OREGON, USA

By Decanter

02 AUG 2013

Gourmet food, sensational wines and the chance to mingle with winemakers – all at Oregon’s International Pinot Noir Celebration.

Oregan fact file:

Number of vineyards: 835 (Vitis vinifera)

Main grape: Pinot Noir, at 60% of total plantings (11,523 hectares)

Pinot Noir production: 21,700kg (2009)

Pinot Noir average yield: 31.86 hectolitres/hectare

Pinot Noir annual sales: 842,721 cases (2009)

Quick links:

- Six top vineyards to visit

- Where to stay, shop, eat and relax

- Tip of the day: USA Wines and Wine Laws

Introduction:

I’m sitting in the middle of a huge grassy lawn drinking Pinot Noir – with 600 people around me. It’s like the ultimate alfresco dinner party with a phalanx of glasses on every table. Our sommelier Mary, who hails from Los Angeles, brings a bottle, then another, and another. Winemakers wander past to pour a treasured vintage. You carelessly dump what’s in your glass to try the next – a wanton waste, but how can you miss out?

Welcome to the mad, hedonistic world of the International Pinot Noir Celebration, or IPNC as it’s called for short. I’d been meaning to go for years, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was more spectacular than I could have imagined – and quite bizarre to see people who had splashed out $1,000 (£630) for a weekend patiently queuing up for the chance to be doled out a mere sip of some treasured bottle.

 

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