AMITY, Oregon – For a number of wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the 2017 vintage may well be known for the great american eclipse. And as usual, Janie Brooks Heuck had the vision of a special experience to provide guests with acclaimed Brooks Wine Cellar in the Eola-Amity Hills.
She billed him as the Starry Night Eclipse package. At $ 350 per person, the unique glamping event along Cherry Blossom Lane, 16 miles north of the state capital of Salem, sold out in no time. The Path of Wholeness Through the Willamette Valley stretches from near McMinnville in the north to Sweet Home in the south.
“I mentioned this to our team over a year ago as something to organize and plan,” Heuck said. “I knew it was going to be an epic event – a once in a lifetime kind of thing.”
His brilliant idea received an early boost via the New York Times back in April.
Brooks becomes a biodynamic campsite for Eclipse
Indeed, Monday marks the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918, and tourism officials expect more than a million eclipse visitors to the Willamette Valley as they chase the whole.
And the biodynamic Brooks Winery campus has been transformed into an overnight campground for 150 people. The festivities began at 4 p.m. Sunday with live music and a barbecue. Executive Chef Abby McManigle, formerly at Ken Wright Cellars.
And Heuck, whose schedule includes roles in several national and international wine organizations, didn’t stop there. she recruited astrophysicist Ethan Siegel to give his opinion.
“He’s a great character,” Heuck said. “To have someone passionate and experienced in their field sharing this with our guests is pretty awesome.
The Pacific Northwest and the continental United States last witnessed a total eclipse on February 26, 1979. Total begins to cross the country at 10:15 am, beginning near Depoe Bay, Ore., and crossing 12 states, ending in South Carolina.
The Brooks team kept their chaos down by pitching the two-person tents before their guests arrived. (Customers keep their logo tent.) And Heuck has arranged a few luxury portable toilets.
“People will be able to just go out and drink wine and beer, eat burgers, listen to music and play games,” Heuck said.
Brooks associates astrophysicist with vines, wines
Long-time winemaker Chris Williams will lead a vineyard walk. After dark, Siegel, a professor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, brings his Start with a bang! Blog to life with a stargazing talk and an introduction to the eclipse.
The Monday itinerary starts at 8 a.m. with yoga, followed by brunch and another lecture by Siegel. There will be a total eclipse toast with the first sparkling Riesling produced by Brooks.
Brooks released 200 tickets for the Monday-only Sunshine Eclipse – another sold-out sale at $ 150. While the glamping package is limited to adults, today’s festivities are family-friendly, with those 12 and under admitted free.
Everyone receives a commemorative t-shirt, a Govino glass and, most importantly, eclipse glasses.
Great American Eclipse towers over Oregon vineyards
Essentially, every winery in this part of Oregon scheduled some kind of event for Monday. In terms of sales, they turned out to be a total success – assuming everyone could reach the winery or vineyard in a timely and safe manner and then have enough fuel to return home.
Willamette Valley Vineyards near Salem is also sold out his evening of observation of the solar eclipse, $ 100 ticket for 1,200 guests. Doors open at 4 a.m. All arrive at 10:19 am and the tasting begins at 10:30 am.
At Washington Wine Auction, Alaska Airlines has donated two first-class seats aboard its special charter flight that will carry passengers to 35,000 feet for a total high-altitude experience.
Accommodation rates along the Total Path have skyrocketed, but Heuck has sought to create memories for glampers, many of whom are members of the Brooks Wine Club and long-time supporters of this founded winery. by his late brother, Jimi Brooks.
“We have the space to go camping, and I thought it would be fun,” Heuck said. “I knew the hotel and accommodation situation would be so crowded.
It has also proved controversial and lucrative for the accommodation industry, with Portland’s NBC affiliate providing an investigative report involving the Oregon Department of Justice after complaints of canceled reservations. Examples include rooms on the Oregon coast that are skyrocketing from $ 130 to $ 1,000 per night.
The city of Madras in central Oregon, with a population of 6,729, serves as an example. Authorities expected 100,000 visitors on Sunday and Monday.
Idaho wine country school district cancels classes
In Idaho’s Sunnyslope Wine District, just outside Totality Road, the school district canceled classes as the eclipse begins at 10:10 a.m. local time (MDT) with a peak around 11:30 a.m. The border towns of Payette, Idaho, and Ontario, Oregon, where the Snake River forms the boundary, are in the way of totality. Parma Ridge Vineyard, 27 miles south of Payette, bottled a limited edition Eclipse wine with souvenir wine glasses.
The Idaho Statesman reports that hotel rooms and rental cars around the capital city of Boise are essentially sold out. There are also price increases with reports from the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau room rates up to $ 700 per night – more than four times the normal rate.
Perhaps the largest event created in the Pacific Northwest is the Symbiosis Oregon Eclipse, where attendance estimates topped 80,000 in Big Summit Prairie of central Oregon near Prineville. Comparisons to the annual Burning Man festival don’t seem out of place.
There’s room for Brooks to accommodate more overnight stays, but Heuck said she is focusing on the guest experience, not the bottom line.
“We don’t have big weddings because it’s something I don’t want our team to have to deal with,” she said.
Besides, his own calendar is full. There is work to orchestrate the Brooks Wineries Adventure Tours 2018 to Northern Italy and Spain and serving on the board of directors of American wine and the International Riesling Foundation.
The next eclipse for the United States will be in 2024, but for Heuck and the supporters of Brooks Winery, nothing will overshadow this one.