Ashland Bubbly Event Raises Money For Local Film Festival


Most West Coast film festivals have had a tough few years. Between a smoky sky and a pandemic, few of them have been able to host many live screenings or do much to support their sponsors and filmmakers.

A summer garden party, at a private donor, succeeded in raising “around $ 4000, which is a good contribution to AIFF [Ashland Independent Film Festival]According to the group’s new executive director, Phil Busse. The event was attended by a small group of 30 guests. He adds that “the event was also a wonderful opportunity to put the organization in touch with supporters, many of whom have provided additional donations and pledges.”

The event presented eight sparkling wines and champagnes. Some were made by local producers, who hosted a tasting, and others were chosen by local restaurateurs and wine buyers: which was a really fun format that allowed for a lot of opinions and styles of wines. different. They were accompanied by many local delicacies: from fresh salmon to white cheese and gouda. Lunch was hosted in a lush garden by one of the film festival patrons.

The range of wines

Although I tasted dozens of sparkling wines and champagnes, this selection was suddenly fun as it featured everything from local sparkling wines from Rogue Valley Oregon to Spanish cavas and serious Champagnes. He even featured sparkling wines produced by a local French winemaker under his own label in the southern Oregon vineyards where he works as a winemaker for a fairly large wine label.

Jean-Michel Jussiaume has been the winemaker at Del Rio Vineyards in southern Oregon for over a decade. Coming from a wine-growing family in the Loire Valley, he has been running his own wine label since 2015. His Jussiaume House The 2017 Blanc de Blancs, made from 100% Chardonnay, was delicious and only 700 bottles were produced. It really has a French character as it only contains 12.5% ​​alcohol by volume, so the fruit – and not the heat caused by the alcohol – really shines.

The presenters included Steve Grande of Wooldridge Creek, a southern Oregon vineyard that is one of the few in the region to create a local sparkling wine. He makes both a Blanc de Blancs and a sparkling ros̩ which is a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah and Zinfandel Рan unusual blend Рwhich smells of raspberry and cherry.

Corrie Reimer from Hither Market, an Ashland restaurant popular for their fried chicken, presented an Italian and Spanish sparkling wine she was a fan of. Italian Alice Tajad’s vineyard Frizzante was inviting to yeast. Wine buyer Bruce Crowell, for the noted market, the Ashland Food Coop, presented a delicious duo of Champagne and French Crémant.

Some information about the festival

The AIFF dates back two decades when the Southern Oregon Film Society was founded in 2001. The film festival’s year-round programming includes a program of screenings online and in Ashland and the surrounding area. This year, a handful of encouraging live screenings have taken place and many of the program’s major films have also been shown online, following the protocols of major film festivals around the world during the pandemic.

This wine-specific fundraiser was first organized in 2015 with a focus on Tempranillo. ” We chose Tempranillo because it’s that wonderful, big-mouthed, mellow Spanish wine that is often overlooked, ”said former AIFF President Maylee Oddo. The following years followed with a focus on Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir, both produced in the vineyards of southern Oregon.

Oddo says what makes the benefit special is “that fun intersectionality of wine and film that’s all about curiosity, learning and experiences…. We bring local winemakers and industry insiders to share how wines are made and distributed from grape to table. In the past, she notes, notable local chefs like Josh Dorcak from MÄS, an impressive local restaurant with a flair for small plates with Japanese accents – which I have covered on several occasions – was featured.

Oddo concludes that the event typically brings in around $ 5,000 per year with “larger giveaways ranging from $ 7,500 to $ 15,000 each.” This is a fairly solid performance for a city of less than 30,000 inhabitants.


Gladys T. Hensley

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