The Columbia Gorge Winegrowers announce the return of the successful Passport Weekend program -- with the date set for March 28 to April 3.
"The program was a great success in 2010, and we are excited to provide an opportunity to showcase our winegrowing region and help boost visitors to our area," says Kim DenAdel, marketing manager for the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association. "Our wineries span the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area through 40 miles of peaceful, open-roads running through double mountain views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Visitors can stay the full Passport weekend; one day can be spent in our Washington wineries (spanning from Underwood to Goldendale), next in our Oregon wineries (spanning from Hood River thru The Dalles) and complete the weekend in our Hood River Tasting Rooms. It's a wonderful way to spend the weekend and discover the variety of wines from the Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley AVAs."
The Passport Weekend started in 2009, made possible by a grant from the Oregon Tourism Commission, also known as Travel Oregon. Last year, the event began with a tasting in Portland and brought more than 500 guests to the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area for a fun weekend of wine touring.
This year the week-long event kicks-off on Monday, March 28 with the Columbia Gorge Grand Tasting in Portland at Urban Studio in the Pearl District, 935 NW Davis Street.
Over 22 wineries will be pouring where one can meet the winemakers and discover the variety of wines from the Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley AVAs. Tickets are $25 each and include a commemorative wine glass, wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and a Passport for Passport Weekend (a $15 value). The trade tasting is from 1-4 p.m. with the public tasting from 5-8 p.m.
The main event is Passport Weekend, April 1-3, with over 26 wineries to explore. From incredible discounts to private barrel tastings to special gifts to live music and breathtaking views, offerings are as varied as the wines found in the Gorge.
Passports are $15 each (a $5 to $800 value in potential savings) and available online or at Gorge-area tasting rooms.
Participating Wineries during Passport Weekend include:
AniChe, Cathedral Ridge Winery, Cerulean Wine, COR Cellars, Domaine Pouillon, Dry Hollow Vineyards, Garnier Vineyards, Jacob Williams Winery, Jan-Marc Cellars, Major Creek Cellars, Marchesi Vineyards, Maryhill Winery, Memaloose Wines, Mt. Hood Winery, Naked Winery, Outdoor Wino, Pheasant Valley Winery, Phelps Creek Vineyards, Springhouse Cellar, Sunshine Mill/Quenett Winery, Syncline, The Gorge White House, The Pines 1852, Viento, Waving Tree Winery, and Wy'East Vineyards