(February 8, 2018; Portland, OR)—The Willamette Valley Wineries Association today unveiled the official lineup of 80 auction lots of one-of-a-kind Pinot noir wines from the 2016 vintage, which will be offered at the third annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction on April 7 at the Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, OR. Held exclusively for members of the wine trade, the live auction will present a one-day-only opportunity to secure wines that are truly rare and unique from Willamette Valley’s top vineyards and vintners. Each lot will be offered in quantities of just five, 10 and 20 cases, and will be available in the market only by resale to their customers. New to the event this year, three collaborative Chardonnay lots will be offered as well. The full descriptions of all lots are available online at willamettewines.auction/wineries.
“Willamette Valley is synonymous with quality Pinot noir, and the wines offered at the 2018 Pinot Noir Auction reflect the talent and diversity behind our flagship variety,” says Laurent Montalieu, 2018 auction chair and owner and winemaker for Soléna Estate and Hyland Estates. “Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction is a must-attend event for anyone in the trade who loves Willamette Valley Pinot noir. The 2016 vintage will go down in history as a true classic because it allowed every site to shine. We’ve challenged every winery to present something special, and the quality is reflected throughout these 83 lots.” Wine critic Joshua Raynolds, who covers the region for Vinous Media, says of the region “I can’t think of any other Pinot-producing region, anywhere, that delivers such consistent bang for the Pinot buck.”
The featured wines come from many of the Willamette Valley’s top producers, ranging from collector favorites Bergström Wines, Walter Scott, Beaux Fréres and Big Table Farm, to prominent pioneers like Adelsheim Vineyard, REX HILL and Sokol Blosser. Reflecting Willamette Valley’s deep reservoir of talent, several of the lots come from such renowned winemakers as Maggie Harrison (Antica Terra), Lynn Penner-Ash (Penner-Ash Wine Cellars), Erik Kramer (WillaKenzie), Steve Doerner (Cristom Vineyards) and Ken Wright (Ken Wright Cellars and Angela Estate), as well as notable sommeliers like Rajat Parr (Evening Land Vineyards), Josh Nadel MS (Gothic) and Larry Stone MS (Lingua Franca).
Attendees will have the opportunity to obtain wines from new brands like Prince Hill. Making its debut at the 2018 auction, Prince Hill was founded by icons Dick Erath and Laurent Montalieu. The lot will offer five cases of Pinot noir from the Prince Hill vineyard in Dundee Hills, where Dick made the first single-vineyard Pinot noir nearly 30 years ago. The wine’s fruit comes from a vine-cutting picked up at Clos Vougeot in 1978, forgotten until it recently was planted on the property. Designated as Clone 95 by UC Davis, the vines yield a unique wine unlike any other in the auction.
Also featured at Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction will be several lots from the winemakers and winery owners who have worked together since the region’s start in the 1960s and 1970s. Founded in 1974 by Pat and Joe Campbell, Elk Cove Vineyards is one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected wineries, and it will participate with a five-case lot from the renowned Windhill Vineyard, home to the winery’s first single vineyard Pinot noir in 1978. Founded in 1977 in the Eola-Amity Hills, Bethel Heights will offer a five-case lot from the Flat Block of the Bethel Heights estate, where second-generation winemaker Ben Casteel played as a child. According to Casteel, the Flat Block has a long history of producing the best and most vineyard-transparent wines from the estate.
Many of the 83 auction lots also reflect the Willamette Valley’s close connection to Burgundy. The similar latitude and growing conditions drew several French wine producers to the region, beginning when the Drouhin Family of Maison Joseph Drouhin founded Domaine Drouhin Oregon in 1987. In 2013 the winery acquired Roserock, a spectacular vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, and the 2018 auction will offer a five-case lot comprised of the single best 2016 Pinot noir barrel from the site.
Attendees to Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction are licensed wine sellers, including retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers, invited personally by participating wineries. All proceeds from the auction support the marketing, branding and education efforts of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. If you are a licensed member of the wine trade and interested in attending, please visit the website: willamettewines.auction.
About Willamette Valley Wineries Association
The Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) is a non-profit industry association dedicated to achieving recognition for Oregon’s acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premier Pinot noir-producing region. Currently, the WVWA has nearly 250 members representing wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Willamette Valley region from Portland to Eugene. To learn more about The Willamette Valley Wineries Association visit: willamettewines.com
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