A sunny Saturday prelude to a rainy Concours

With sunny skies above, the Forest Grove vineyard and lake tour drew a crowd of nearly 40 classic cars on a scenic drive through western Washington County, inspired by similar events at other Concours gatherings, the nine-year tradition is now a firmly en
by: John Schrag Ferraris and open-topped classics drew the attention of passersby in Forest Grove Saturday morning as cars prepared to embark on the Concours vineyard and lake tour.

Rick Johnston doesn't remember who exactly came up with the idea to host a tour through Washington County's wine country ahead of Forest Grove's Concours d'Elegance.

Like many ideas for the Concours, it started in a casual brainstorming session. But he remembers getting fingered to take on the task.

'Next thing you know they're all pointing fingers at me saying 'you're the guy',' Johnston said with a chuckle.

That was nine years ago, and in that time, the Saturday tour has turned into a Concours tradition.

And this year, the tour seemed particularly idyllic, with sunny skies smiling on about 39 vintage autos on their amble through the valley's vineyards and around Hagg Lake.

The forecast for Saturday was just as shaky as Sunday's, and Johnston was worried he might get rained out. Instead, the only hiccup was a minor breakdown on the guided tour, which participants pay $60, not including dinner, to participate in.

But that was easily fixed by the mechanic along for the ride, Johnston said.

Jill Augustin, manager of the tasting room at Montinore Estate Vineyards, said it was great having the cars on the campus, with the added bonus of a few participants buying bottles to take home.

'We love that,' Augustin said.