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Oregon Wine Experience will happen online this year

The Oregon Wine Experience will commence virtually this year.

Last year the event drew 5,123 people and raised $1.7 million. Rather than canceling the largest annual fundraiser for the Asante Foundation, organizers decided this year to take the activities online.

The event showcases the best of Oregon wines, culminating in an awards ceremony and dinner. All of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and other local Asante programs.

“We wanted to keep everyone’s health and safety in mind,” said Desirae MacGillivray Myers, Asante Foundation marketing and communications manager. “Once an uptick in cases happened in our community, we knew we should make our programs virtual and livestream.”

Anyone can tune in to the livestream free of charge, whereas in past years participants had to purchase tickets for the events, Myers said.

The competition portion of the event took place from July 17-19, with a panel of judges sampling wines crafted with Oregon grapes.

Winners will be announced during a virtual medal celebration Friday, Aug. 14. A livestream link will soon be available on the OWE website, theoregonwineexperience.com, allowing people to watch the kickoff of the event and learn the winners of the competition from the safety of their homes.

Sponsors for the event receive a “medal celebration in a box,” including 2020 award-winning wines and treats to enjoy at home. The boxes can be purchased for $75, while supplies last, from https://bit.ly/30ChFV7athomemedal. The boxes include two bottles of wines that were entered in the 2020 competition, culinary creations for two, and items from Harry & David.

Myers said the wines in the medal celebration boxes are not labeled, so participants will find out the winners as they watch the ceremony and are enjoying the wine.

At past events, attendees had the opportunity to stroll around the event tents, sample wines and munch on small plates prepared by chefs prior to the various ceremonies.

“We were able to make our food packages with wine for our sponsors so that they could have some sort of experience in the safety of their homes,” Myers said.

The online Founders Barrel Auction launches Friday, Aug. 14, and closes at noon Sunday, Aug. 23. The auction allows participants to bid on exclusive blends curated by top Oregon winemakers made specifically for this event.

An online Miracle Auction will run from noon Friday, Aug. 14 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22.

For more information and links to events, see www.theoregonwineexperience.com and click the “summary of events” tab.

Contact Ashland Tidings freelancer Caitlin Fowlkes at Caitlin.fowlkes@gmail.com.

Guests sample some wine at the Oregon Wine Experience in Jacksonville. (Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune)