A Blooming Hill Vineyard is part of fun way to get people excited

by: GARY ALLEN - The new Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers trading cards encourage consumers to learn about the winemakers behind the wine, and instill a bit of fun in the experience.There are a limited number available, but those involved in the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Association hope collecting their trading cards will not only provide some insight to the numerous wineries in the area, but also the people behind the wines.

And having fun collecting them wouldn’t hurt, either.

“Just like you would with baseball cards, people collect their favorite ones,” said April Yap-Hennig, CMW marketing consultant.

There are 28 total, including wineries spanning the alphabet from A Blooming Hill Vineyard in Cornelius to White Rose Estate in Dayton.

“The idea behind the trading cards was kind of to capture the culture behind the wines,” Yap-Hennig said. “A lot of people know the winery, but not the people behind the wine.”

The free cards include the basics about each winery, what types of wine they make and something unique.

“(There’s) usually a quote or something kind of fun to make it more human,” she said.

For example, A Blooming Hill Vineyard’s Jim Witte was rock-band KISS’s business manager for one year in 1979. And Gresser Vineyards de-stems their grapes using energy from a recumbent bike.

“Nobody has broken down our door to ask for them,” said Holly Witte, co-owner of A Blooming Hill Vineyard. But nine full sets of the cards have been sent to other major wine auctions around the country, she said.

“It’s been a really cool project and by doing it we’ve all learned something about each other as well,” said Sheila Nicholas, from Anam Cara Cellars. “Behind every wine is a person who’s truly passionate about what they’re doing. It’s hopefully an opportunity to show people who they are and encourage people to get out and meet the folks who have the pictures on their cards.”

Nicholas said although the rollout is slow, mostly due to the time of year, the cards have been well received so far.

“It’s a little slow at first, but it’s going to pick up. People seem really excited about it,” Yap-Hennig said.

Aside from the fun aspect, she said there’s a benefit for those who collect all the cards.

“When you collect all of them you get a checklist, and as you pick them up you get them checked off,” she said. “When checked off at each winery, you get free tastings at every winery. You also get entered into a drawing for tickets to an annual event that we do. It’s a fun way to get people excited and make them want to pick them up and visit wineries.”

Nicholas said they hope to expand the deck even more next year.

“There will be another edition and I would anticipate another set of photographs with the same 28 plus more; we see it as an ongoing project,” she said. “It’s a fun way to bring wines to life and showcase the characters who make them.”

For those who can’t make it to each winery, the cards can be viewed online at Contact information for the wineries is included on the back of each card.

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