It’s coming close to the one local event that I have looked forward to for the past fifteen years, Umpqua Valley’s Greatest of the Grape. Held in Canyonville, Oregon at 7 Feathers Casino and Convention Center, this is the event for showcasing the wines and wineries of the Umpqua Valley. That’s who is really showcased at this wine and food event, the exception being a handful of wineries from Eugene and Medford areas.
Each winery is paired with a restaurant that prepares mini treats to showcase the one wine being served at each winery booth. I have watched this event grow from a much smaller venue held at the Fairgrounds, to this much more attractive setting. With tables all decorated, a large cheese and bread table, and even a silent auction, there is something for everyone here over the four hours.
Always a live band in the background for effect as well as a dance floor for those who appear to need a break from “sipping” wine. Local artisans will have their paintings, jewelry, and other creations on display for sale.
For myself, I am looking forward to attending this event March 2nd, not so much for the wines, because I already know every wine being served there, but more for the “small town” feeling of this wine event. Pretty much a wine event attended by local Southern Oregon wine lovers, most of whom already know the wineries and owners, this seems to me more of a “county fair” type of feeling, only dressed up.
You may be thinking, where is he going with this article, and I’m going to tell you. Over the past few months I have attended some extremely large and well know events, some attended by wineries worldwide as well as attendees from everywhere. Events like the International Pinot Noir Conference in McMinnville and recently the ZAP Zinfandel Org four day festival in San Francisco, although awesome in their own, make it a pleasure to attend a smaller “home grown” wine event; like this one. Sometimes small and personal can be the best of all worlds.
So the next time you are looking for something to do in Oregon, or wherever you do your laundry, look for one of these smaller events, and get to know some people.