Friends, as we bid a fond farewell to another fantastic Oregon Wine Month, I wanted to share one of the highlights of the Pacific Northwest wine scene. This summer the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) comes to Linfield College from Friday July 27th to Sunday June 29th. Over 70 world class Pinot Noir producers will be participating, from Austria to Alsace to Oregon. Some of the top Oregon Pinot Noir producers that I have reviewed for Washington Wine Blog and International Wine Report will be there pouring their great Pinot Noir releases. This not to be missed event includes a very special presentation called the Grand Seminar which is an Oregon Pinot Noir vineyard comparison.
This year’s presentation is a great face-off between an Eola-Amity Hills Vineyard and a Dundee Hills Vineyard and the great winemakers that work with these special vineyards. Famed wineries such as Bergstom, Water Scott, Belle Pente, and Penner Ash will present their 2016 Pinot Noirs, sourced either from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA based Temperance Hill Vineyard or the Dundee Hills AVA based Bella Vida Vineyard.
Comparing these terroir from a great vintage will be a great opportunity to see into the new vintage and how different the wines can be. I have personally long loved this Oregon Pinot Noir comparison, which typically outlines a more feminine profile of Eola-Amity Hills wines with the darker, unmistakably more masculine profile of wines from the Dundee Hills. The panel provide a fabulous comparison of the wines, moderated by famed wine writer Elaine Brown, and includes panelists Josh Bergstrom (Bergstrom), Julia Cattrall (Lumos Wine Co. ), Brian O’Donnell (Belle Pente), Ken Pahlow (Walter Scott), Lynn Penner-Ash (Penner-Ash) and Patrick Reuter (Domino IV) who will present their exciting new Pinot Noirs.
The winemakers are very excited for this special event, as talented Bergstrom winemaker, Josh Bergstrom, explained “I am very excited for the IPNC grand seminar as it touches on the exploration of community and terroir in the Willamette Valley.” Josh continued “Temperance Hill is one of the first vineyard designated Pinot Noirs that I ever tasted as a 21 year old working as a line chef at Tina’s Restaurant in Dundee, Oregon. Now 22 years later to be able to be a producer of wine from this heritage site is a full circle moment for me and I am proud to sit on stage with some of Oregon’s finest farmers and winemakers.”
Similar excitement comes from eminent Belle Pente winemaker, Brian O’ Donnell, who mentioned “The grand seminar is one of the classic matches — land vs the hand of the winemaker. It is a truly great platform to have discussions about so many different aspects of Oregon Pinot Noir. You really have a chance to understand the context of the wine from the site, the vintage and the winemaker.” The weekend closes with a big tasting event, the Passport to Pinot, Oregon’s largest international tasting of Pinot Noir. This event includes 35 featured winemakers and special food selections crafted by 15 Pacific Northwest chefs. Do not miss this special summer wine event.