25th Annual IPNC, Linfield College, Mcminville, Oregon

IPNC: Worth a Visit


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IPNC is the International Pinot Noir Celebration held in McMinnville, Oregon (distant suburb of Portland)  near the end of July.  We just attended the 25th one, but only  the Sunday (July 31) “Passport to Pinot” grand tasting.  Alas, we had to miss the famously well-loved salmon and wine feast on Saturday night.

For wineries, this is a “by invitation” event.  Wineries have to submit an application and sample bottles of the one pinot noir they will pour at the event.

25th IPNC, the shady oak grove

Sipping in the shady oak grove

A complete wine tasting report will be coming in a couple of weeks, but for now, here’s the scoop: this event is worth attending at least once in your life. For Californians, it’s worth the trip.  IPNC is lively, informative, outdoors, and relatively accessible. It is held at Linfield College in a cool and shady oak grove. Hay bales create a fence around the perimeter of the small grove, about 500 yards in diameter.  Attendance is splendidly limited to about 300 guests. For wineries, this is a “by invitation” event.  Wineries have to submit an application and sample bottles of the one pinot noir they will pour at the event. There is fierce competition for IPNC recognition and for the brand exposure to 300 serious wine-lovers.  IPNC is an opportunity to taste wines from wineries that don’t even have tasting by appointment — for example, Shea.

The event runs from 1 to 5pm. There are about 20 food purveyors, mainly local restaurants, that serve delicious fare, hot and cold, savory and sweet all afternoon.  These booths are interspersed between about 40 booths for wineries.  There is an “intermission” at 3pm when a new set of 40 wineries replaces the first set.  So you can taste about 80 wines!

IPNC is an opportunity to taste wines from wineries that don’t even have tasting by appointment — for example, Shea… this is perhaps the most relaxed and pleasant venue for experiencing new  luxury pinot noirs on the west coast.

There is a bandstand for a smooth jazz band that played several sets.  There is plenty of water around and lots tables with shady umbrellas.  At the exit is a coffee and expresso booth to send you on your way at 5pm.  For wine consumers, this is perhaps the most relaxed and pleasant venue for experiencing new  luxury pinot noirs on the west coast.

 

 

If you plan ahead (many thanks to Norma for her incredible advance research) you can easily make it worth the $150 per person admission.

More later.