Global Gathering Points to Pinot

By Wine Press Staff

The 23rd annual International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC), July 24–26 at the Linfield College campus in McMinnville, will host over 60 premier Pinot Noir producers from Oregon, California, Burgundy, New Zealand, Austria, Champagne and Alsace for one of the world’s biggest Pinot Noir events.

IPNC guests will spend three days tasting exceptional wines, savoring unforgettable meals, and learning and celebrating with luminaries of the food and wine world. Jancis Robinson—master of wine, prolific author and world-renowned wine educator—will be the 2009 Master of Ceremonies.

The IPNC will dedicate two highly anticipated seminars to the topics of soil and geology. In the morning seminar, “Down to Earth: Digging Deeper into Oregon’s Soils,” Jancis Robinson will lead guests in a comparative blind tasting and discussion of ten Oregon Pinots made from two specially selected vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Guests will join Oregon winemakers Terry Casteel (Bethel Heights Vineyard), Steve Doerner (Cristom Vineyards), Laurent Montalieu (Soléna Cellars), Lynn Penner-Ash (Penner-Ash Wine Cellars) and Ken Wright (Ken Wright Cellars) in exploring the question of how soil, geology, and the winemaker’s approach impact the expression of Pinot Noir.

For the afternoon seminar, esteemed journalist David Schildknecht and winemaker François Millet of Burgundy’s historic Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé will take guests on a virtual tour of the village of Chambolle-Musigny, discussing the soils, geology and terroir of some of the world’s most distinguished vineyards. Guests will have the rare opportunity to taste an exclusive line-up of 2006 Comte de Vogüé wines, including a side-by-side comparison of famed Grand Crus Bonnes-Mares and Musigny Vieilles Vignes.

Also praised as a showcase for the Northwest’s acclaimed farm-to-table cuisine, the IPNC will host 50 guest chefs from the region’s most revered restaurants. For Friday’s Grand Dinner, chefs Vitaly Paley of Paley’s Place, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel and Rocky Maselli of Marché, Adam Stevenson of Earth and Ocean, and John Sundstrom of Lark each team up with a local farmer to create inspired courses for guests to savor alongside a collection of wines poured by guest sommeliers. Saturday night’s Northwest Salmon Bake features Benjamin Dyer, Jason Owens and David Kreifels of Simpatica, Mark Hosack of Gracie’s, and Jason Stoller Smith of The Dundee Bistro.

In addition to world-class wines and memorable meals, guests will enjoy an exciting array of activities, including a pairing of New Zealand white wines with world cheeses, a sensory presentation of soils and local farm produce, and an intimate vineyard tour and winery lunch at one of 14 Willamette Valley winery destinations.

Along with the speakers and chefs, it is the relaxing and friendly atmosphere that sets the IPNC apart from all other wine events. Whether tasting Grand Cru Burgundy or walking through vine rows with the people who planted them, guests find themselves unwinding in Oregon wine country while learning more about Pinot Noir in a single weekend than most people learn in a lifetime.

Tickets for the full event are $975 and include all seminars, tastings, breakfast, lunch and dinner over two days, as well as the Sunday Sparkling Brunch. For details, contact the IPNC at 800-775-IPNC or . For more information, please visit

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