(March 4, 2020; Portland, OR)—The Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) today unveiled the full line-up of lots for the fifth annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction, which will take place on April 4 at The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, OR. Attended by trade from the forefront of the wine industry the Auction will offer 93 lots of wine produced in quantities of just five, 10 or 20 cases, which winning bidders can offer exclusively to their customers. Auction attendees are licensed wine sellers, including retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers, invited personally by participating wineries. The full lineup of lots and descriptions is available online at https://www.willamettewines.auction/wineries. The WVWA will be highlighting the unique stories behind the lots on their Instagram; follow along @WVAuction.
Taking center stage at the Auction will be 86 bottlings of one-of-a-kind Pinot noir from the Willamette Valley’s much-hailed 2018 vintage, which has been praised for its balance of freshness and complexity. Winemakers from the region’s leading producers will also come together to create seven collaborative Chardonnay bottlings that will showcase the artful blending of styles and sites by peers who have worked together for decades. The proceeds will support the WVWA’s mission to promote, preserve and advance the prestige of the Willamette Valley.
“Our community has come together to present a statement of why the Willamette Valley has become synonymous with world-class Pinot noir,” says Auction Chair and General Manager of Domaine Drouhin Oregon David Millman. “We see the Auction as an opportunity to invite the top members of the wine trade into our backyard, so it’s natural that the Willamette Valley producers have risen to the occasion. The 2018 vintage has been thrilling winemakers from the start and this is their chance to show off the results.”
The Auction will offer wines from each of the Willamette Valley’s seven nested AVAs, emphasizing the diversity of the region. Highlights include collector favorites like Antica Terra, Lingua Franca and Benton Lane, which is commemorating its 30th anniversary. Pioneers of the region like Sokol Blosser, Bethel Heights, Adelsheim, Elk Cove, and Erath Winery will participate, each bottle representing a memento to the deep history hidden in the soils of the valley. The region’s newcomers will also sweep the Auction stage, with lots from sommelier and restaurateur André Hueston Mack (Maison Noir Wines), Burgundian royalty Jean-Nicolas Méo (Nicolas Jay) and Master Sommelier Josh Nadel (Gothic Wines), who is celebrating his winery’s tenth vintage.
Each participating winery has been challenged to push the envelope on creativity, using its very best vineyard blocks and barrel selections. Winemakers have crafted just 60 to 120 bottles to tell the stories closest to their hearts, signing each like a personal letter. Winemaker Brad Ford of Illahe Vineyards has created “Upcycle Estate,” a lot made entirely without mechanization––including transporting the cases to the Auction by bicycle. Winemaker Rachel Rose of Bryn Mawr harkens back to the winery’s origin with “The Last Flight,” dedicated to the original “tent winery,” crafted in their driveway, that twice blew away in a windstorm.
Collaborative Chardonnay lots include Domaine Drouhin Oregon and Eyrie Vineyards with “Véro and Jason,” named for winemakers Véronique Drouhin and Jason Lett. Adelsheim and first-time Auction participant Brittan Vineyards will collaborate on “The McRib,” featuring the most distinct qualities from two celebrated AVAs, McMinnville and Ribbon Ridge. The Auction will also feature “The Two Pillars” Chardonnay, a collaboration between Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman of Evening Land Vineyards and Josh Bergström of Bergström Wines, marrying two of the most important vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA: Seven Springs Vineyard and Temperance Hill Vineyard.
Licensed members of the wine trade who are interested in attending may visit the website: willamettewines.auction. Members of the press who are interested in attending may complete a Media Credential Request Form (willamettewines.auction/press/).
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: willamettewines.com

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