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Wineries Create “Oregon Solidarity” Wines with Net Proceeds to Support Southern Oregon Winegrowers with Broken Contracts

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Oregon wineries combine forces to launch Rogue Valley AVA-labeled Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rosé

PORTLAND, Oct. 18, 2018 —King Estate Winery and Willamette Valley Vineyards have teamed up to help winegrowers whose grape contracts were abruptly cancelled by the California producer of Elouan. The two wineries have purchased as much stranded wine grapes as possible, paying the full contracted rates to help the growers.

They have been joined by Silvan Ridge Winery and The Eyrie Vineyards to collaboratively make a Rogue Valley AVA labeled Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rosé of Pinot Noir called Oregon Solidarity. The net sale proceeds from the wines will be donated to the Rogue Valley Vintners to help support vineyards in the region.

“Ed King proposed we jointly make these Solidarity wines and we thought it was a fantastic way to help these growers while proving beautiful wines will come from these grapes,” stated Christine Clair, Winery Director for Willamette Valley Vineyards. In total, the coalition was able to purchase over 140 tons of grapes at a cost of $323,750 from six growers, coordinating harvest and delivery to the four participating wineries.

Left to right: Rep. David Gomberg (D-10), Winery Director of Willamette Valley Vineyards Christine Clair, Southern Oregon Winegrowers Traute and Michael Moore, National Sales Manager of King Estate Winery Justin King and Founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards Jim Bernau.

Ed King, Co-Founder of King Estate, said “Labeling these wines with the Rogue Valley AVA emphasizes the high quality that comes from this wine region and represents our confidence in these winegrowers and vintage.”

The wines are currently fermenting in all of the wineries’ cellars until they will be brought together for blending. The wines will be available to purchase during an online pre-sell period starting on February 1, 2019 with the release date for the Rosé of Pinot Noir on March 1, 2019, Chardonnay on June 1, 2019 and Pinot Noir on August 1, 2019. 

“We are proud to be part of this first-of-its-kind solidarity effort, working with our colleagues to save what grapes we could from this high-quality vintage,” explained Jim Bernau, founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards. “We are also proud of the bipartisan Legislative support and that from our state’s Governor.” Representatives David Gomberg (D-10), Gary Leif (R-2) and Senator Alan DeBoer (R-3) joined volunteers in harvesting and Governor Kate Brown (D) met with Rogue Valley winegrowers and mobilized her state agency directors to provide assistance.

For more information, please contact Jim Bernau, Founder/CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards, at 503-510-0715 or [email protected] or Ed King, Co-Founder of King Estate Winery at 541-517-6087 or [email protected].

About the Oregon Wine Board:

The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research, and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. To learn more, visit industry.oregonwine.org

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