Holiday Craft Winefest to toast season Saturday at Hilton

Event features local wineries, has gifts for sale

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter


photoCody Gray

If you go

• What: Holiday Craft Winefest of Vancouver: About 20 local wineries with 70 wines will offer tastings, bottles and special holiday gift packages.

• Where: Hilton Vancouver Washington, Heritage Ballroom, 301 W. Sixth St.

• When: 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

• Cost: $21 at the door, $1 each for additional tasting tickets, proceeds support Second Chance Companions animal rescue.

• Information: The Craft Winefest

A new Clark County festival may have the perfect solution for those in the market for an unusual local Christmas gift or Thanksgiving beverage.

The Holiday Craft Winefest of Vancouver, which runs from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, is not only a wine-tasting event but a place to buy gift baskets, bottled wines and other wine-related local merchandise, said Cody Gray, the festival's organizer.

"It came about because everybody really liked the Craft Winefest of Vancouver, which we held for the first time in June," said Gray, who is also a co-founder of the Vancouver Brewfest. "In talking to the wineries, a lot of them had new releases for the season, so a holiday event made sense."

Local and regional wineries from Washington and Oregon will sell and offer tastings of about 70 different wines. And 25 percent of the sales go to Second Chance Companions, an animal rescue group based in Clark County and Portland, Gray said.

"We'll have gift baskets, wine ranks made from granite, artwork, soap made with wine, many items along with the wines themselves," Gray said. "We'll also have four local breweries there for those that prefer beer."

The goal of the festival is to support the community in Southwest Washington, Gray and co-founder Rusty Hoyle said.

"The focus is strictly about locally sourced talent, reducing the carbon footprint and growing local businesses by supporting local businesses," Hoyle said.

Wineries include Bethany Vineyards, Burnt Bridge Cellars, Confluence Vineyards and Winery, East Fork Cellars, English Estate Winery, Heisen House Vineyards, Moulton Falls Winery, Olequa Cellars and Three Brothers Winery, among several others.

"They're all small craft wineries, almost all from Washington state," Gray said. "We hope lots of people will come. If you're looking for a great local gift, we have a lot to choose from."

The event costs $21 at the door and includes a commemorative wine glass and six tasting tickets. Visit for information.