(August 11, 2020; Portland, OR)— David Millman, general manager of Domaine Drouhin Oregon and the 2020 chair of Willamette: the Pinot Noir Auction, has announced that Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum will be the 2020 Ambassador for the annual trade auction, which opens today. McCollum has long been a fan of Willamette Pinot noir and is the region’s newest winemaker, having announced the launch of his own wine brand McCollum Heritage 91 in partnership with Adelsheim Vineyards in June 2020. A portion of the proceeds from the 2020 Willamette: the Pinot Noir Auction will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans as a part of their Open for Good Campaign.
“I love Oregon Pinot noir, I love the 2018 vintage and I love that we’re raising money for the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. When I learned that this year’s Auction will support the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good fund with specific support for Black and Indigenous restaurateurs, I felt compelled to lend my support,” says McCollum.
Auction attendees are licensed wine sellers, including retailers, restaurateurs, and wholesalers. Licensed members of the wine trade who are interested in bidding may register here: www.willamettewines.
Bidding for Willamette: the Pinot Noir Auction began today at 10 a.m. PST and will continue until Thursday, August 13, culminating in a live close from 12 p.m.—1:30 p.m. PST hosted by Auctioneer Fritz Hatton with a special appearance from McCollum. All funds raised on lots beyond their opening bids as well as through the Paddle Raise Pledge will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good Campaign’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans. The Fund will provide grants to small food and beverage businesses that are at least 51% owned by Black and/or Indigenous Americans across six regions that represent 16-17% of the total Black and Indigenous U.S. population. To learn more about the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good Campaign, visit: www.jamesbeard.org/
The Auction will feature 74 one-of-a-kind lots of Willamette Pinot noir from the 2018 vintage and six collaborative lots of 2018 Chardonnay from past and present Auction chairs. The full lineup of lots and descriptions is available online at www.willamettewines.
The 2016 Most Improved Player of the Year and a 2018 Western Conference Player of the Week, McCollum is one of the most electric shooters in professional basketball. Currently in Orlando, Florida, McCollum is sheltered inside the “NBA Bubble,” a social isolation zone for full-time NBA players inside of Walt Disney World Resort. According to ESPN, wine has been the most popular item imported from the outside world to the bubble. The Portland Trail Blazers are currently 2-1 with an important victory over the Houston Rockets on August 4, they are ranked ninth in the Western Conference and will play the Dallas Mavericks at 3:30 p.m. PST today.
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: www.willamettewines.com