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Despite Economy, Oregon Wine Benefit !Salud! Raises Over $735,000

Oregon wineries auction special Pinot Noirs to benefit healthcare services for seasonal vineyard workers and their families. In addition to supporting this cause for 17 years, producers preview outstanding 2007 vintage.

Portland, OR (PRWEB) November 26, 2008 -- Patrons of Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction contributed generously to the 17th annual benefit with animated bidding on unique, premium wines and exciting oral and silent auction items. Over $735,000 was raised, down just 5.4% from the 2007 record of $778,125.

Held November 7 and 8,
Salud! was the first US wine industry fundraiser of consequence to be held since the economic downturn. "Going into the weekend, we knew that the economy and election would certainly have an impact, but such a minimal decrease speaks volumes for the quality of the Pinot Noirs, the Oregon wine community and our guests who understand that the need for Salud! services has never been greater," said co-chair Amy Wesselman of Westrey Wines. "This outstanding show of support says a great deal for our respect for a workforce without whom the wines we all enjoy wouldn't be possible."

Speaking on behalf of the 3,000 seasonal vineyard workers and their family members who received health education and services through Salud! in 2008 alone, Clinical Services Manager Leda Garside RN, thanked the 430 guests for their caring and support: "Every dollar is stretched to the max and with your help we are able to continue our services and outreach for another year. Your goodwill makes a direct difference to someone's life."

The two-day event ranks among the Northwest's top fundraisers and was an opportunity to preview 2007 vintage Pinot Noirs from Oregon's premier wine producers. The highlight of Saturday's black tie dinner was the Special Appeal paddle raise that generated $153,300, energized by pledge challenges from Ronni Lacroute of WillaKenzie Estate, the participating wineries, physicians and other winery and vineyard owners.

The Big Board auction of specially crafted 2007 cuvees from the Vintner's Circle of 42 supporting wineries drew over $124,000 and the top auction bid of $25,000 won a custom barrel of Pinot Noir from Oregon's Grand Cru Estates. Wine-themed trips to Burgundy and Australia also ranked among the top bids.

The 2009 auction will be held on November 13 and 14.

About Salud!: Since its inception in 1991, Salud! has provided healthcare outreach services for seasonal vineyard workers and their family members. Since this mobile workforce rarely qualifies for health insurance plans, they are unable to receive benefits. To fill this void, a dedicated group of Oregon vintners and volunteers associated with Tuality Healthcare Foundation created a bi-lingual, bi-cultural service calling it Salud!, for the traditional Spanish toast "to your health."

Salud! provides health education, cholesterol and diabetes screenings, dental care, assistance with medical paperwork and more. Referrals are made for necessary medical aid beyond the financial means of most recipients, including quality pre-natal care, hospitalizations and surgeries. In 2007, Salud! documented over 6,000 client encounters with qualified individuals and sponsored 126 mobile vineyard clinics. Of the 903 wellness screenings given, 31% of those tested were found to be at risk for heart disease or Diabetes and were referred for further care.

The Vintners Circle: These select wineries graciously donate their time, resources and talent to create exclusive Salud! Oregon Pinot Noir cuvees. Their generosity, along with the support of Tuality Healthcare Foundation, makes the achievements of the ¡Salud! mission and services possible.

Adelsheim Vineyard, Amalie Robert Estate, Antica Terra, ArborBrook Vineyards, Archery Summit, Argyle, Ayres Vineyard, Beaux Freres, Bergstrom Wines, Bethel Heights Vineyard,
Broadley Vineyards, Chehalem, Cristom Vineyards, Dobbes Family Estate, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Elk Cove Vineyards, Erath Vineyards, The Four Graces, Hamacher Wines, Ken Wright Cellars, King Estate Winery, Lange Estate, Maysara Winery, Patricia Green Cellars, Patton Valley Vineyards, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Ponzi Vineyards, R. Stuart & Co., Raptor Ridge Winery, Rex Hill Vineyards, Scott Paul Wines, Shea Wine Cellars, Silvan Ridge, Solena Cellars, Soter Vineyards, St. Innocent Winery, Stoller Vineyards, Torii Mor, Westrey Wine Company, WillaKenzie Estate, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Witness Tree Vineyard.

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Despite Economy, Oregon Wine Benefit !Salud! Raises Over $735,000
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