MYRTLE CREEK — Wine enthusiasts strolled down Main Street past trees bedecked with gold lights to visit the businesses in Myrtle Creek. The November evening air was crisp and clear, the local shops warm and inviting.
It was the eighth annual Winter Wine Walk in Myrtle Creek on Friday, giving business owners a chance to welcome people in to shop and taste Umpqua Valley wines.
Along with the wine, Goodog Bakery offered samples of its food, like bruschetta, popcorn with candied nuts, and grapes dipped in caramel. The bakery, formerly known as Goodog Bones, sells treats for humans and pets.
As a clarinet player performed, Al and Jacquelyn Helgeson of Myrtle Creek tasted the wines during their first time at the wine walk. Al Helgeson said he was impressed by the event, especially considering the size of the small town.
“It’s very good,” Jacquelyn Helgeson said of the wine walk, adding it’s nice to see the recent changes made in Myrtle Creek. “They’ve redone some of the buildings, they’re quite nice.”
Jessi Ibrahim, a hair stylist at Glitter Bitten Beauty salon, said there was a great turnout at the event.
“It’s been really good, it’s a lot busier than I’ve seen it in the past few years,” she said. The salon was offering wine by Melrose Vineyards, Ibrahim’s personal favorite.
Ibrahim said the wine walk brought more people into the salon, and several had set up future appointments.
“A lot of people didn’t even know we were here,” she said.
Made in Home Artisan Market hosted its grand opening in conjunction with the festivities. With a decorated tree, garland, stockings and ornaments, the market was ready for the holiday season. Co-owners Kyli and Dan Elder had stocked the store with jams, paintings, balms, wooden bowls and a number of other items all handcrafted by local artisans.
“We’ve definitely had a lot of positive input,” Kyli Elder said as she offered samples of jams to customers. Dan Elder was pouring cider from Apple Outlaw Cider, a family business in Applegate.
Kathy VanUnen came to the wine walk with her sister, Lacricia Bradford, and brother-in-law Clyde Bradford, all of Myrtle Creek. The three were carrying their blue wine glasses in sewn cloth cup holders around their necks.
VanUnen said it was her first time wine tasting in Myrtle Creek, and she’d never done anything like this before. Clyde Bradford said it was a good opportunity to see the new businesses in town.
“I think it’s fun, and it gets people out and about to meet their neighbors,” Lacricia Bradford said.