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Arts and carafes weekend at the Resort

Festival to benefit Alzheimer's Association

Don't look now, but Christmas is right around the corner.

Weeks before the Thanksgiving turkey hits the plate, The Resort at the Mountain turns its attention to the gift-giving season at the 18th annual Wine and Art Festival, held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12.

With less than nine weeks to go until Christmas, the event offers the perfect chance for locals to get some early holiday shopping out of the way while also enjoying superb art from local artists and the best products from Oregon wineries - all to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

'It's a traditional kick off for the holidays, and it's a great place to get wine for Christmas or Thanksgiving,' said Kara Buchikos, the festival coordinator. 'It's a nice tradition on the mountain; people enjoy having it around.'

Originally, the event started as a way to draw people into the area at a time when tourist traffic was lower. Organizers settled on a weekend in mid November in part because that's between the time wineries crush their grapes and when the tasting rooms open.

More than 10 wineries are expected to attend this year, including Champagne Creek Cellars, Oak Knoll Winery, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Marquam Hill Vineyards, St. Josef's Wine Cellar, Pheasant Valley Winery and Sake One. Also attending will be Portland Brewing Company - a beer brewery - and K and F Coffee.

A number of artists will present their crafts, featuring everything from watercolor paintings to jewelry. Attendees will include Forrest Gallery (watercolor landscapes), Panepento Jewelry, McKee Studios (paintings and prints), Moonlight Creations (beaded jewelry), photography by Gary Clay, Capture Images (oil and pastel paintings), and Dancing Feather Studio (pottery and clay).

In 2001, the Wine and Art Festival organizers expanded their vision by raising money and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association. While entry to the festival is free, a portion of each $10 'passport' - which gives the bearer samples from every winery - is given to the organization. And even though it may seem odd to link Alzheimer's with a wine and art festival, Tracy Madsen, the director of development for the Oregon chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, sees an obvious connection.

'You don't think of sipping wine when you're (discussing) Alzheimers, but the crowd they draw is a prime target for our message,' said Madsen. 'This disease has most baby boomers terrified. We are all experiencing it with our parents.'

Approximately 80,000 Oregonians have Alzheimer's, and as Madsen noted, the impact of the disease not only hits the patient, but the families and people who care for them.

Organizers hope that the festival can bring some positive light to Alzheimer's. Madsen, for one, remarked how art and wine (in moderation) can be part of an lifestyle to help keep the brain active and healthy.

'All of the things that are good for heart health are good for brain health,' Madsen said. 'And being stimulated by art and socializing are wonderful for the brain.'

IF YOU GO

Admission to the Wine and Art Festival is free, but donations are accepted to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. An overnight package is also available that includes a one-night stay in a fireside king studio, dinner for two, two passports and a complimentary bottle of wine for $199. For reservations, please call 503-622-3101. For more information on the Wine and Art Festival, call 503-622-2229.