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Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction Raised $680,900 at the Seventh Annual Trade Auction


 Rare 2021 Willamette Valley Wines Auctioned to Trade

Yamhill, Oregon – August 14, 2023 – Registered trade bidders from across the world vied for the top  wines from the Willamette Valley on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at the seventh annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction held in-person and via live stream online from WillaKenzie Estate located in the heart of Yamhill, Ore. The Auction celebrated the 2021 vintage with 75 lots of one-of-a-kind Pinot noir  and Chardonnay with special first-time winery collaborations. Each wine was produced in quantities of  five, 10 or 20 cases, and will become available to the public through resale by the winning bidders. Competition was high under the outdoor auction tent, and bidders raised an impressive $543,500 on wine lots, with additional sponsorship funds and ticket sales bringing the Auction total to $680,900. Funds raised will help fund future marketing and education initiatives of the Willamette Valley  Wineries Association. 

The Auction was graced by the presence of two esteemed auctioneers at the helm of the event. Steering the in-person and online bidding was Fritz Hatton, a preeminent figure among the nation’s top auctioneers. Complementing his prowess, was Charles Antin; both were represented from the distinguished Zachys Wine Auction House. Paddles were raised high, both in-person and virtually, as bidders entered furious competition for lots from Bergström, Antica Terra, Westmount, Alexana, Maison Noir and more.  

The hybrid event served as a testament to the evolving landscape of the region’s wine events. Registered trade members found themselves at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, given the choice to engage in live, real-time bidding either in person or online via Zachys.com. As a prelude to the main event, all bidders were welcomed to partake in preview tastings and enlightening educational seminars in the preceding days. On the day of the Auction, festivities commenced with an immersive, in-person preview tasting. This was seamlessly followed by a seated lunch, set against the breathtaking expanse of WillaKenzie Estate’s grounds. The roster of registered bidders encompassed a diverse array of stakeholders, including distributors, discerning restaurant buyers, and reputable retailers. 

This year, the average price per lot surged to $7,246, marking an impressive nearly 10% upswing compared to the preceding year. The Auction featured the participation of seven wineries venturing into it for the first time, contributing to a total of 73 represented wineries. Notably, the pinnacle of success emerged from Bergström Winery’s offering with Lot 76: the Bergström 2021 Pinot Noir “La Voluptueuse.” This remarkable lot, presented as the final entry, fetched an astounding $35,000 for five cases, translating to an average of over $583 per bottle. Additionally, the Auction experienced a notable trend with fourteen lots commanding prices exceeding $10,000. 

Auction Highlights

Lot 76: Five cases of the Bergström 2021 Pinot noir “La Voluptueuse” for $35,000 Lot 68: Five cases of the Antica Terra 2021 Pinot noir “Alder Creek” for $15,000 Lot 67: 20 cases of the Westmount 2021 Pinot noir “West Side Story” for $18,000 Lot 7: Five cases of Alexana Estate 2021 Pinot noir “Slack Tide–The Calm” for $15,000 Lot 53: 20 cases of Maison Noir 2021 Pinot noir “Lamb of the God” for $13,000 Lot 23: Five cases of Drouhin Oregon Roserock 2021 Pinot noir “Cuvée DG” for $11,000 Lot 72: Five cases of Soléna Estate and Domaine Divio 2021 Chardonnay “Francophillia” at $10,500 

“We are so honored to be able to gather together with our friends in the wine-buying community,” said Ian Burch, auction chair and winemaker at Archery Summit. “The Willamette Valley has come to be recognized as one of the most exciting wine regions in the world, and this Auction offers the highest expressions of Pinot noir and Chardonnay from our top producers. There is nothing else like it.” 

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 more than 350 members representing wineries, vineyards, industry, and hospitality businesses throughout the Willamette Valley region. To learn more about The Willamette Valley Wineries Association visit: willamettewines.com 

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