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Wineries prepare for solar eclipse

Total Eclipse wine (KATU News photo)

Tom Huggins stood in a field and looked up to eastern sky one morning last August.

It was one year to the day before a total solar eclipse would pass over his Eola Hills winery. If he couldn't offer a clear view of the eclipse he knew it would dramatically impact his business.

"This will be the biggest thing that we've ever done," Huggins said about the eclipse weekend. "It'll be the biggest thing that probably ever happens here."

Huggins and his team are working on hosting 1,000 people at the Eola Hills Legacy Estate Vineyard. The four nights of music will feature Grammy-nominated artist Patrick Lamb. There's also a farm-to-table dinner offered and professors from Clark College will give a scientific explanation about the solar eclipse to guests.

"I call it the one-eyed green monster," Stephanie Bobb jokingly said about the planning. "Which hotels are they staying at? What campsite are they supposed to be in? Which package did they purchase?"

Down the road, Cherry Hill Winery owner Mike Sweeney saw a total solar eclipse while in Chile three months ago.

"I was able to continue to fish in the dark," Sweeney said.

They'll be hosting around 30 people, but are keeping the event private. It's only for friends of the winery who have purchased a considerable amount of pinot noir.

"I won't be around for the next one, so we thought we might put something together on the spur of the moment," Sweeney said.

Cherry Hill Winery will open up earlier than normal on Monday, August 21.

Drinking wine on a Monday morning may violate typical social norms, but Sweeney says it "just makes for a longer afternoon."

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