Airplane Mode

McMinnville Wine + Food Classic celebrates 30 years

##Photo provided
##Photo BY Charles Hillestad


This year marks the 30th anniversary of the McMinnville Wine + Food Classic, returning March 10-12 to McMinnville’s Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum to celebrate Oregon’s finest wines and epicurean delights. Sip and sample while mingling among the many planes, rockets and other aircraft filling the spacious museum.

Be inspired by the impressive 114-foot tall Titan II SLV satellite booster rocket and Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird aircraft. My personal favorite is the Launch Control Room with equipment and furnishings donated by Central California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base (now known by its updated name: Vandenberg Space Force Base).

The festival features 50 wineries, eight distilleries, one cidery, 20 food vendors, a dozen artisans, plus music and activities. A dedicated fundraiser for McMinnville’s St. James School, the three-day event raises thousands of dollars for student programs. Attendees can expect the best wineries, food, musicians and artisans from Yamhill County and beyond. The festival is particularly focused on local businesses truly showcasing our region— while keeping the money spent within the community.

Don’t worry, you’ll still find St. James School oyster, crab and shrimp booths, but these days no event seems complete without a collection of local food trucks. Wooden Heart (usually found at Furioso Vineyards) and Los Kopitos, both parked in Dundee, along with Carlton-based Renegade Catering, will serve a delicious, curated selection of versatile dishes that pair well with many festival wines. Look for well-loved wineries; Willamette Valley Vineyards, Pike Road and Domaine de Broglie, and sample wines produced by smaller producers CHO Wines and 40:31. (See sidebar on next page for a list of participating wineries.)

New this year is a $100 VIP 3-day pass allowing entry to an exclusive, second floor Sky Lounge. With a bird’s-eye view of the festivities below, guests can enjoy Portland-based Gather + Give charcuterie and snacks, a coffee pour-over station hosted by Caravan Coffee and featured Stoller Family Estate wines.

Admission to the McMinnville Wine + Food Classic includes an Oregon Pinot Noir glass (while supplies last), parking and two tasting tokens. (Additional tokens can be purchased for $2 each at booths throughout the event and have significantly reduced festival lines and wait times.)

Tickets are available for Friday, 4-9 p.m. ($28); Saturday, 11 a.m. -8 p.m. ($32); and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. ($20). (Attendees must be 21+.)

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