GASTON, Ore — Six Hispanic winemakers are paying tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month with special wine packages and an event where they'll share their stories and give back to Oregon's Spanish-speaking community.
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Throughout the month, the wineries are hosting the second-annual Celebrating Hispanic Roots event, focused on showcasing diversity in the wine industry. They'll offer special wine selections and have an in-person wine tasting, available in both English and Spanish, on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Beacon Hill Winery & Vineyard in Gaston.
The winemakers all share a Hispanic background — they're from Argentina, Peru, Venezuela and Mexico— and have forged their own paths to arrive in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, producing and selling their own wines.
“I really wanted to celebrate the diversity of our cultures and backgrounds and share our personal stories,” said Ximena Orrego, co-owner of Atticus Wine and founder of Celebrating Hispanic Roots. She was born in Peru and raised throughout Latin America.
“I was surprised that there was really nothing like this that spanned the entirety of the Hispanic region — from Mexico down to South America, the Caribbean and Spain," Orrego said.
The featured winemakers and growers include:
- Elena and Leo Rodriguez of Alumbra Cellars - https://alumbracellars.com
- Ximena Orrego of Atticus Wine – www.atticuswine.com
- Carla Rodríguez of Beacon Hill Winery – www.beaconhillwinery.com
- Sofia Torres of Cramoisi Vineyard - www.cramoisivineyard.com
- Sam Parra of Parra Wine Company – www.parrawineco.com
- J.P. Valot of Valcan Cellars - www.valcancellars.com
Sofia Torres was born in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. in 2002. Along with being the co-owner of Cramoisi Vineyard in Dundee, she's also the co-founder of AHIVOY, a nonprofit organization creating opportunities and empowering Latino and Hispanic vineyard workers of the Willamette Valley.
"Anything that we can do to inspire and bring others along so that they too can run businesses, so that they too can have a position of influence," Torres said.
Carla Rodríguez was born and raised in Mexico. 10 years ago, she and her husband established Beacon Hill Winery & Vineyard. They produce pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling and albariño wine.
"Albariño is a Spanish-Portuguese grape that my husband and I really love and also speaks to the roots that I bring from my Latin background," explained Rodríguez.
All the wine packages offered by the winemakers are listed on the Celebrating Hispanic Roots website. 10% of wine sales throughout the month and 10% of ticket sales for the Oct. 3 event will directly support Adelante Mujeres, which provides education and empowerment opportunities to low-income Latina women and their families.
Tickets for the in-person wine tasting are $50 each. You can buy them here.