Home Industry News Releases Willamette Valley Vineyards Offers Unique ‘Pinot Noir Clonal Blending Experience’

Willamette Valley Vineyards Offers Unique ‘Pinot Noir Clonal Blending Experience’


Turner, OR – Dec. 2, 2021 – Willamette Valley Vineyards (NASDAQ: WVVI & WVVIP), a leading producer of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley, is now offering a one-of-a-kind Pinot Noir Clonal Blending Experience. The winery has invented a barrel blending system giving guests the controls to be a winemaker by crafting and tasting their own custom blends.

Willamette Valley Vineyards invites the public, from 2-8 people, to enjoy the first of its kind Pinot Noir Clonal Blending Experience at the Estate Winery in Turner, OR. Photo credit: Andrea Johnson

With the turn of the dial, up to eight people can blend and track their own Pinot Noir. Guided by a Winery Ambassador, the 90-minute experience costs $75 or $60 for Wine Club Members and Owners, including tastes and blends of the Pinot Noir clones, cheese plate, and a $25 wine credit to purchase their favorite wines. The system also documents participants’ blends in a computer connected to the blending system to analysis their preferences and store for future reference. The winery intends to patent the system.

The Pinot Noir Clonal Blending Experience features seven naturally-derived Pinot Noir clones, all planted in the winery’s estate vineyards: Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 113, Dijon 114, Dijon 115, Dijon 667 and Dijon 777.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Founder and CEO Jim Bernau said, “The importation of French clones of Pinot Noir was one of the tipping points in our state’s wine quality. We look forward to sharing the stories of the scientists and producers that contribute to these high performing clones and giving guests the opportunity to taste them directly from barrel.”

The Pinot Noir Clonal Blending Experience also addresses a specific winemaking issue. “Guests love to taste wines from the barrel, but traditional barrel tasting can introduce oxygen and possibly bacteria when opening multiple barrels and using the wine thief to capture the wine,” Bernau continues. “We designed a closed system with wines dispensed directly from French Oak barrels that removes those risks.”

The experience is held at Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Estate Tasting Room’s Orville Roth Barrel Room, which is dedicated to the late Orville Roth, Founder of Roth’s Fresh Markets, who regularly hosted children’s charity dinners in the space and include wine blending seminars for his guests.

This barrel blending system was invented by David Markel, Willamette Valley Vineyards Research and Development Manager and Kyle Gunsul, a shareholder and retired Oregon Health & Science University medical technician. It is a modification of the company’s prototype that launched in 2019 at the winery’s Willamette Wineworks outpost in Folsom, CA. The Willamette Wineworks’ blending system features red varietals from its Natoma brand to create a blend.

For reservations, guests may contact Willamette Valley Vineyards at (503) 588-9463 or by visiting https://www.wvv.com/Estate

About Willamette Valley Vineyards: Founded in 1983 by Jim Bernau with the dream of creating world-class Pinot Noir while serving as stewards of the land, Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown from a bold idea into one of the region’s leading wineries, earning the title “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. All of the vineyards have been certified sustainable through LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon-Safe programs.

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