Taste wines from 35+ producers growing fruit in the Yamhill-Carlton District in one afternoon!  This is a great chance to learn more about the growing region through the wines and winemakers themselves.

Tickets are $40 ~ and well worth it!

Participating wineries:

Anne Amie Vineyards, Ken Wright Cellars, Elk Cove, Laurel Ridge Winery, Belle Pente, Atticus Wine, Angela Estate, Solena Estate, Ghost Hill Cellars, The Four Graces, Marshall Davis Wine, Monksgate Wines, Stag Hollow, Gran Moraine, Big Table Farm, WildAire Cellars, Soter Vineyards, Bud’s Bloom, EIEIO, Willakenzie Estate, Fairsing Vineyard, Boedecker Cellars, Adea Wine Co, Beacon Hill Winery & Vineyard, Carlton Cellars, Carlton Hill, Et Fille, J.L. Kiff Vineyard, Kramer Vineyards, Lemelson Vineyards, Lenne Estate, Panther Creek, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Roots, Saffron Fields, Tendril Wine Cellars, Twelve, and Wahle Vineyards.

Participating Restaurants:

Cuvee, The Horse Radish, Martha’s Taco, the Barlow Room, Joel Palmer House, and La Rambla.

2016 IPNC Line-Up Announced




It’s that time of year again… time to start thinking about which summer events you’d like to attend and then get tickets to them before they assuredly sell out!

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) will take place in McMinnville, Oregon for the 30th time this summer, July 29-31, 2016.  With each passing year, the festival seems to sell out even more quickly.  Tickets start out quite limited – annual participants buy their weekend passes an entire year before the event takes place (at a discounted price).  If you haven’t yet been to IPNC, prepare to eat and drink better in one weekend than you may have ever before imbibed in such a short span of time.

“The event offers Pinot noir consumers and industry members the chance to enjoy an unparalleled selection of Pinot noir from around the world via a full schedule of seminars, walkaround tastings, winery tours, and unforgettable meals prepared by top Northwest chefs. With the exception of a vineyard and winery tour, the IPNC is held on the beautiful and historic Linfield College campus. McMinnville is an easy hour drive southwest of Portland in the heart of Oregon wine country. The IPNC offers three ticket options for guests to choose from: The Full Weekend (Friday-Sunday), Salmon Bake (Saturday evening), and the Passport to Pinot (Sunday afternoon). See below for more information on these ticket options.” -IPNC

A great introduction (at a fraction of the weekend ticket cost) is Saturday night’s Salmon bake:

“A long-standing tradition of the IPNC, the Salmon Bake dramatically showcases wild salmon roasted on alder stakes over a huge custom-built fire pit. Bask in the warm glow of a lantern lit Oak Grove where cellared Pinot noir and wines from around the world will accompany an extravagant outdoor buffet designed by local chefs, followed by an extraordinary assortment of hand-crafted desserts. After dinner, relax to music and dancing under the stars.” -IPNC

These went on sale this week for $225 a piece.  Don’t delay as they will probably be gone by next week!  To see the featured winery line-up, and purchase tickets, follow the link below to the IPNC website ~ see you there!

Featured Wineries – North America

The Truffle Shuffle is back ~McMinnville, OR

6th Annual Truffle Shuffle

6th Annual Truffle Shuffle

“Stump Farm” Pinot noir is in!

We harvested our fruit today! Esper Pinot noir is now officially off the vine and waiting it’s turn in the processing line.  We couldn’t be happier with the 2015 growing season – the berries are safe, HUGE and beautiful!  If we had to complain, it would only be for a very small amount of shrivel that came from heat spikes with little water – but this is very easy to spot and sort out before the berries make it to the destemmer.  We are very thankful for another abundant crop of clean juicy fruit, chock full of interesting stories and flavors.  This year we were fortunate to get our hands on  fruit from Stermer Vineyard, in the Yamhill Carlton Appellation. Eric Lemelson planted Stermer with Armando Martinez starting in 1997 with mixed clone Pinot noir (Wadensvil, Pommard, 777, 115, 667) on silty clay loam, Willakenzie soils. The acclaimed vineyard is now in it’s 18th leaf and has been showing rich and robust flavors for over a decade now. Many expect this site to be one of the region’s most coveted in years to come. Stermer has always been one of my favorite Lemelson single vineyard bottlings. It’s farmed organically from start to finish, and sits on the hill just above the winery – you can see it in plain view looking west from the tasting room patio on Stag Hollow Road.

George and Barbara Stermer farmed this site starting in the 1950s. It sits between 250-450 feet in elevation, and faces nearly every aspect possible across its 30-planted acres. The Stermers were successful farmers, raising cattle on the low lands and planting orchard fruits on the gentle slopes above.  They called their operation “Stump Farm” and when they sold the 100+ acre parcel to Eric, he adopted their family name to pay tribute to their hard work and dedication as stewards of the land.

Stermer Vineyard fruit consistently shows a lot of backbone, with pithy tannins tending quite hefty in youth, but integrating nicely over 5-10 years in bottle. Aromas often lend themselves to unsweetened bitter chocolate and espresso, with black pepper, stone mineral and dusty red plums, like those the Stermers once grew on the property. I can’t wait to see what the heat of this vintage will give us – structure is a near guarantee, but with larger cluster and berry size it may not be as burly as I would have predicted back in August, before the rain.

Happy harvest to all ~ May your tables delight in the bounty of a season come to close!

Willamette Wine Turns 50!


This week marked the 50th Anniversary of the modern day Willamette Valley wine industry.  On February 22, 1965 David Lett planted the first commercial vitis vinifera cuttings in the Valley floor at a nursery just outside of Corvallis, thus initiating what would become a $3.35 billion dollar industry for the State of Oregon’s annual economy.  That’s quite a feat in just 50 years!  Wine grapes are now Oregon’s most valuable crop, with nearly 1,000 growers state-wide and a crop value placed at 128 million dollars a year.  I am impressed.  This is certainly reason to celebrate with a bottle of bubbles – the number of which produced in the Willamette Valley is growing exponentially right now (unfortunately.. I have no data on that one).

5th Annual Truffle Shuffle

The 5th Annual Truffle Shuffle is back Valentine’s Day weekend in Downtown McMinnville.  Join the fun and shuffle between three urban wineries featuring Oregon truffle delights from local purveyors.  Best yet- the event if free to members of any one of the three wineries’ wine clubs!


Oregon Wine Press Releases 2014 Numbers