By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

After Turkey Rama, wine events prevail

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Turkey Rama is in full swing, once again the melting pot of McMinnville events. Past efforts to integrate wine dinners and fine art sales into the traditional Turkey Rama schedule found these to be the wrong mix for this 53-year-old event.

But anyone who doubts the impact of our wine industry on entertainment and fundraising needs only to consider the summer calendar of wine-related activities.

This Sunday’s Fueled By Fine Wine Half Marathon in Dundee is preceded by the carbo-load luncheon Saturday at Erath Winery. One event beneficiary is the NW Newfoundland Rescue organization.

McMinnville Rotary Club holds its annual Oregon Wine & Art Auction July 20 at Hyland Estates in Dundee. The major event benefits the Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation, YCAP Regional Food Bank and Rotary Club Foundation.

The annual International Pinot Noir Celebration held at Linfield College is July 26-28. As usual, the high-priced weekend package is sold out, but tickets may remain for the Sunday Passport event.

Penner-Ash’s benefit concert for Portland’s Friends of the Children is Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Newberg-area winery. And while I could not find a wine-related event scheduled the next weekend, the fledgling Walnut City Music Festival will debut in McMinnville Aug. 10.

A huge wine-serving tent will be a prominent feature at Carlton’s Walk in the Park, scheduled Aug. 17-18. That event has raised more than $225,000 in the past decade for Carlton community organizations.

Though not billed as a wine event, downtown wine bars will be filled during the annual Dragging the Gut Festival Aug. 23-24 in McMinnville. Then, it’s back to Carlton on Sept. 1 for the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, where wine booths will greet runners near the finish line.

Bounty of the County, sponsored by the Yamhill Enrichment Society at Sokol Blosser Winery outside Dundee, raises funds for YES programs. The Sept. 8 event celebrates our local “trifecta of fervent farmers, pioneering wine producers and masterful chefs.”

Carlton Crush Harvest Festival is Sept. 15 in downtown Carlton, featuring grape stomp competitions for adults and kids, and plenty of family activities. Proceeds go to the local food bank program.

Interspersed with all those activities is the Art & Wine Walk every third Saturday in downtown McMinnville; Newberg’s ARTwalk featuring wine-tasting every first Friday; and all manner of winemaker dinners and other events at individual wineries.

Connoisseurs of fine wines clearly have many options for “tasteful” activities.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.

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