Willamette Valley's Pinot Noir Barrel Auction raises record amount

SUBMITTED PHOTO: AUBRIE LEGAULT  - The second-annual Pinot Noir Barrel Auction hosted by Willamette Valley Wine Association raised $472,000 dollars.

The second installment of Willamette: The Pinot Noir Barrel Auction, a trade-only showcase of rare wines hosted by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA), is a wrap.

Sixty-nine Oregon producers contributed one-off Pinot noirs from the 2015 vintage for auction, drawing more than 400 attendees and raising close to half a million dollars for the regional association.

"The response to this event has been nothing short of remarkable and we could not be more pleased," said Pat Dudley, vintner and auction co-chair. "At the same time, I'm not entirely surprised. The Willamette Valley has come to be recognized as one of the most exciting wine regions in the world, and this auction offers the highest expressions of Pinot noir from our top producers. There is nothing else like it."The festivities began March 31 at three welcome parties featuring a variety of wines paired with local food. Guests were shuttled to a nearby winery for each event and sampled library wines and current release Pinots as well as Chardonnay and sparkling wine. On Saturday, bidders and guests tasted through the lineup of 69 lots at The Allison Inn.

After 80 minutes, all 69 wines were sold for $472,000. Exceeding expectations, this year's auction averaged more than $1,100 per case. The unique wines are bid on by members of the national and international wine trade and ultimately appear in select retailers and restaurants throughout the country.

The WVWA is a nonprofit industry association that seeks recognition for Oregon's acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premier Pinot noir producing region. The association has more than 230 members representing wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Willamette Valley. For more information, visit or call 503-297-2962.

— The Review, Tidings