'These are the sane people': Black Friday naysayers spend the holiday tasting wine instead
LANE COUNTY, Ore. - A rare sight of sunny skies on Black Friday this year had hundreds of folks in Lane County thinking of what they could do to take advantage of the weather, and stay out of the packed stores.
For some, the choice was to sample local wines at wineries throughout the south Willamette Valley, an enjoyable alternative to Black Friday.
"It's a light Friday, with a nice glass of wine, and just keep things light," said Bernie McCoy, a customer at Pfeiffer Winery.
Thanksgiving Weekend is traditionally the end of the tourist season for the Oregon wine business, and Pfeiffer Winery managers say they plan for more customers than usual.
"It's the closing bell, and we get hundreds and hundreds, sometimes thousands of people out on the roads, coming for the food, the entertainment, the wine," said Danuta Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer says interestingly for this weekend, seven out of ten visitors came from out of state. Down the road, at the Brigaddonn Winery, the tasting room was virtually packed out.
"These are the sane people," said Chris Shown, owner of Brigadoon Winery. "The folks that want to enjoy the holiday and not be stressed out by shopping."
Shown says wine sales are not pushed, and customers are welcomed as if they are opening the doors to their home.
"It feels good spending time with girlfriends and my daughter," said McCoy. "Showing visitors around the Willamette Valley the way it should be seen."
Brigadoon and Pfeiffer Wineries are part of the six-member Prairie Mountain group of wineries, just west of Junction City. The wine industry is a $3.3 billion dollar industry in the Oregon economy.