Volunteer stockholders, employees and the vineyard team picked the first Pinot Noir grapes of the 2022 harvest as Domaine Willamette prepares to open on September 19
Dundee, Oregon — Friday, September 16: Wine harvest season kicked off at Domaine Willamette with the first pick of Pinot Noir grapes for sparkling wines. The Bernau Estate Vineyard crew, volunteer stockholders and tasting room employees started harvest with clippers, buckets, bins, bin trailers and tractors to bring in fruit for the 2022 vintage.
Domaine Willamette was the first winery in the Willamette Valley AVA to harvest an estimated 2.5 tons of Pinot Noir grapes for the 2022 harvest season. This year’s growing season was excellent as the long, wet spring gave way to high temperatures in the summer which helped ripened the grapes.
Harvest is the wine industry’s most important season. Domaine Willamette produces sparkling wine, which typically is first to be picked in harvest. The Pinot Noir grapes picked on Friday will create Domaine Willamette’s sparkling 2022 vintage, which will be released in two to three years.
Stockholders in Willamette Valley Vineyards joined the picking crew and volunteered to help bring in the fruit in the early morning. These volunteers are members of Oregon Wine Enthusiasts, an organization that provides individuals with opportunities to volunteer in Oregon wineries.
“I’ve always been interested in winegrowing and winemaking,” said volunteer Laura Johnson-Graham of Lake Oswego, who came out for the first pick. “It’s just a great opportunity to learn about all aspects of the business.”
Domaine Willamette’s creation was possible due to the support of wine enthusiasts who have invested in the project by purchasing shares of preferred stock in Willamette Valley Vineyards (NASDAQ: WVVIP). Domaine Willamette opens on September 19.
Domaine Willamette is located at Bernau Estate Vineyard in the Dundee Hills. The vines at Bernau Estate Vineyard are farmed using biodynamic techniques. The original 15 acres of Pinot Noir were planted in 1994 and in 2019 the vineyard crew added an additional nine acres of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
About Domaine Willamette
Domaine Willamette is Oregon’s first sparkling wine facility that produces world-class méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines with an underground aging cellar at the biodynamically-farmed Bernau Estate Vineyard. The winery will offer Oregon-inspired hospitality with wine and food pairings, stunning views, educational tours and beautiful gardens overlooking the Dundee Hills.
About Willamette Valley Vineyards
Founded in 1983 by Oregon native Jim Bernau with the dream of creating world-class Pinot Noir, 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. The Estate Tasting Room features a cozy setting with elegant fireplaces, an expansive patio and an impressive 65-foot lookout tower showcasing incredible views of the vines and Mary’s Peak. Willamette Valley Vineyards’ mission in growing cool-climate varietals is to create elegant, classic Oregon wines.