Our second day at IPNC started off with some more bacon and pain au chocolat (again) along with some fruit. We decided to skip the Grand Seminar, which everyone said was a mistake. It turned out to be a great discussion on Australian wines. We’ve had one or two snoozer events in the past, so we decided to head off campus by ourselves and do some tastings on our own. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a place to taste at 09h00?
After leaving campus we found a place that was open and had a great view – Durant Vineyards and worked our way through the six wines they were tasting. We even ended up buying a few bottles and some olive oil. The views from Durant / Red Ridge Farm are breathtaking – it is a perfect view of the Willamette Valley.
After a quick morning tasting, we headed back to campus to enjoy the al fresco lunch. We sat with some Canadian friends we met at a prior IPNC – our table selection was completely random and honestly, we didn’t realize we knew them until we chatted for a few minutes.
At each meal you are seated with a wine maker. For lunch we sat with Jef from Dutton Goldfield located in Sebastopol. He told some great stories, not only about wine, but about his attempts to be a professional mogul skier, life with a toddler and surviving the recent Napa quake.
After lunch, we headed to the old Library on Campus where we attended a University of Pinot session titled Mindful Appreciation of Pinot Noir lead by Håkon Skurtveit, Head of Sensory Testing, Vinmonopolet from Oslo Norway. The wines we had were very good and a nice mix of both old and new world and the presentation was quite enthralling.
Following the University of Pinot, we headed back out to the Academic Quad where we tasted some rosé and rillettes. The pork rillette was created by the good people from Olympia Provisions and I ate more than my fair share. We also watched the Sparkling Wine Sabering demonstration where IPNC guests could try their hand at opening a bottle of bubbles in a non-traditional way. Some people used a saber, while others opted to use a more unique instrument, including: screw driver, a wrench, a shoe or even a three-hole-punch.
We planned on taking a nap, but that didn’t pan out as we ran into Scott and Lisa from Coeur de Terre during the Sabering demonstration and decided that we’d hang out the rest of the day tasting together. Great decision — naps are overrated.
The final meal at IPNC is a casual Salmon Bake Buffet with amazing food prepared by local chefs showcasing local ingredients – all designed to go with Pinot Noir, of course.
The end of the night, after the wine service is done, the late night folks crowd around the still burning coals from the Salmon Bake to tell stories, finish a glass of wine and reminisce of the wonderful weekend they’ve had.
Luckily our flight home was about 45 minutes later than prior years, so we could enjoy the Sparkling Brunch Finale which had a great mix of items including breakfast pastries, fruit, oysters, sushi and of course a ton of sparkling wines.
We always have so much fun at IPNC. Going just as a couple or with a group of friends brings different experiences, but no matter how you slice it, it is a great weekend and always a sad time when you drive off campus the final time. Until next time IPNC! Keep up the great work.