The International Pinot Noir Celebration, a/k/a IPNC is held the last weekend of July each year for the last 30 years in McMinnville, Oregon. The epicenter of this grand (yet casual) fête is my alma mater, Linfield College. We have attended this weekend festival for 6 years now and have really grown to love the event. We love it for the wine, of course, but the food is stellar and we really love the people we’ve gotten to know over the past several years and the new people we meet each year.
I knew of IPNC from growing up in Yamhill County and attending Linfield College. In 2010 we decided we’d visit once and see what it was like. That’s always the biggest problem, I tell first timers: You attend once, you love it and you return annually.
The event goes from Friday through midday on Sunday (with an option to tack on a Sunday Afternoon tasting, but you’ve already had the opportunity to taste all the wines showcased on Sunday Afternoon, so this is really more for the folks who choose not to do the full weekend ticket). We always get in late on Wednesday night and spend Thursday with friends in Portland. We flew in one year on a Thursday night and with flight cancellations, weather delays and reroutes, we didn’t get into campus until 04h30 and we had to be up and on a bus at 09h00. No luggage, no sleep and no clothes made that day utterly awful. We arrive a day early now.
IPNC consists of two main components: an on campus day where you take a couple of seminars and have lunch; and a day where you are off campus touring a winery, walking the grapes, tasting and enjoying lunch. The attendees are split into two groups and on day one half of the folks are on campus while the other half is in the vines, then the next day you flipflop.
I won’t get into a truly detailed description of each day of our visit this year, but I will break down the days down into photos.
If these photos have piqued your interest, I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you plan on attending next year. IPNC is a fantastic event, full of down to Earth people (no snobbery here) who truly love food and Pinot Noir. Plus, the Willamette Valley is the absolute most perfect place on the planet during the summer.