By Bonnie Glidewell

Each August, The Oregon Wine Experience, previously known as the World of Wine Festival (WOW), gets bigger and better. Both locals and tourists come together for one reason, and one reason only, the love of wine.

The Oregon Wine Experience is a week-long event full of great wine, delicious food, entertainment, and above all, fun! Over the course of seven days, guests have the opportunity to explore, learn, and indulge in all the beauty and bounty that Southern Oregon offers. Personally, I've attended all four years since the event began and If there’s ever a good time to visit the region, this is it!

Held at the historic Bigham Knoll Campus in Jacksonville as well as at winery and restaurant venues throughout the region, this year’s festival is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. Whether you choose to attend as a guest or a volunteer, Oregon Wine Experience is the state’s essential wine event of the year.

The Oregon Wine Experience is a partnership between the Asante Foundation and the Southern Oregon wine industry. They share a vision of creating a multi-day destination event that celebrates our award-winning wine region, culinary offerings, hospitality, outdoor activities, and natural beauty. As part of Asante Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network is the primary beneficiary and all funds raised will be used to support healthcare programs at Asante, serving more than 600,000 people living in Oregon and Northern California.


2016 Schedule of events:

Oregon Wine Competition

August 6-7

The Oregon Wine Competition is a key ingredient of the Oregon Wine Experience, and in 2016 we’ll be opening the competition to wineries throughout the state of Oregon. What does this mean for you? More wine, more fun! Throughout the week of events, medal-winning wines from all over Oregon will be available for tasting.


Oregon Wine University: Wine Discover Series

August 12-25

Looking to expand your wine knowledge or learn the ins and outs of pairing? The Oregon Wine University offers wine education, appreciation, and sensory classes for wine lovers of all levels! Many classes this year take place at local wineries, giving you a chance to explore our lovely region. Here are the classes available this year:

  • 25 Things You Thought You Knew About Wine
  • Brush Strokes in the Vines
  • Pairing Wine and Cheese to Please
  • Hospitality Class
  • The Power of Cabernet Sauvignon: An Exploration of Oregon & Washington Terroir
  • Southern Oregon vs The Old World
  • Wine 101
  • Riedel Glass Seminar


Medal Celebration

August 24

As the kickoff event for the Oregon Wine Experience, the Medal Celebration will be most enjoyable. Be there as we announce which wines receive Gold, Silver and Best of Show medals in the Oregon Wine Competition. The best part … you get to taste all the winners! There also will be a wide selection of tasty culinary delights, perfect for pairing with your wine.


Founder’s Barrel Auction

August 26

In 2015, the event held the first Barrel Auction ever offered in Southern Oregon. It happens again this year. A select group of wineries will be offering guests wine tastings directly from the barrel, and later guests will have the chance to bid on a variety of custom crush wine futures. Make sure you grab some tickets for this rare opportunity!


Miracle Auction & Salmon Bake

August 27

This night is one of the Experience's most popular events. Enjoy an authentic salmon bake dinner and outdoor buffet, entertainment and tastings from award winning wines. Make plans to linger for the Grand Auction, where you can compete with your neighbor for the best of the Live, Platinum, and Silent Auction items. The rest of your time will be spent enjoying live music, dancing under the stars, and sipping more of that amazing wine of course! This special evening is the essence of a true Oregon Wine Experience. If you’re looking for a party, look no further.


Grand Tasting

August 28

There’s not much better than an afternoon full of wine, tasty treats, and good company. For the final day of Oregon Wine Experience, the Grand Tasting will give you just that. This popular event offers a rare opportunity to meet the faces of the Oregon wine industry all in one place! Winemakers and owners from 50+ wineries throughout Oregon will be offering samples of more than 100 wines. So come, drink, eat, and celebrate the close of another successful Oregon Wine Experience!


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