The fourth annual Gorge Wine Celebration has a new name and a new purpose: to benefit Hospice of The Gorge.
This year's event, called the Gorge Wine Celebration for Hospice, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Divots (Indian Creek Golf Course, 3605 Brookside Drive) in Hood River, Ore.
"This event has been so successful in introducing and promoting the Columbia Gorge's best wines, that we felt we should reach out and benefit a local nonprofit," said Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association coordinator Thayne Cockrum. "We chose Hospice of The Gorge because they've been serving roughly the same geographic area that we represent since 1981, and because hospice has a historic connection with wine."
The historical tie: Hospices de Beaune, a hospice that was built in the Burgundy region of France in the early 15th century, hosts a world-famous annual wine auction as a major funding source.
"The Gorge Wine Celebration is a great way to reinforce the idea that hospice looks at end-of-life issues as quality-of-life issues," says Hospice of the Gorge executive director Sharon Mulford. "We are so pleased to partner with the Winegrowers Association."
Eighteen Gorge wineries will gather in the shadow of Mt. Hood to showcase more than 60 local wines -- from the classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to the lesser-known Viognier and Barbera.
The Gorge is home to two federally recognized American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) or Appellations: the Columbia Gorge AVA (established in 2004) and the Columbia Valley AVA (established in 1984).
The Winegrowers Association holds this event each year in order to give its members an opportunity to present the fruits of their labor.
Tickets are $35 in advance ($40 at the door) and can be purchased at: local tasting rooms, Collage of the Gorge in White Salmon, Gorge Wine Merchants in Bingen, Klindt's Books in The Dalles, Waucoma Books in Hood River, and Hospice of The Gorge offices in Hood River and The Dalles.
The cost of admission includes a commemorative wineglass, unlimited wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and musical entertainment.
There will also be a live auction that features winemaker dinners, private barrel-tastings, and spa packages.
Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.