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 Filed as : Wine TipsNewsWine Events

Spotlight on the 25th Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration

Aug 15, 2011
Spotlight on the 25th Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration
Who said adults can’t go to summer camp?

ipncA few weeks ago, Josh Wesson, founder of the wine retail chain Best Cellars, closed the 25th Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon with a toast thanking over 800 attendees for participating in the “Woodstock of wine.” Paraphrased, Josh explained, “If Woodstock had music and fun, IPNC has sun and pinot.”

The IPNC has more than just sun and pinot. Founded 26 years ago by an array of now-renowned Oregon winemakers, the original event started as a clever marketing concept. In partnership with the quaint town of McMinnville, the fledgling IPNC hoped to boost travel and tourism while highlighting local winemakers. There were 39 wineries at the first IPNC. Today, over a hundred pinot-producing wineries participate.

Think of it as summer camp for adults. On the academic side, attendees enjoyed seminars on “the mystery of aging wine” led by Allen Meadows of Burghound and “white wine and cheese” by fromage femme Laura Werlin. On the wild side, the annual salmon bake (an outdoor BBQ where hundreds of pounds of salmon are cooked over an open fire pit in the Native American tradition) allowed attendees to pay homage to their inner teens. 50+ year olds were running to save seats once the “doors opened,” some sneaked in their own pinot to share with their pals, others jammed on a checkerboard dance floor to a live bluegrass band.

If you too would like to enjoy summer camp as an adult, and mix and mingle with the likes of pinot prince Richard Sanford and New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov, you can look out for an early-bird discount for the 26th annual IPNC weekend at

Think of it as three days of music, love and pinot.

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