Forest Grove UnCorked pours sunshine from a bottle
Dawn Houser is excited about the Forest Grove UnCorked! festival this year.
Granted, Dawn and husband Gary Houser are always excited about UnCorked. It's the festival they started with a couple of friends, who have since moved out of the state, and one they enjoy putting on every year on Forest Grove's Main Street.
But this year is the 10th anniversary of UnCorked, and that means the festival will be offering something new: limited-release wines, courtesy of Apolloni Vineyards.
"We were happy to work with Dawn, and we've put together a Willamette Valley blend pinot noir for them to sell as an anniversary celebration," said winemaker Kevin Green. "We also did a little blend of our estate pinot gris for them, and as well, we did an off-dry blend of four different white varietals."
The pinot noir is a departure from Apolloni's usual practice, Green added.
"We don't buy or source or have the opportunity to work with a lot of (vineyards) from the rest of the Willamette Valley," Green said. "That has some fruit from outside of our own vineyard, so that's unique for us."
Also new at UnCorked this year is a greater vendor variety, Dawn Houser said. About 65 are lined up for the festival, being held Saturday, Aug. 18, in downtown Forest Grove.
"We've grown a little bit this year," Houser said.
She added, "We have some really good vendors. … All of our food is local. The furthest out we have is Portland."
As one might guess based on its name, UnCorked is a 21-and-over festival that celebrates local winemaking. Several breweries, cideries and distilleries are also signed on to offer their products.
"It's really showing people this is what we're about in the Willamette Valley," Houser said.
There will also be live music at UnCorked, as well as a magic show.
UnCorked charges for admission, with a portion of gate proceeds being donated to charity. This year's cause is the Public Safety Chaplaincy, a Beaverton-based organization that provides volunteer chaplains to agencies like the Forest Grove Police Department and Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.
Houser grew up in a military family, and her brother is a firefighter, she said, so the cause of public safety is "near and dear" to her.
"We know firsthand how much time and money and effort that these men and women put into making sure that we're safe all the time," said Houser.
All raffle proceeds from the event are also donated to the charity cause, according to the event website.
UnCorked opens at 4 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10. Some vendors may charge additional tasting fees. Minors and pets are not permitted.
By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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