03 Aug The Church of Pinot Noir – Part Two
Our IPNC journey continued Saturday afternoon for our turn pouring at the Alfresco Tasting from 4 to 7pm. This is the first time that we poured our featured wine, the 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir. There were about 500 attendees and 35 wineries pouring under the oak trees on campus at Linfield College. We had an incredibly positive response to our wine and we met several key industry folks like Rusty Gaffney and Larry McKenna. We also met several distributors there as well and hopefully we will get WildAire out to more locations nationwide very soon. I think we poured thru about 10 bottles and we left with huge smiles on our faces!
Our night was just getting started as we got in line for the marquee event of the weekend, The Salmon Bake! My family had flown out from the east coast to support us and we managed to sneak in line with them: My three sisters: Anne, Amy, Patricia and her boyfriend Lyle, and my niece Kaitlin and her boyfriend Josh. We found a table inside and immediately worked our way thru the buffet line to sample some of that perfectly cooked salmon. The sommelier kept our glasses constantly filled with featured wines from some of the participating wineries as well as some of our own gems that we pulled from our bag to share with the table. The choices of food items on the buffet were endless and all expertly prepared by the Salmon Bake chefs. We toasted countless times to family and friends around the table until darkness fell. This event has tickets that are sold separately from the full weekend pass so Jeanie and I went around to some of the other tables and poured our wines to some of the new guests.
The final day of the IPNC began with The Sparkling Brunch featuring bubbles from wines all over the world paired with scrumptious bites from Kate Koo Sushi, Katcha, Olympia Provisions, Sodexo, and the IPNC all star chefs in a massive buffet of goodness. The bubbles flowed freely into champagne flutes while the sommeliers, dressed in shiny, metallic garb, blew soap bubbles around the tables. Lawrence Welk was probably laughing somewhere. We finished brunch and slowly made our way back to the house to relax for a few hours until our tasting that afternoon.
Passport to Pinot: This event features half of all of the wineries pouring for 2 hours and then we switch places and let the other half pour for the last 2 hours. During the switch out, all of the winemakers got into a parade led by a funky marching band called Love Bomb Go-Go that marched around the tasting tables and ended at the main stage where we were introduced each of ourselves to the crowd. We showed up a bit early so that we could get a chance to taste wines from some of the other wineries as this was our last chance to taste everything. We only tasted a few as we had to pour ourselves later that afternoon. This is also a public event where tickets are not part of the full weekend pass so most of the folks attending had never tasted the wines before. Again, we had an incredible response to our wines! Everyone loved it….. it confirmed that our 15 year journey in Oregon to make world class Pinot Noir has been incredibly fulfilling. After experiencing all of the joy from this weekend we’ll definitely be back to The Church of Pinot Noir to enjoy the IPNC every year from now on! Cheers, IPNC! We love you! Thank you for hosting such an incredible event.