Wine country — Decreed 'Oregon Wine Month,' May will have events state-wide celebrating

In 2012, Gov. John Kitzhaber declared that May would be called Oregon Wine Month. Celebrating its third year, the Oregon Wine Board decided to mix it up a little bit, organization wise.

Michelle Kaufmann, OWB assistant communications manager, said in the past there was a large tasting at the end of the month, but after some reflection the organization decided to make it more about the individual winery.

“We decided not to do a tasting this year, to let wineries do whatever they wanted to be creative,” Kaufmann said.

So there are individual events across the state, wine maker dinners, special tastings, rare wine offerings, basically a full month of celebrating Oregon wine.

“Really what I think is the best thing about the program is whatever the consumer wants to do, there’s so much happening there’s something for everyone,” she said.

In Newberg, many wineries are hosting Mother’s Day events or Memorial Day celebrations. But Catherine Douglas, Adelsheim manager of export sales, said it’s also about promoting Oregon wines.

“Sort of to raise the awareness of Oregon wine and get the consumer to buy the wine,” Douglas said.

That’s partially why Kitzhaber made the decree in 2012, to really emphasize the wine industry.

“It’s a $2.7 billion wine industry in Oregon,” Kaufmann said. “(The industry) has more than 500 wineries and more than 9,000 vineyards throughout the state. There’s literally wineries in every nook and cranny.”

Douglas said there’s a push to increase Oregon wine presence in stores as well, but it all ties back to the growing industry and increasing recognition.

“(It can also) maybe encourage people to try a place they haven’t been before,” she said.

To view the official Oregon Wine Month event calendar, visit

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