The Bear Creek Boutique Wineries are participating in the sixth annual Ashland Culinary Festival Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2-4.
The eight winery owners, with vineyards in Ashland, Talent and Medford, will be pouring merlot, chardonnay and other wines inside the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., for hundreds of event-goers.
Festivities begin Friday evening at a "meet-the-chefs" reception with small bites and drink sampling. Last's year's "top chef" David Georgeson of Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine defends his title Saturday and Sunday against seven other local chefs. A dessert competition also is on the bill of fare.
Tickets start at $20, which includes entrance to the chef competition, a souvenir wine glass, tasting card and samples of locally made cheese, chocolates and beverages from more than 30 vendors. The festival also features hands-on culinary workshops and tours for additional fees.
Virginia Silbowitz of Grizzly Peak Winery and daughter Naomi Fuerte attended the festival in 2010, then known as the Ashland Food & Wine Classic, and had as much fun tasting other vendors' samples as introducing out-of-towners to their wine label.
"People were very interested that our vineyards are about 10 minutes away from downtown," says Silbowitz. "Many were from the Portland area and said it was fun to taste something other than pinot noir."
The Bear Creek Boutique Wineries will share one table throughout the weekend, with two producers at a time representing the group.
Starting at noon Saturday, Grizzly Peak and Paschal-Tenuta Winery will be pouring. Later that day, Trium Wines and Weisinger's of Ashland will hand out tastes. Ledger David Cellars and Pebblestone Cellars will offer samples from noon to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by Aurora Vines and StoneRiver Vineyard until 5 p.m.
"We like working as a group," says Silbowitz, "because we enjoy talking about each other's wine."
Also pouring will be Eliana Wines in Ashland, Serra Vineyards in Grants Pass, South Stage Cellars in Jacksonville, Bradley Vineyards in Elkton and Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner.
For more information, to purchase tickets or register for workshops, call the Ashland Chamber of Commerce at 541-482-3486 or see www.ashlandchamber.com.