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Robb Report Vices

A Passion for Pinot

Shaun Tolson

With June just around the corner, there’s no denying that a season of languid, sun-filled, and social weekend afternoons is upon us. Furthermore, the summer travel season has official begun, which means now is the ideal time to plan a summer getaway. For oenophiles (particularly Pinot Noir aficionados), Oregon’s Willamette Valley in late July is the place to be. Over three days—July 25 through 27—the 28th annual International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, Ore., will feature more than 70 exceptional Pinot producers, fare from 50 of the Pacific Northwest’s most respected chefs, and an itinerary teeming with vineyard tours and seminars geared toward wine drinkers and winemakers alike.

With the exception of vineyard tours, the weekend-long celebration is held at Linfield College, which is about an hour’s drive south of Portland. While some guests will end up staying on campus, we recommend checking into the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, about 30 minutes northeast of the college. To say that the inn embraces Pinot Noir would be an understatement. Don’t believe us? For starters, the signature restaurant, Jory, is named after the soil that grows the Pinot grape; it offers a wine list with nine pages dedicated to the varietal, not to mention a warm dark-chocolate Pinot cake served with a raspberry-citrus compote. The property’s spa also includes a “pinotherapy” treatment, which it describes as a “botanical and biological therapy produced by wine and grape-seed extracts derived from the property’s vineyard.”

If you choose to arrive early—and you should—many of the vineyards and restaurants in the area host pre-celebration dinners. At Stoller Family Estate, for example, the Summertime Salud dinner will operate around a “big bottles, big plates” theme and will feature family-style courses prepared by the Allison Inn’s executive chef, Sunny Jin. Large-format bottles from 18 wineries (in Oregon, California, and France) will also be uncorked during the event. Full weekend tickets for the International Pinot Noir Celebration are $975 each and can be purchased by clicking here.

Reservations for the dinner can be made by clicking here.

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