Archive for July 16th, 2012
This will be my third year attending the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville Oregon, as media. Each July, I await this event as eagerly as I do my Rhone nirvana,
While its true Rhone wines are deep in my blood, Pinot was my first girl and will always be dear to me, in the never ending journey of exploring this complex, elusive, high maintenance, highly rewarding varietal.
Pick Your Experience: Full Weekend or Afternoon Walkabout
Option A: The Full Monty of Pinot Noir
You have several choices of participating in IPNC. There is no doubt the ultimate Pinot Noir experience is the full weekend package. Two days and nights of seminars, tours, classes, tastings, food and more.
If Friday and Saturday aren’t enough Pinot Noir for you, you can even start Thursday night. The Anne Amie Counter Culture event is fabulous, and highly recommended, have been twice. I look forward with great anticipation this year to kicking off IPNC by dining with the Momtazi family for an extraordinary night at Maysara Winery.
It’s a minor miracle full passes are still available, two weeks out. For a Pinot lover, of any experience level, the $975 pass is a worthy investment.
The 2012 IPNC Full Weekend Ticket includes:
• 2 Grand Outdoor Tastings
• Numerous Weekend Seminars
• Friday Night Grand Dinner and Saturday Night Salmon Bake
• A Vineyard Tour & Winery Lunch
• An afternoon University of Pinot Course
• An Array of Wine Related Activities and Small Format Tastings
• Friday and Saturday Breakfast on the Patio
• Sunday Sparkling Brunch Finale
• Opportunity to Celebrate with over 70 International Pinot Noir Winemakers and 50 Northwest Chefs
If the seems pricey, consider this: if you were going to take a wine focused vacation, or even just factored in costs of this wealth of Pinot Noir tastings, many of which you couldn’t find, especially those from France, all the food, seminars and more (the Saturday night salmon bake, which sold out a la carte, was $150 alone. ), suddenly $975 is a reasonable food and wine vacation.
You’ll also meet winemakers from France, and taste wines, that would cost you many more thousands of dollars to fly over and visit, IF you could get an appointment to taste. Hotels, rental cars, braving the French highway, language barriers. Or you can experience all of this in the tranquil, hospitable, Willamette Valley.
There are also many priceless factors, like the camaraderie and new friends you make, and rubbing elbows with winemakers of world renown.
Option B: The Perfect Sunday Afternoon
Still, if the $975 price tag, or the two day Friday and Saturday commitment is too much for you, consider the Sunday afternoon Walkabout Tasting.
The next best thing, and by no means a huge compromise if you just can’t swing the full commitment, is the Sunday afternoon walk around tasting. You’ll still meet the winemakers, try wines you’ll never be able to try, all gathered together in a captive, gorgeous environment.
Held in the beautiful Oak Grove at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, this annual outdoor tasting showcases Pinot noirs from over 70 wineries worldwide. Guests are provided a Riedel Oregon Pinot noir glass at the start of the afternoon and are set free to sip and sample throughout the Oak Grove.
To maximize interaction with winemakers, the tasting is split into two sessions. Approximately 35 Featured Winemakers will pour for
each session with a break in the middle for winemaker introductions. In addition to extraordinary winemakers, top-notch Northwest chefs will prepare divine dishes to accompany an unparalleled array of international Pinot noir.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet some of the world’s finest Pinot noir winemakers at Oregon’s largest outdoor wine tasting.
I have attended hundreds of wine events, and I have organized and hosted wine tastings, its not a walk in the park to execute flawlessly on. With 26 years to practice, the IPNC team
has this down to an art form, that no event can match. You need only show up and enjoy, the logistics are flawless, the setting perfect, the people friendly, and the wines and service impeccable.
If you love wine, especially Pinot Noir, this is a ‘bucket list’ event. I’d suggest you move it high up in priority on that list.
Cheers, hope to see you there. Follow the fun on Twitter with hashtag #IPNC !