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Wines Are Centerpiece Of Fruit Celebration

Event takes place June 20-21

The Hood River County Fruit Loop's world-famous fruit orchards have been joined in recent years by a growing number of vineyards and wineries.

Their grapes and wines are proving to be just as wonderful -- and award-winning -- as that legendary tree fruit. The second annual Fruit Loop Wine Celebration takes place all along the Fruit Loop Saturday and Sunday, June 20-21.

Wine lovers are invited to meet the winemakers, discuss their art, and taste their best. Tour vineyards and wineries, relax in beautiful tasting rooms, and enjoy gorgeous scenery. Take advantage of special pricing and enjoy tasty treats during the Wine Celebration. Find wonderful products and take part in fun activities at farms all along the Fruit Loop.

The Hood River Valley, like much of the Columbia Gorge, offers a range of micro-climes created by soil types, slope and elevation, permitting the cultivation of a variety of kinds of grapes. And the valley's bountiful crops of fruits and berries -- primary ingredients in delightful specialty wines -- make it clear why the area has developed a reputation as an excellent wine locale.

The Columbia Gorge Appellation became a federally-designated grape-growing region in July 2004. Local winemakers have never looked back. Their efforts have been recognized with growing lists of awards and recognition.

Visit all of the Fruit Loop wineries during the Fruit Loop Wine Celebration, as well as the other farms and attractions of the Fruit Loop.

Cathedral Ridge Winery was named Oregon Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest in 2007. During the Wine Celebration weekend, it'll be offering special wine selections on Saturday, and will observe Father's Day and "Summer Solstice" on Sunday, with special wines and food.

Also proud holder of a long list of wine awards is Hood River Vineyards. It is the Gorge's oldest winery, and Hood River's oldest commercial vineyard. During the Wine Celebration, it will be hosting a "Fruits of Summer" tasting, featuring fruit wines, ciders, ports and sherry at special prices. Taste regular wines, too!

Marchesi Vineyards and Winery is a boutique winery specializing in Italian varietals reminiscent of Piedmonte, Italy, where the founder was born and grew up. It grows Barbera, Docetto, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir grapes. There is no tasting fee during the Wine Celebration.

Pheasant Valley Winery and B&B offers a beautiful vineyard, spacious tasting room with a magnificent view of Mt. Hood, and gift shop, as well as an on-site B&B for overnight stays. Their wines have earned an impressive list of awards, and the winery is the site of frequent special events.

Phelps Creek Vineyards toasts the beginning of summer with their favorite summer sipper -- Rose.

Mt. Hood Winery is growing, developing new vineyards along Highway 35, and looking forward to a busy season. Taste their wines, and enjoy the views. Meet the winemakers, and enjoy the results of their efforts!

Wy'east Vineyards has a delightful country tasting room, and views of their Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay vineyards. Other varieties are made from grapes from top regional vineyards.

The Gorge White House is a "must visit" for the wine enthusiast -- or the person enthusiastic about numerous other local products. Situated in a 1910 Dutch Colonial home listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Gorge White house is a Highway 35 landmark. Since it's recent conversion from a private home to a popular gathering place, the Gorge White House features wines from two dozen area wineries, a selection of micro-brews, as well as other special products including fresh fruit, artisan cheeses, dried fruit, and more. During the Wine Celebration, it will be formally releasing its first wine -- a refreshing, crisp, light and semi-sweet wine made from bosc pears -- Heritage Pear! It's appropriate that it's a pear wine, since the White House has been a working pear farm since 1902.

Most farms and attractions along the Fruit Loop are open from at least 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (wineries open at 11 a.m.).

For complete information about the Fruit Loop Wine Celebration, for a listing of Fruit Loop farms, attractions and individual operating hours, and for an easy-to-follow map, visit the Fruit Loop website at www.hoodriverfruitloop.com.

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