WILLAMETTE: The Pinot Noir Auction Raises over $1 Million
by L.M. Archer
Newberg,Ore. – This weekend, the fourth annual Willamette Valley Wineries Association WILLAMETTE: The Pinot Noir Auction raised more than $1 million, surpassing all previous records.
“The excitement’s palpable,” said Shirley Brooks of Elk Cove Vineyards, co-chair of the 2019 auction, along with Eugenia Keegan of Jackson Family Wines.
Held at the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, Ore., and helmed by veteran wine auctioneer Fritz Hatton, this year’s standing-room only auction comprised a total of 92 lots from 89 winery participants. These included 86 one-of-a-kind Pinot noir lots, and six collaborative Chardonnay lots, all from the 2017 vintage, proffered in quantities of five, 10 or 20 case.
“We were fortunate to be one of the folks who got to put together a collaborative lot, with two other producers,” says second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell of Elk Cove Vineyards. Campbell enlisted two other pioneer wineries – Ponzi and Sokol Blosser, and the three came up with a combined lot with Chardonnay produced from Jory soil, Laurelwood soil, and marine sediment soils. “So it was a first for us to be able to taste a combined wine from all three soil types, ” says Campbell.
Over 450 members of the wine trade and media attended the auction, totaling 128 bidders representing 26 states and three countries. The average price paid per bottle climbed to $160, constituting a 29% increase over the previous year – and an astounding 81.5% uptick since the auction’s inception in 2016. Total 2019 auction revenues tallied up to nearly $1.1 million, including sponsorship and ticket sales.
Top lot sales consisted of Lot 92: Five cases of Duck Pond Cellars Pinot noir, “First Blood”: $60,000; Lot 89: Five cases of Domaine Serene Pinot noir, “Barrel 23”: $54,000; Lot 75: Five cases of Antica Terra Pinot noir, “Alder Creek”: $32,000; Lot 25: Five cases of Alexana Winery Pinot noir, “I’ll Have Another”: $30,000, and Lot 63: Five cases of Bethel Heights Pinot noir, “An End, A Beginning”: $26,000. READ MORE HERE.
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