineyards and winemaking, including making chardonnay.

The actual panel features Robert Brittan of Brittan Vineyards; Ben Casteel of Bethel Heights Vineyard; Michael Etzel of Beaux Frères and Kate Payne-Brown of the Stoller Family Estate.

The day's events begin with a seated seminar about the evolution of chardonnay, before continuing with the walk-around sampling event. Attendees can choose between participating in both the seminar and the tasting or just the tasting itself.

Anne Nisbet, event director for the celebration, said they are expecting about 400 people to attend both the seminar and the tasting, a near sellout. The seminar is about how chardonnays age, which she said is something past attendees have asked for. Each panel member will pour two wines once they have spoken.

Nisbet added that the event is a great way for people to reintroduce themselves to chardonnays, positing that many people start drinking with chardonnays before moving on to other kinds of wine.

"There's a lot of excitement in Oregon around chardonnay right now," she said.

The seminar may be the ideal event for people more interested in the technical side of winemaking, while the tasting is designed for everyone, even relatively new wine drinkers.

The event is also hosted by Youngberg Hill, a winery and vineyard in McMinnville. Tickets are available online at www.oregonchardonnaycelebration.org and are $175 for the seminar and the tasting event, or $85 for the tasting only. The seminar begins at 1 p.m. and the tasting lasts from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Those attending the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration are also offered a reduced rate of $295 a night to stay at the Allison Inn. Those interested in checking availability can call the hotel directly at 503-554-2525.

According to its website, the event "educates both industry members and consumers about the varietal in a non-competitive environment." Formerly known as the Oregon Chardonnay Symposium, the event "delves deep into what makes Oregon Chardonnay unique, each year focusing on different aspects of the varietal and its place in the state.

Bringing together pioneers and the current generation of Oregon producers, the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration provides a lens through which we can view the past, present and future of Oregon Chardonnay.

Business in brief

Youth Outreach program set

Newberg's Youth Outreach program has started a program to help send boys to college. Titled "Wise Guys," the program is a weekly meeting every Wednesday at 5 p.m. at its 719 E. First St. location. For more information, call 538-8023.

Visioning survey available

From now until March 4, the city of Newberg is asking residents to participate in an online community visioning survey. The seven-minute survey is available online at https://bit.ly/2SDq8E5 and is a chance for residents to weigh in on the city's future.

Overnight shelter open

The Mission Shelter in McMinnville is offering an overnight shelter through the end of March for those in need. The shelter at 1315 Northeast Macy St. is open every day from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m., with dinner, breakfast, showers and laundry available. Pets are allowed inside in a crate, but with proof of rabies vaccination the pet can be on a leash. A person does not have to be clean and sober to attend.


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