A labor of love. Lucky in love. These phrases are catchy and true for those who find themselves as part of Tualatin Valley’s wine community. Such is the case for Joscelyn Zell of Ardiri Winery. Eight years ago, Joscelyn found herself making the leap from the corporate world of tech PR—and ultimately landing into what she calls her dream job as the head of marketing, branding and events for the Ardiri Winery.
Joscelyn doesn’t just spearhead events at the Ardiri vineyard estate, but also the beloved Valentine’s Wine Tasting Loop (February 9-11; individual tasting fees apply). Seven years ago, the loop began with just three wineries: Ardiri Winery, Alloro Vineyards and Cooper Mountain Vineyards. The forthcoming 2018 Valentine’s Wine Tasting Loop includes a whopping 13 participating wineries (and an alpaca farm to boot!).
Valentine’s Wine Tasting Loop Participants:
- A Blooming Hill Vineyard
- Alloro Vineyards
- Ardiri Winery
- Blakeslee Vineyard
- Blizzard Wines
- Cooper Mountain Vineyards
- Dion Vineyards
- Hamacher Wines
- Hawks View Cellars
- Oak Knoll Winery
- Ponzi Vineyards
- Raptor Ridge Winery
- Ruby Vineyard and Winery
- Stoneberg Alpacas Farm and Boutique
Of the event and its growth, Joscelyn said, “I could have never imagined it would scale to this level of fun, with special festivities at every location. Hands-down, it is my favorite event of the year, and it is an honor to orchestrate it.”
Each winery hosts a special tasting, as well as a special activity, which may include local chocolates, florists or jewelers. When asked which stop she is looking forward to most during this year’s event, Joscelyn simply couldn’t pick. Who could blame her? Luckily, no one must choose just one winery to visit. In fact, each participating winery will provide a stamp to each visitor. Think of it as collecting valentines of sorts. Collect four stamps and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a swanky hotel and a guided wine tasting tour.
Discover New Favorite Oregon Wines
In planning your own stops along the Valentine’s Wine Tasting Loop, Joscelyn points out that the participating wineries include some of the area’s newest tasting rooms—a perfect excuse to visit and fall in love with new wineries. “In just the past few years, Dion Vineyards, Blizzard Wines, Ruby Vineyard and Winery, Hamacher Wines and Blakeslee Vineyards have all opened tasting rooms. We even have a new alpaca farm and boutique that we’ve added to the loop a fun twist,” Joscelyn said. “The Valentine’s Loop is a true celebration of the growth of wineries to visit just outside Portland…You can be in the heart of wine country in 30 minutes.” As an added bonus, you can find great hotels (and free parking) at many hotels close to the wineries.
Reasons to Visit Oregon Wineries in February
While the lush days of summer and autumn’s harvest make the warmer months a go-to time for wine tasting, a February visit is full of its own charm. To this point, Joscelyn iterated, “The colors are absolutely breathtaking. The fields of green and red in our area are so vibrant and uplifting, particularly at a time of year where we’re all trying to stave off the winter doldrums. The scenery and fresh air paired with wine is the perfect cure.” With the Valentine’s Wine Tasting Loop, we might add that the wineries are also Cupid’s cure for winter blahs.
Just as Tualatin Valley loves our local wineries, we also love, well, love itself. The Valentine’s Wine Tasting Loop is a happy marriage of both.