America’s Greatest Wine Event

I got my invitation to what might be the best wine event in America. It is, at least, the best wine event I’ve been too in the last 15 years.

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (July 29-31) takes place at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. The small, rural town sits in the middle of Oregon Pinot Noir country. It’s quaint. But the gathering that takes place there every summer attracts the most high profile Pinot Noir producers in the world and a collection of very appreciative Pinot lovers.

What has always made the IPNC a great event is the intimacy its organizers create the results from it somewhat isolated location and the small number attendees it allows. This year they will allow only around 700 attendees. In the past organizers have had to carry out a lottery to see who gets in. This year it is first come, first served for the $795 tickets that go on sale March 1st.

Each year a number of wine celebrities are on hand to lead seminars and talks. This year’s include: Michel Bettane, France’s most famed wine critic; MW Michael Broadbent, one of the greatest wine commentators of the past 50 years; MW Bob Campbell, teacher and editor of New Zealand’s Cuisine Magazine; Andrea Immer writer and educator and once named "Best Sommelier in the U.S.; Elin McCoy, A writer who will soon be releasing    "The emperor of Wine: the Rise of Robert Parker, Jr."; Alexander Payne, Director of Sideways; Pierre -Antoine Rovani, the Wine Advocate’s palate for Oregon, New Zealand and Burgundy.

The best event at the IPNC is the Saturday night "Grand Dinner". The meal is always spectacular, highlighting Oregon’s best chefs. But the real fun is the wine. Traditionally, attendees bring with them some of their most spectacular wines, most of them Pinot Noir. Bottles get past around the room, trading of bottles occurs, bartering has been known to occur.

If you want to go, you really must sign up now and hope you are one of the first. Even getting on the waiting list is an accomplishment.

Posted In: Events


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