Willamette Valley Pinot noir will be the talk of the wine industry on April 6, 2019, when the nation’s top wine trade and media convene at The Allison Inn in Newberg, Oregon, for the Fourth Annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction. Hosted by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, the trade-only Auction will present its largest offering to date, with more than 85 lots of 2017 Pinot noir, considered a classic vintage by many producers. The Auction will also feature six collaborative Chardonnay lots, made by current and past Auction chairs. All lots are produced in quantities of 5, 10 or 20 cases, and will be exclusive to members of the wine trade attending the Auction. These wines are then made available to consumers by the winning bidders—restaurants and wine retailers.
“Industry interest for Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction has grown every year, and we expect the 2019 Auction to generate the most anticipation yet,” says Shirley Brooks, 2019 Auction co-chair and VP of Sales and Marketing for Elk Cove Vineyards. “For members of the trade who are interested in obtaining truly unique wines from one of the world’s most exciting wine regions, the Auction is the must-attend event.”
For several years demand for Willamette Valley Pinot noir has outpaced the overall wine industry. According to the 2017 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report from 2017– 2018, Oregon Pinot noir volume grew by 17%, compared with 2% for the segment. These industry trends are mirrored in the growth of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Auction. The 2018 Auction had a 48% increase in attendance over 2017, with registered bidders traveling from 23 states and three countries. The sale’s 81 lots generated a record-setting $737,000, exceeding the prior year’s Auction by 56%.
“Willamette Valley Pinot noir is Oregon’s flagship wine, and Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction is our platform to showcase to the world the very best our region has to offer,” says co-chair Eugenia Keegan, Oregon General Manager for Jackson Family Wines. “The valley’s cool climate and complex soils are uniquely suited for growing world-class Pinot noir”.
Attendees are invited to arrive on Friday, April 5, for pre-auction festivities including seminars, welcome tastings and winemaker dinners hosted by participating vintners. A barrel lot preview tasting will take place on the morning of Saturday, April 6 at The Allison Inn, followed by the live sale, conducted by veteran wine auctioneer Fritz Hatton.
Attendance is limited to licensed wine sellers, including retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers. Licensed members of the wine trade who are interested in attending may obtain tickets by visiting willamettewines.auction.