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The fifth annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction is set for April 4 in Newberg

The Willamette Valley Wineries Association will hold the fifth annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction on April 4 at The Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg.GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - The Willamette Valley Wineries Association will hold the fifth annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction on April 4 at The Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg.

The event is expected to draw hundreds from the wine trade and media as it presents 86 lots of 2018 vintages, heralded by some as a "modern classic," according to a press release for the event.

The auction will also feature seven chardonnay lots crafted by current and past chairmen of the event.

Each lot of pinot noir and chardonnay is one-of-a-kind, produced in quantities of five, 10 or 20 cases and will only become available to consumers through resale by winning bidders such as wine wholesalers, restaurants and retailers, the release said.

"We created Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction as an opportunity to invite the wine trade to experience the very best our region has to offer," David Millman, 2020 auction chairman and manager director of Domaine Drouhin, said. "Over the past six decades the Willamette Valley has become recognized worldwide for pinot noir and the continued interest in and growth of our trade auction surely demonstrates that our little region is special. The 2018 wines featured in this auction capture all of the qualities which have come to define Willamette Valley pinot noir."

The quality of the 2018 vintage came about due to warm growing season that was heightened by cool final ripening, the release said, enabling the grapes to develop complexity while maintaining freshness and achieving what vintners call textbook balance and ripeness. Wineries throughout the valley were challenged to create special lots that reflect the quality of that season's grapes.

"Any bottle bearing the official auction label represents a statement of quality, an ability to age and a promise of being the best the Willamette Valley has to offer," Millman said.

The 2019 auction drew more than 450 individuals from the wine trade and media from 29 states and three countries. The interest from within the industry is reflected in consumers: retail sales of Oregon wine rose 12.4 percent in 2018, compared to 1.5 percent for the rest of the industry.

Attendees of the event will arrive April 3 for pre-auction festivities, including seminars, tastings and winemaker dinners hosted by participating vintners. A preview tasting is set for April 4 at The Allison, followed by the live auction under the careful eye of veteran wine auctioneer Fritz Hatton.

Those members of the wine trade interested in attending may obtain tickets by visiting willamettewines.auction/guest. Media can request credentials at willamettewines.auction/press.

Arts & Leisure briefs

Unique jazz event set for Friday at Social Goods

Ron Steen, referred to by some as the godfather of Portland jazz jams, will take the stage from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at Social Goods on First Street in Newberg. Steen was enlisted by local singers Matt Simek and Billie Eidson to join pianist Phil Goldberg and bassist Liam Hathaway in the event. The format for the evening is local professionals, music educators and students call out tunes to perform in true jazz jam style, a press release said, and plays lists and solos are concocted on the spot.

The folks at Social Goods will have food and drink at the ready and the second floor of the business has a space for dancing, with seating available upstairs and down.

Those musicians interested in joining the effort should bring lead sheets or chord charts and see Simek, Eidson or Steen for a spot on the set list. The event is open to all ages and there is no cover charge.

For more information, call Simek at 503-538-1093.

Bee enthusiast will speak at library

The Newberg Public Library will host beekeeper and educator Jeff Clark from 7 to 8 p.m. March 6 at its headquarters at the corner of Hancock and Howard streets.

Clark, a mentor in the Oregon Master Beekeeper program and a past board member of the Tualatin Valley Beekeepers Assoc., will speak on bees.

To make reservations by call 503-538-7323 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

McMinnville Short Film Festival on tap in February

The ninth-annual McMinnville Short Film Festival is set for Friday through Sunday at Linfield College, McMinnville Cinemas and on the Chemeketa Community College campus in McMinnville.

The festival is open to amateur and professional filmmakers' works in all genres but of no more than 20 minutes in length. This year's festival will screen 85 films from around the world, according to a press release, and will feature speaker Scott Ballard, an award-winning filmmaker from Portland.

The films will be shown in what are characterized as "screening blocks," that include narratives, environmental, animation, horror, experimental/'A Bit Strange,' documentary, student showcase and Native American.

Tickets for individual screenings are $10, while an all-access pass is $85 and includes all screenings as well as entrance to the awards dinner on Feb. 23. The event is a fundraiser for the McMinnville Film Festival Foundation.


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