“With the 2021 Auction we are celebrating the resilience of Willamette Valley Pinot noir,” says Auction Co-Chair Jess Endsworth, a national sales manager of Northwest Wine Company. “Ever since the first Pinot noir vines were planted here in the 1960s, the Willamette Valley community has been united in collaboration for the common good of this region. With the 2021 Willamette: the Pinot Noir Auction, we’ve done it once again. Against all odds, this is sure to go down as a truly historic Auction.”
With 17 first-time participants, some of the Willamette Valley’s well-established top producers have chosen this year’s Auction to present their inaugural lots including Belle Pente and Goodfellow Family Cellars. Rising stars such as Et Fille, whose lot is dedicated to the back of the envelope on which the recipe for their first wine was written, and Sweet Cheeks, whose lot is dedicated to a particularly wild block of estate vines, are also joining the ranks. Newcomers to the Valley, including Abbott Claim and Landlines Estates, both founded in 2020, are also showing their Willamette Valley pride through participation in the 2021 Auction.
The Willamette Valley has been known for its collaborative spirit since the very first pioneers began making wine in the region. Some of the region’s historic producers will be participating in the Auction once again including Sokol Blosser, Bethel Heights, and Elk Cove. The region’s rising stars are today carrying on the same spirit as the pioneers that came before them, with Kate Ayres of Penner-Ash, Kate Norris of Division Winemaking Co. and Ian Burch of Archery Summit showcasing their lots alongside offerings from some of the Willamette Valley’s most famous winemakers, including Ken Wright of Ken Wright Cellars and André Mack of Maison Noir Wines.
“This year’s Willamette: the Pinot Noir Auction offers a deep dive into Willamette Valley Pinot noir’s unrivaled ability to reflect climate and soils through the lens of the 2019 vintage, which is already considered a classic vintage,” says Auction Co-Chair Rob Alstrin, president and CEO of Adelsheim. “Throughout the Willamette Valley, the 2019 Pinot noirs benefitted from a cool and prolonged harvest and are expected to have outstanding aging potential. Each winemaker presenting a lot in the Auction has put forth their very best effort to offer wines that exemplify what makes 2019 Pinot noir so special.”
Each of the Willamette Valley’s nested AVAs are represented in the Auction—Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, Van Duzer Corridor, Yamhill-Carlton, and the new Tualatin Hills and Laurelwood District AVAs. This diversity is celebrated in the Raptor Ridge Winery offering “Tour de Vallée,” which showcases the very best of five of the Willamette Valley’s nine nested AVAs. WillaKenzie Estate’s five-case lot “Rise Over Run” is one of many that tells the story of the rolling landscape of the Willamette Valley.
Further representing Willamette’s quickly growing wine scene, seven Chardonnay lots will be offered, many of which were made in collaboration under the direction of former Auction Chairs. Soléna Estate’s collaboration with Domaine Divio, entitled “Francophilia,” celebrates the French influence on the Willamette Valley with winemakers Laurent Montalieu and Bruno Corneaux. The Adelsheim and 00 Wines collaboration “Partners in Wine” is a tribute to women winemakers made by Gina Hennen and Wynne Peterson-Nedry. The two winemakers are regular participants in a group called Women in the Room designed to empower, support, and learn from women winemakers. The Eyrie Vineyards, one of Willamette’s founding wineries, will be joined by Domaine Drouhin Oregon in their collaborative Chardonnay lot “Véro & Jason,” named for winemakers Véronique Drouhin and Jason Lett.
Licensed members of the wine trade who are interested in attending may visit the website: willamettewines.auction. Members of the press who are interested in attending may complete a Media Credential Request Form (willamettewines.auction/press).
About Willamette Valley Wineries Association
The Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) is a non-profit industry association dedicated to achieving recognition for Oregon’s acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premier Pinot noir–producing region. Currently, the WVWA has nearly 250 members representing wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Willamette Valley region from Portland to Eugene. To learn more about The Willamette Valley Wineries Association visit: willamettewines.com