Labor Day Wine Weekend in the Gorge

Wineries in the Columbia Gorge will be offering open houses for Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31-Sept 2, with huge discounts, food pairings, new releases and more fun surprises.

Start your tour in Hood River, where Cathedral Ridge is having case specials, new releases, lawn games, and food pairings. Make your way downtown to hit up six wineries within walking distance of each other. Naked Winery is offering a complimentary pour of its Cougar Semi-Sparkling and hosting live music in the evenings. Stop by Springhouse Cellar and enjoy tasting in a tap driven tasting room.

Next, head into the beautiful Hood River Valley toward Pheasant Valley Winery for barrel tasting tours led by its winemaker, and Mediterranean grilled foods. Visit Major Creek Cellars at The Gorge White House for free tastings of all of its reds. While you’re there, load up your car with some fresh fruit from its farm stand.

If you prefer to test out the Washington side of things, enjoy the spectacular views as you make your way to Aniche Cellars to enjoy food pairings and samples of future releases. Special guests Viento Winery will also be pouring at Aniche the entire weekend; two wineries in one.

Returning to the Columbia, stop in at White Salmon Vineyard’s new tasting room, where if you answer its riddle correctly you win a free bottle of wine.

Save enough time to meander east through phenomenal scenery towards the wineries of Lyle. COR Cellars is pouring new releases, Domain Pouillon is having summer white wine specials and Memaloose Winery is offering a logo Riedel glass with purchase of any three bottles. Continue on toward Jacob Williams Winery for hors d’oeuvres and huge views of the Columbia River.

Wrap up a marvelous weekend at Maryhill Winery with new releases, case specials, live music, barbecue and a round of bocce.

For a full listing of wineries, hours and activities, visit:

Happy tasting!

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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